The inherent anonymity of social media has bred a generation of cowards, people feeling absolutely free to express the meanest and darkest facets of their personalities without having to do it directly to those they are attacking.  Thus was the case after Sunday’s Miss America competition.

24-year-old Nina Davuluri became the first winner of the Miss America pageant to be of Indian decent.  Davuluri may be of Indian heritage, but was born in New York, a fact many Twitter users forgot when they Tweeted their opinions of Davuluri, including questioning her citizenship, ties to Al Qaeda, and other outright racist remarks,

@JPLman95 – Miss America?  You mean Miss 7-11.

@anthonytkr – #MissAmerica ummm wft?!  Have we forgotten 9/11?

@amber_collins14 – Call me crazy but I think Miss USA should be um… AMERICAN

@Bentonboy14 – How the f*** is Miss America Asian… The f*** is wrong with this world

@Synical523 – A foreigner won Miss America.  What the hell is wrong with this country?

@BlakeSpurrier – How does an Indian win Miss “AMERICA”… Wrong country.

@jakeamick5 – How the f*** does a foreigner win miss America?  She is a Arab! #idiots

@LukeBrasili – 9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?

@wnfraser - @ABC2020 nice slap in the face to the people of 9-11 how pathetic #missamerica

@SHANN___Wow – Miss America right now or miss Al Qaeda?

@Blayne_MkltRain – Congratulations Al-Qaeda.  Our Miss America is one of you.

@_AudreyAnn – Miss America is a terrorist.  Whatever.  It’s fine.

Several of the above tweeters, as well as others not expressing racist opinions, showed a great deal of support for Miss Kansas Theresa Vail, an Army Sergeant who is believed to be the first Miss America contestant with a visible tattoo, the Serenity Prayer on her ribs and a military insignia on the back of her shoulder.  Though Vail won a national “America’s Choice” vote to advance to the semi-finals, she failed to crack the top 10.

Davuluri has chosen to keep her head high during the Twitter backlash, assuring those of her national pride,

I have to rise above that," she said. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.

While several of the offending tweeters have apologized for their comments or assured others that their comments were not meant to be taken seriously, some, like @BlakeSpurrier, have not backed down on their opinions and gone on the attack against others who have called them out for their racist remarks.

via BuzzFeed and Uproxx