The winner of 2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri brushed off hateful comments which were launched via social media. The 24-year-old Fayetteville, New York native addressed the issue during a press conference following the crowning.
"I have to rise above that (the negativity). I always viewed myself as first and foremost American," Nina said, as quoted by the Associated Press. "I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity. I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."
Nina was crowned as 2014 Miss America at the finale in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday, September 15. Nina, who was born and raised in New York, became the first Miss America winner from Indian descent. Shortly after the event, she was showered with hate-filled comments from people who objected her winning because of her ethnicity.
A Twitter user wrote, "Miss Arab wins Miss America...? What is life?" while another said, "9/11 (anniversary) was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?" Another person commented, "How the f**k does a foreigner win miss America? She is a Arab! #idiots." Another person added, "If you're #MissAmerica you should have to be American."