Twitter, Facebook and other social media alike buzzed with the trending topic, “Terrorist crown Miss America.”
With recent issues like the integration of sororities in Alabama, the national issue of race was in the spotlight again.
Junior Eugene “Geno” Campbell, from Nashville, said, “It is truly hardening to hear that ignorance is still prevalent here and now. I thought we as a nation were so much more mature than this. Wasn’t she born in America the land of opportunity and freedom? So what is the problem?”
Nashville junior Kayla Moore won Miss Phi Beta Sigma Inc. and the Shining Star Award for Miss Black Tennessee 2012.
“I got comments like, ‘It’s not fair caucasians cannot participate’ and ‘It’s not a real pageant if all races aren’t represented,’” Moore said.
Yet, social norms are slowly changing. Recently, a transgender boy who identifies as a girl won Homecoming Queen in Hunting, Calif., at Marina High School.
Senior Markela Albright, from Memphis, said the bigger stigmas regarding homosexuality could potentially prevent this from happening in a national competition like Miss America.
“Look how difficult it is to get passed marriage equality,” Albright said. “It will be just as difficult, if not harder for America to accept a transgender or homosexual to be crowned Miss America.”
Albright served on pageant committees for both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Both pageants extended the opportunity to all with the required GPA.
“I think that it is awesome that a woman of Indian descent won this year’s Miss America Pageant,” Albright said. “This really shows great improvement within the pageant world when picking a young lady of a different ethnic background to be crowned.”
However, Albright said she thinks the negative comments about this achievement are very immature and ignorant.
“Especially, because it’s from people in her own country in which she was born,” Albright said. “Let us not forget that the people that make up this country are of all ethnicities and we should be able to celebrate one of our own.”