By Staff Reporter, Sep 26, 2013 04:09 PM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: El Tiempo Hispano)
A few weeks back, 7-year-old Jakiyah McKoy was crowned Little Miss Hispanic Delaware but the response to her crowning faced a lot of backlash. Jakiyah McKoy's crowning received complaints, as many viewers found that she did not look Latino enough. In fact, her family was forced to provide documentation to prove that they were of Hispanic heritage. "There was uproar when the winner was announced because, according to the public, she was not the best representative of a Latin beauty," reported El Tiempo Hispano. "The winner was Jakiyah McKoy, first runner Meriana Ayala, second Eleiana Santiago and third Katherine Fred-Martinez. The new Miss Chiquita Delaware Jakiyah McKoy, age 7, was born in Brooklyn, New York. She is descendant of her grandmother who was born in the providence of La Vega in the Dominican Republic."
Since then, the president of Nuestras Raices Delaware has stated that providing documentation is part of the rules. "We were giving her the benefit of the doubt," said Perez to Latino Rebels. "She joined the pageant and of course one of the things is you have to be of 25 percent Latino heritage. Her parents were asked to bring in documentation. Of all of the documentation brought in there was nothing that confirmed Dominican heritage." While admitting that her organization asked for documentation, Perez also defended their actions stating that the young girl's heritage would have been easily proven by her mother's birth certificate.
"The mother said she didn't want to go through it," said Perez. "Whenever we are questioned, we ask for them to bring that stuff in." Perez was asked if the request for documentation was a racially motivated quest, but Perez denied the allegations. "Color has nothing to do with it," she said. "We're all Latinos. That's why we're so beautiful because we come in all different colors." Despite the claims, those outraged by Jakiyah McKoy's de-crowning have started protesting. Daniel Jose Older started a Change.org petition, which already has 350 signatures, "to demand that Jakiyah McKoy keep her rightfully won crown, because her beauty represents us all."
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