Pageant officials in Delaware have stripped a 7-year-old girl of her pageant crown for reasons that can only be described as suspicious.
Jakiyah McKoy was crowned “Little Miss Hispanic Delaware” in Wilmington last month, but only for a short time, according to Fox News Latino. When her family was unable to provide paperwork proving her Latino heritage, pageant officials took back her award, sparking heated controversy.
Some questioned whether Jakiyah lost her crown because she’s black.
“We can’t have her be the queen if she doesn’t have the proper documentation,” Maria Perez, president of Nuestras Raices, the pageant’s sponsor, told Latino Rebel.com.
Apparently, these racial investigations can’t be done before all the pageantry takes place.
The dethroning spurred an online petition from writer Daniel Jose Older of Brooklyn, N.Y.. According to the petition, signed by over a 1,000 people so far:
“Jakiyah McKoy won the Little Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant but the sponsoring organization, Nuestras Raices Delaware, has blocked her win after an outcry from people claiming that, because she is Black, she is ‘not the best representative of Latin beauty.’” Journalist Diaspora Dash has been following the story and reports that more info at her website.
Because of these complaints, pageant organizers asked Jakiyah’s family to prove that she is of Latin heritage, but they were unable to do so: Jakiyah’s late Dominican grandmother was undocumented. Meanwhile, none of the other, lighter skinned, competitors were subject to such an investigation.
This petition is to demand that Jakiyah McKoy keep her rightfully won crown, because her beauty represents us all.”
“Color had nothing to do with it,” Perez said. “We’re all Latinos. That’s why we’re so beautiful, because we come in all different colors.”
As a concession, Jakiyah was given runner-up status.