Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River

By Katie East

Donald Trump shocked the world last month by peppering his Presidential announcement speech with some intense racism. Hispanic people around the world showed outrage over Trump’s insensitivity. NBC, Univision, Macy’s, and even the city of New York are trying to cut ties from Trump before his inevitable implosion.

Now, Baton Rouge waits on pins and needles to see what this all means for the Miss USA pageant, set to air on July 12. The independent REELZ network has picked up rights to the pageant and the show will go on. No word yet on if Baton Rouge will have to pay the incentive package it promised to the Miss USA pageant.

Obviously, Baton Rougeans have a much different view of this outcome than the rest of the nation. Without the large viewing audience an NBC broadcast would bring, the city loses a lot of positive exposure. Of course, everyone here wishes the show could go on without a hitch.

People in other parts of the country seem glad that the Miss USA pageant is being silenced. Many feminists feel the pageant propagates antiquated ideas of what a woman “should be” and is offensive to the female gender. They are sick of seeing women paraded around in bathing suits in some ancient tradition. NBC dropping the pageant is a win, in these feminists’ eyes.

Personally? I don’t have anything against the Miss USA pageant. I say go for it. Yes, it’s archaic. Yes, it’s sexist. But these women are choosing to do this for themselves. OK, maybe some of these girls They’re all adults, and it’s their choice.

Does the pageant set unrealistic goals and expectations for young girls who might be watching? Sure. But that’s the case with every magazine they look at too. Plus, that’s what parents are for: to explain issues their children are facing and to promote them feeling comfortable in their own skin.
Even though I don’t agree with the Miss USA pageant, or the whole creepy child pageant life in general, that doesn’t mean I think we should advocate taking down a whole institution. As far as outdated traditions go, I find this one fairly harmless, albeit weird.

I have to say, I kind of agree with Trump on one thing he has said recently. When explaining why he was suing Univision for $500 million on breech of contract for not airing the pageant, he said:

“What they did was terrible because they left 51 wonderful young women sitting stranded in Louisiana, in Baton Rouge.”

Which is true. I can’t help but feel bad for all these girls sitting in our city who should be excited and nervous about this one day they have been working toward for years. Instead, they are probably annoyed and heartbroken. Luckily, they’re all experts in faking smiles, so we’d never know it.

That, however, is the only thing Trump has said that I agree with in the last few weeks or ever. And though I feel bad for those Miss USA contestants, I can’t blame anyone who decided to sever ties with Trump. His comments were wildly offensive.

For those of you who aren’t sure of the specifics, this is what Trump said that started this whole firestorm:

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

And then, as to not be discriminatory in his discrimination, Trump added:

“It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably—probably—from the Middle East.”

This is what he said in a speech announcing his presidency of the United States. That just floors me. He’s basically applying for a position that has to be the most diplomatic person on earth and he’s just flying off the cuff and saying things to offend a quarter of the world.

And the craziest part of all is that he won’t apologize. Some interviewers have asked if he wishes he had a “do-over,” and he says no every time. He’s still confused why everyone is making such a big deal over his remarks.

Trump is one of those rich people so engulfed in money that he has completely forgotten what reality is. He’s delusional.

I work in a high-end upscale spa, and I come in contact with people like this frequently. They’re so used to being the richest person in the room they just assume everyone is there to serve them and they can say whatever they want. That’s how Trump behaves.

The president has to be likable and approachable; Trump is not. The day we see Trump shaking Mexicans’ hands and kissing unvaccinated babies, then maybe we can expect him to use decency and sense when speaking.


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