On Sunday night, Deshauna Barber, Miss District of Columbia, was crowned Miss USA. Barber is black. Some people don’t think she should have won. We bet you can guess why.
Barber, 26, blew viewers and judges away with her answer about whether women should serve at all levels of the military.
As Logistics Commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit at Fort Meade, Md., Barber was uniquely qualified to answer the judges’ question. “We are just as tough as men,” she said. “As a commander of my unit, I am powerful, I am dedicated, and it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.”
Despite all of this acclaim, some still found reasons to object to Barber. On Facebook and Twitter, people insisted that Miss Hawaii, Chelsea Hardin, deserved the title.
Many of Hardin’s fans argued that the question she received from the judges—”If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump for president, and why would you choose one over the other?”—was an inappropriate probe into her political preferences.
Others, however, contended that Miss Hawaii was simply more beautiful:
That’s a very loaded statement, considering Barber is black, and Hardin is not.
Some people dispensed with all coyness and explicitly said that Barber only won because she’s black:
Or that she only won because she’s a soldier:
Or that she shouldn’t have won, just because she shouldn’t have won:
Barber’s defenders were quick to point out that claims that Miss Hawaii is more attractive privilege mainstream—i.e., white—standards of beauty over others.
Those who didn’t have to explain racism and colorism to strangers on the internet were free to celebrate Barber, and they did so with gusto.