Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Thing of Beauty

I think beauty pageants are stupid for a variety of reasons, so I really wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the Miss USA contest until I noticed that a bunch of right-wingers got upset that this year’s winner is Rima Fakih, a young lady from Detroit and happens to be an Arab-American.

– Conservative radio host Debbie Schlussel blamed Fakih’s win on a supposed “politically correct, Islamo-pandering climate” in America and labeled her a “Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah supporter with relatives who are top terrorists.” [5/16/10]

– Right wing pundit and Fox contributor Michelle Malkin ranted that “Fakih’s cheerleaders are too busy tooting the identity politics horn to care what comes out of her mouth” and that “the Miss USA pageant didn’t want to risk the wrath of the open-borders mob.” [5/16/10]

– Conservative author Daniel Pipes, who was briefly appointed by former President George W. Bush to the U.S. Institute of Peace, opined that “this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action.” [5/16/10]

Gee, racist much?

Maybe she won because she didn’t come across as an anti-immigrant herself.

In winning the title, Fakih defeated first runner-up Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, who garnered headlines when she responded to a judge’s question about immigration policy by saying that she was “perfectly fine” with Arizona’s radical new immigration law.

I see the problem here. The people who run the pageant, in an attempt to make it sound like it’s more than just women parading around in bikinis, ask the contestants tough questions about current events. Nice try; I think that’s about as useful as asking the Mr. America contestants about cap-and-trade. And about as informative. They should just own up to the fact that they’re looking for attractive women to exploit and leave the politics out of it.

(By the way, Mustafa Mohammad, a Jordanian, won the Mr. Universe contest in 1992. I don’t remember anyone raising a stink about an Arab winning the contest back then. Maybe they were too amazed by his awesome thighs.)