(ANTIMEDIA) — This year’s Miss America pageant, held on Sunday, took an unexpected turn. Typically, in the final round of competition, each finalist is presented with one question. This year, pageant organizers broke from that tradition and presented the last five finalists with two questions each, one serious and one playful.
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The politically charged questioning began with Miss Missouri, Jennifer Davis, who was asked if “Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia on the election.”
“Right now I have to say innocent because not enough information has been revealed. We are still investigating this and I think we should investigate it to its fullest extent. If we do find the evidence that they have had collusion with Russia, the justice system should do their due diligence and they should be punished accordingly.”
Next up was the question and response that’s now garnering the most attention on social media. One of the judges, Jess Cagle, asked Margana Wood, Miss Texas, if there was shared blame on both sides when it came to the deadly Charlottesville protest.
“Last month, a demonstration of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK in Charlottesville, Va. turned violent and a counter-protester was killed,“ Cagle said. ”The president said there was shared blame with ‘very fine people’ on both sides. Were there? Tell me yes or no, and explain.”
Miss Texas then used only 15 of her 20 seconds available on live TV to share, without hesitation, a truth many people — including the president of the United States — needed to hear:
“I think that the white supremacist issue, it was very obvious it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and making sure all Americans feel safe in the country. That’s the number one issue right now!”
Twitter users immediately jumped on the social media platform to voice their support, many attracting thousands of likes and retweets:
— Victoria Waith (@VictoriaWaith) September 11, 2017
Miss Texas just gave a stronger answer on White Supremacists than the President of the United States. #MissAmerica
— Alexander McCoy (@AlexanderMcCoy4) September 11, 2017
Miss Texas you're doing amazing sweetie https://t.co/JEoNUrZlj0
— The Gay Burn Book (@SouthernHomo) September 11, 2017
I'm not normally a big fan of beauty pageants but Miss Texas is impressive. The resistance is everywhere. https://t.co/oo62N8ivz1
— Derek Cressman (@DerekCressman) September 11, 2017
Miss Texas–a white woman–showed more integrity in 20 seconds than Trump has known all his life.#MissAmerica
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 11, 2017
Unsurprisingly, some were outraged by her statement:
#MissAmerica pageant should be renamed "Miss Liberal America" pageant…
— Kurt (@KMGIndy) September 11, 2017
— 33bluewife (@33bluewife) September 11, 2017
#MissAmerica Very disappointing. Shame on Disney, Miss America for polluting contest with politics. MA is not a government official.
— Mine Gurgun (@GurgunMine) September 11, 2017
@TuckerCarlson Miss Texas proves beauty and brains do not necessarily go together. She is an ill-informed snowflake. Tired of Trump hate
— Forgotten no more (@lvchevyguy) September 11, 2017
In August, the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency as the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent years came together in Charlottesville. During the chaos, an attendee of the white nationalist rally drove his car into the crowd, injuring numerous people and killing one woman.
While Miss Texas didn’t win the crown this year, she did win a special place in the hearts of many Americans, and her words and her courage won’t soon be forgotten.