America is a melting pot, let’s embrace it

James Farmer

Miss America was crowned on Sunday in Atlantic City. Normally, the competition comes and goes, and the only thing we hear about is snide comments about Donald Trump’s awful hair. However, this year was different. The woman who won Miss America is Nina Davuluri, an Indian-American woman representing the state of New York. Apparently, Davuluri was not American enough for some people, as racially disparaging comments started flying as soon as she was crowned.

As stupid and ignorant as this is, it is unfortunately not unexpected. During the NBA finals, a young Mexican-American boy sang the U.S. national anthem during the San Antonio Spurs’ home games. Social media exploded with vitriol and ignorance, with many people asking why an “illegal immigrant” was singing the U.S. national anthem (For the record, singer Sebastien De la Cruz, is a U.S. citizen). When Citi Field, in New York City, hosted the 2013 MLB All-Star game, the artist who sung “God Bless America” during the eighth inning was again a Latino that inspired racist comments and tweets. However, the singer was well-known Latin pop star Marc Anthony, who was born and raised in New York City.

While these opinions and comments do not reflect how the majority of Americans feel, they still reflect badly on our society. If people associate every Latino as an illegal Mexican, and everyone from the Indian subcontinent as a 7-Eleven owner or a terrorist, we will never move forward as a society. We should judge people on who they are as an individual and not apply racial or ethnic stereotypes on them. Last time I checked, anyone born on U.S. soil or to U.S. parents is a U.S. citizen, regardless of race, religion or the birthplace of their parents. This Eurocentric approach to determining who is “American” is not only stupid but also not grounded in reality at all.

We should open our eyes and embrace the diversity that is the great American melting pot. Get to know people of different races, creeds and backgrounds than yourself. There is no better way to stamp out ignorance.