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New Miss America: 'I will rise above racist controversy'

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Sep 16, 2013 | 3:36pm EDT

Beauty queen Nina Davuluri is refusing to pay attention to racist comments about her Indian heritage after she was crowned the new Miss America at the weekend, insisting she will "rise above" the controversy. The reigning Miss New York, who was born and raised in Syracuse, was named the winner of the coveted 2014 title at the finale in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday (15Sep13), becoming the first Indian-American to claim the honour, but her victory prompted a flurry of rude comments by ignorant Twitter.com users. One uninformed critic wrote, "Miss Arab wins Miss America...? What is life?", while another added, "9/11 (anniversary) was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?" However, Davuluri, 24, has brushed off the offensive comments, telling the Associated Press, "I have to rise above that (the negativity). I always viewed myself as first and foremost American... "I'm so happy this organisation has embraced diversity. I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."

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