Photo: Via CNN
UPDATE: After news broke about Twitter users' disturbing reactions to Nina Davuluri's win, a backlash began to grow. In fact, we'd even go so far as to call it a full-on public shaming. Most of the major news outlets gave the tweeters a lesson in social media grace (and, you know, how to not be racist) and it seems the reality of their ignorance have started to sink in. As of today, most of the notorious users have either deleted their accounts or gone private in response to the embarrassment. For her part, Davuluri is brushing off the criticism, saying "I have to rise above that." (International Business Times)
Last night, while millions of us were panicking over Breaking Bad, there was another major TV event going down. The Miss America pageant crowned its latest winner, and not only did Miss New York take the top prize for the second year in a row, she also happened to be the very first Indian-American to win it all. Nina Davuluri hails from Syracuse, and competed on a platform of "Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency." She also performed a Bollywood-style dance for the talent portion that made us slightly self-conscious of our own mediocre moves. But, all that was marred by the shocking reaction from the public — minutes after the winner was announced, Twitter exploded with racist and anti-Indian sentiment.
According to CNN, thousands of viewers were upset that the new Miss America wasn't actually "American." (Although, it bears repeating that Miss Davuluri is American, and of Indian descent.) Even Fox News' Todd Barnes chimed into the mix, tweeting out "The liberal Miss America judges won't say this — but Miss Kansas lost because she actually represented American values." Others on the social networking site mistakenly assumed she was Muslim, and even compared her to the 9/11 hijackers — seriously.
But, if you're now starting off your Monday feeling worried about the open-mindedness of your fellow Americans, just know that it wasn't all negative. Many came to Davuluri's defense in the face of the racist tweets, while others simply celebrated the cultural milestone. "I think it's amazing that @NinaDavuluri was crowned Miss America. THIS is the american story," tweeted Questlove. Davuluri, who also happens to be an aspiring doctor, has yet to comment on the shocking reaction, but here's hoping she doesn't let it ruin her celebration. Miss America, if you're reading this, we're sending you a big congratulations. (CNN)