No, white people, you don’t get to say the N-word—a lesson Karlie Hay should have learned earlier in life
by Mary Elizabeth Williams
(Salon) – I know many of you are going to be upset by what I’m going to say. I know all of your arguments about how very unfair it is. But white people, save yourself some time and angst and public embarrassment — and just don’t say the N-word. No, really, don’t. This goes about double if you’re a blonde, blue-eyed, teenage girl. Oh, does that disrupt your sense of entitlement? I’m so sorry. How hard the world must be for you.
So, speaking of white girls, have you met Karlie Hay? Over the weekend, the Texas 18-year-old beat out her near-identical blonde, blue-eyed competition to win the crown as Miss Teen USA.
What Miss Teen USA, you ask? Is parading around adolescent girls in “athletic wear” still an actual thing, you wonder? Yes, it is.
And shortly after snagging the crown on Saturday night, Hay, whose old Twitter handle — with its imperative to “Be Somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody” is currently locked — was being called out on social media for her seriously clueless public history of racial slurs.
As director Xavier Burgin pointed out, our new Wonder Bread-level white Miss Teen has an unfortunate Twitter history of very casually referring to her buddies as“n____r” and “my n____r.”
Immediately heading off the inevitable rebuttals, Burgin predicted the response would be, “That was three years ago. ppl change! so you can say n*gger but we can’t? she’s a child!” But, as he also noted, “Three years ago homegirl was prolly anywhere from thirteen to fifteen, which is old enough to know not to say the n-word. If you’re old enough to have social media, you’re old enough to know what is and isn’t racist.”
On her brand new @RealMissTXteen Twitter account, Hay said on Sunday that “Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person … I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for. Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that…I am today a better person. I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of … The Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women.”