Monday, May 17, 2010

Move over Carrie Prejean

I apologize for diverging from our regularly scheduled (well, scheduled anyway) study of Living on the Edge to catch up on some news, but I couldn't avoid this subject on the radio during my drive home and I need to vent. Last night, Rima Fakih won the Miss USA pageant, becoming the first Arab-American to win the pageant. During her Q&A, she was asked about the divisive illegal-immigration law recently passed in Arizona. Her response was diplomatic, but not very politically-correct siding against illegal immigration. This is now the second year in a row a celebrity judge has tried to bait a contestant with the hot-button issue of the day after last year's pillaging of Carrie Prejean by Perez Hilton. At least Oscar Nunez didn't call Ms Fakih the c-word.

But I wonder where's the outrage? Protesters are gathered around Staples Center this very minute protesting Arizona's law prior to the Lakers-Suns NBA Playoff game. Besides this event, sports radio was consumed with an effort to boycott an upcoming Dodgers-Diamonbacks game. This issue has reached such a level that the City of Los Angeles is officially boycotting the State of Arizona (not sure how that works) and even the director of the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix was asked whether these boycotts would affect next season's BCS slate.

But I don't hear any outcry against Ms Fakih (or do I call her Ms USA now, like she's some kind of superhero?). Don't get me wrong, I do not believe she deserves it, and in some respects I do believe it is a fair question. We shouldn't expect our eye candy to be vapid. We live in a new enlightened world after all. But I do see a double standard.

To add to my outrage comes reports that Ms Fakih won a faux-stripper contest at a local radio station. Crowns have been stripped for less. And again, this was more fuel on the Carrie Prejean fire.

Now, I am no fan of Ms Prejean. I think the 'persecution' card was overplayed and continues to be overplayed today. But with the deafening silence surrounding this latest 'pageant scandal', I begin to wonder if there's fire behind all the smoke. Maybe we're walking on egg shells because of Ms Fakih's faith and ethnicity? Maybe Ms Prejean made herself a target by making such a big deal out of it last year? Likely, the truth is probably a little of both. But I cannot help but wonder, what if a white Christian woman from a very-Red state was asked the same question and then won the crown, what would be the response?

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