9/17/2013 6:01 PM
by Rebecca Turco
BECKLEY - An Indian American recently crowned Miss America is facing racial slurs from social media, in a move some locals called xenophobic.
Nina Davuluri of New York won the beauty contest this past weekend. Many took to Twitter to disparage her ethnic heritage.
Nearly a fifth of Indian Americans said they have faced discrimination, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Bachitar Singh, the owner of an Indian restaurant in Beckley, believes racism still exists in rural areas that are less diverse. Singh was born in India.
Therapist Hamlet Smith of Life Strategies Counseling explained why people can feel prejudiced against different ethnicities. "We get used to people looking alike and I think sometimes we mistake being alike from looking alike," Smith said.
The survey also found that 10 percent of Indian Americans said discrimination against their community is a major problem, while nearly half see it as a minor problem.