The first Miss America of Indian descent was crowned last night. Shortly after Twitter blew up with some inappropriate and ignorant tweets. While racist comments don’t even deserve the limelight, it is a reminder that ignorance still exists. While the supportive comments outweigh the negative, we still need to be aware and continue to share our diverse voices.
I don’t talk about diversity too much on my blog, instead I choose to just share and be who I am and who I am is an Chinese American woman with bi-racial children. But this get’s me emotional.
Growing up as a I child, I didn’t embrace my culture and diversity as I do now. While I didn’t experience a lot of racism, there were incidents that made me realize I was different.
I did not have Asian rolemodels. Growing up in a predominately white neighborhood, I always wanted to be be more white, more American. I was born in America, I am American, but when I was little I didn’t want to be different. Fortunately I was able to overcome my own internal barriers and use my diversity as a strength.
Now I give keynotes on embracing diversity and “Breaking Through Cultural Barriers and Society’s Stereotypes” and one of my main themes is “Know Yourself, Be Yourself, Share Yourself.” Which isn’t always an easy journey.
And that’s exactly what the New Miss America Nina Davuluri is doing, being herself.
Which is a confident, intelligent, Indian American woman who is isn’t afraid to share. She is rising above the negativity. That’s what we need to do no matter what your background. Don’t focus on what’s wrong, eliminate ignorance by sharing what you stand for, what you believe.
This isn’t about pageants, it’s about taking a good look at ourselves, our society and continuing the conversation. We need to empower ourselves and our children to be true to ourselves and to share our voices. Whether it’s about our culture, our beliefs, or even our interests. Thanks for listening.
What are your thoughts?