Apparently it was big news last weekend when a woman of Indian descent won the Miss America pageant. Of course, she was American, as that's kind of the point. While I didn't even realize that such an absurd thing as beauty pageants still existed, my second thought was, "Huh, I guess we're finally coming around as a nation, if the superficial ideal is no longer Barbie." And I'm not afraid to say that she is super pretty (especially in clothes reflecting her heritage instead of a bikini). I've always had kind of a thing for Indian women though, so I'm definitely biased.
Then I heard about the apparent outrage and hate unleashed on social media, and I realized that the US still has a long way to go before it shakes its reputation as a nation of morons and bigots. It was really toxic stuff, implying that she wasn't American. Because, you know, no one is the descendant of an immigrant or anything, white or otherwise. Still others equated her with being Arab, which is even more baffling. I mean, if you're going to hate on someone because of their race, at least know the difference between two groups of people. It got even worse, as the people who confuse Arabs and Indians also apparently believe that all Arabs are terrorists. Mind you, there are more Arabs in the world than Americans of all races combined, but whatever. Dipshittery knows no bounds.
This makes me sad. I'm sure part of it is the field I work in, which is rich with diversity, but I don't understand the desire to always have someone to hate. I've had the pleasure of working with people from all over the world, following different religions, speaking different languages, steeped in fascinating culture entirely different from my own. Learning about where they came from is awesome, putting a face and people on something I otherwise understand only via books and the Internet.
Even more sad is that people turn to the very resource that could educate them and instead use it to spew all this toxic nonsense. I keep having to remind myself that the human race has mostly improved throughout history.