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Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Nation
Miss America Nina Davuluri poses for photographers following her crowning in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
September 18, 2013 | During my Tuesday morning subway commute, I encountered a man who felt the need to stare at me while I walked by. As I passed him, he whispered, “Miss America” at me. I kept walking, slightly confused at this unusual catcall. And then I remembered: as of Sunday night, Miss America was, like me, an American-born desi. Nina Davuluri, from Syracuse, New York—both conventionally gorgeous and medical school–bound—had won the title. Between this new form of catcalling and the inevitable comparisons to her by my nosy aunties, it was clear: she was put on this planet to make my life miserable.
Of course, this historic achievement wasn’t all roses for Davuluri either. Upon her crowning, Twitter overflowed with angry, post-9/11 racial hatred. “Miss New York is an Indian. With all due respect, this is America” chimed one tweeter. Another angrily writes, “How the fuck does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab! #idiots.” Actually, no she’s not an “Arab,” she’s an American-born Hindu of South Asian descent.
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