The reaction towards Miss USA is all the proof we needed that America is still racist

I was disgusted by the disrespect towards a woman who is also the first winner to serve in the United States military

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On Sunday, June 4th at this year’s Miss USA pageant, winner Deshauna Barber of the District of Columbia represented not only diversity, but military. Despite becoming the first-ever military member and ninth African American woman in the 65 years of the pageant’s history to win, she received endless racist backlash from Americans.

People who disagree with her winning the title can come up with all the ridiculous excuses they want (such as the real comments I’ve seen on Facebook from “she doesn’t even look American” to “these people are blind”), yet those excuses are really only covers for racist thinking.

If you think that this young woman, a lieutenant for the U.S. military, currently working in Washington D.C. as an IT Analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce, is not good enough because of the color of her skin or that she only won because she is a soldier, you’re the problem, not her.

Many white Americans were upset over Barber winning the title because “God forbid a black person” were to claim the title, even though 37 out of 46 Miss USAs have been white. What really baffles me though is how many people claim to support those who serve our country and sacrifice their lives, yet when this woman, who happens to be African American, proudly displays her service and even fights for gender equality in the military, she is just using her service to her advantage.

Many claimed they thought that Miss Hawaii should have won, but really had no other explanation for why that is, other than the fact that she is “prettier.” Which also translates to: she falls under white standards of beauty. It’s also shameful that there are people who believe all that matters is beauty. The qualities of the winner should showcase what we think America should stand for, not just how beautiful they are. While her beauty is also admirable, consider the answers to the questions she was given as well.

She is an inspiration to women, especially women in combat and veterans. When asked about women in combat, she stated “[w]e are just as tough as men…[a]s a commander of my unit, I am powerful, I am dedicated, and it is important that we realize that Gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”

I see no reason as to why this woman is any less worthy of winning as any of the other contestants. The awful comments do not truly stem from people thinking her questions were easy or that she won because of her military experience, it is all a cover for what racism still exists in this country. A historic pageant win should be respected. No Miss Alabama would not have won “if she was black” (as I saw one person comment), because Miss District of Columbia did not win because she is. This woman won because of her goals, her hard work, and her views.

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