ADL: Racism targeting new Miss America recalls Myerson’s treatment

(JTA) — The bigotry facing the first Indian-American to become Miss America recalls the harsh treatment visited on Bess Myerson, the first Jewish woman to win the coveted crown, the Anti-Defamation League said.

Nina Davuluri has faced racist messages on Twitter and other social media platform since her crowning on Sunday.

In a statement issued Monday, the ADL said it was “deeply troubled” by the messages linking Davuluri, who was Miss New York, to terrorism and 9/11.

“We have been down this road before.  Who can forget how Bess Myerson was treated after becoming the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1945?” Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, said in the statement. “Myerson faced open prejudice and bigotry as many sponsors and events associated with the pageant refused to recognize her title.

“Ms. Davuluri’s platform of ‘celebrating diversity through cultural competency’ is a message that all Americans and people of good will should strive to emulate.”