Miss Texas Just Condemned White Supremacy Better Than Donald Trump Ever Has
She had 20 seconds to talk about Charlottesville. She did not mess around.
The Miss America pageant finished up today and sure, considering the state of the country right now, I guess it makes sense the show had a portion about Neo-Nazis!
Despite finishing as fourth runner-up in the contest — first place went to Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund — Miss Texas is the one making the most headlines due to a particularly sharp smackdown of Donald Trump. During the final round of competition, Houston’s 22-year-old Margana Wood was asked about the president’s response to the recent horrific events in Charlottesville.
“Last month a demonstration of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK in Charlottesville Virgina turned violent and a counter-protester was killed,” PEOPLE editor Jess Cagle said. “The president said there was shared blame with ‘very fine people on both sides’. Were there? Tell me yes or no, and explain.”
Wood had 20 seconds to respond and nope, she definitely did not cop out with any generic statements about ‘world peace etc etc’.
“I think that the white supremacist issue… it was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack,” she said. “I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing that fact and making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. That is the number one issue right now.”
Nice one, Texas.
— shauna (@goldengateblond) September 11, 2017
Naturally, the internet is loving it.
Miss Texas–a white woman–showed more integrity in 20 seconds than Trump has known all his life.#MissAmerica
— Charles Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) September 11, 2017
— Kanisha Jackson (@Kanisha1Jackson) September 11, 2017
#MissTEXAS speaking up on white supremacy & how Trump didn't speak up on it fast enough ??
— Allehiaa ? (@_theLegitMisfit) September 11, 2017
Miss Texas just gave a stronger answer on White Supremacists than the President of the United States. #MissAmerica
— Alexander McCoy (@AlexanderMcCoy4) September 11, 2017
Not for nothing, but Miss Texas also did a very fun little dance to Adele and talked about hugging her mates. Legend.
— Cara Mund (@MissAmerica) September 11, 2017
— alex rees (@maybealexislost) September 11, 2017
Of course it’s nothing new for women in pageants to talk about politics. In fact, it’s literally built into the competition.
Miss World Australia, Esma Voloder, is a former Bosnian refugee who’s battling xenophobia and bullying in this country. The newly-crowned Miss America today took a stand on the Paris climate accord, saying Trump was wrong to pull out of the United States’ commitments. She then used the knowledge she gained as an intern in the Senate to advocate for more women in healthcare and reproductive rights. Women, whether they like to compete in bikini contests or not, are pretty much the best.
It’s also nothing new for people to speak frankly about white supremacy — in fact, people of colour have been doing so for an awfully long time now, usually to much less acclaim, and often to outright abuse. But, what Miss Texas’ answer did show is how totally easy it is to talk about this issue in real terms. Even if you’re white. Even if you’re a white person representing an extremely conservative state. Even if you’re a white person representing a conservative state with less than 20 seconds to talk on national TV. The president could learn a thing or two.