Thoughts, Ideas, and Concepts by Sandra Parks

For Discussion: Guess Which One Is 2009-2010 Miss Hampton University

ms-hu21

Miss Hampton University is a white girl this year and she has been getting scrutinized to no end. Nikole Churchill wrote a letter to President Obama about her plight:

Subject:
Hampton University

To:
President Barack Obama

October 11, 2009

Aloha Mr. Obama!

My name is Nikole Churchill, a senior nursing major at Hampton University. This past Friday October 9, 2009, I was honored to be crowned Miss Hampton University 2009-2010. It truly was the best night of my life! With that being said, I am sad to say…… that my crowning was not widely accepted and many negative comments regarding my win have been shared throughout my campus.

It would be much easier to say that possibly some were not accepting of the news because I wasn’t the most qualified contestant; however, the true reason for the disapproval was because of the color of my skin. I am not African-American. Despite the unfortunate beliefs that some are saying I should not have won, I am desperately trying to focus on those who believe in me and support me and my goal to represent this beautiful, multicultural campus the very best way that I can. I would love your help!

I am hoping that perhaps you would be able to make an appearance to my campus, Hampton University, so that my fellow Hamptonians can stop focusing so much on the color of my skin and doubting my abilities to represent, but rather be proud of the changes our nation is making towards accepting diversity. People are even nicknaming me, “lil Obama” because of various reasons. This is truly an honor as well!

I am also from Hawaii (Wahiawa) and I am hoping that you can assist me in opening some closed minds and help share some aloha spirit throughout my campus. I feel as though you could relate to my situation, which is why I immediately wanted to contact you. I was interviewed last night at the HU vs. HU football game by news channel 13 and I mentioned how individuals such as you and myself are making changes in hopes people can stop placing so much focus on our skin color by letting that define what we can, cannot, should, and/or should not do. Dr. Harvey welcomed me last night to the family with open arms and I was beyond honored when he told me that he is behind me 100%. I am proud to represent Hampton University and I am so proud having you to represent our home, our country. Your support with my crowning as Miss Hampton University 2009-2010 would be graciously appreciated. Please reply, I will be looking forward to it!

-Nikole Churchill

Virginia Beach , VA

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Comments on: "Her letter to President Obama!!!" (9)

  1. I think that just like we want folks to “get over” the fact that President Obama is a Black man then the folks at Hampton who are displeased should relax and embrace the young lady as their representative. If she won the vote fair & square then that’s the way it is. Enjoy homecoming!

  2. I agree. I think those who oppose this situation but claim to support President Obama are hypocrites of the highest caliber. In choosing a homecoming court, the student have the primary vote. With that being said, she was obviously a well-liked person on campus with the credibility to even be placed on the court.
    The fact that she won further emulates the change proposed by President Obama. It emulates the change that he won the Nobel Peace Prize for. But more importantly, it emulates the change we as Americans wanted in voting for our fair and liberal minded President. So those who oppose this, take a look in the mirror and truly ask yourself what is the “real” problem in this situation. It is not the fact that she wrote the president, it is not the fact that she won, it is not even the fact that she is white. The “real” problem is you. We do not need negative, conservative minded people who believe that as a people we should be separate but equal, we need a people who will fight for not just equality but freedom and justice alike. And for the African-American audience who are disgusted by this, think about how upset you would be if a black woman won Homecoming Queen at a university such as Harvard and it caused controversy, because it certainly has happened and for whatever reason, it was not a problem.
    A great rapper once said, “we can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.”
    Whether you like rap or not, that statement is true, and as an advocate for change, I have not the slightest problem with a white lady accepting the honor of being Homecoming Queen at an HBCU, because I aspire to one day become the Homecoming King of Harvard and I would be utterly upset at any American who discredits me simply because of my race.
    As Miss Morgan stated, “… relax and embrace the young lady as [Hampton’s] representative.”

  3. I just want to comment to add a bit more context to this discussion. As a Hampton Alumna and the older sister of a 2009 Hampton University graduate, I can tell you that Hampton University students do not vote on the Miss HU contestants. Additionally, Nikole Churchill is a transfer student who has only been at Hampton for one academic year and attends the VA Beach satellite campus; I know of Hampton University students who did not even know there was a satellite campus as it is composed entirely of non-traditional students majoring in Nursing. So, this young lady has not been a part of the Hampton University campus community and is not known to most Hampton students. With that said, I believe that her race does play a role in some of the controversy. However, I think this issue is exacerbated by the fact that she is not an active participant in the Hampton University undergraduate community. I also find her letter a bit upsetting as within 48 hours of her crowning felt the need to publicly characterize the student body of Hampton University as racist. Additionally the Miss HU pageant is not in the typical fashion of a Homecoming Court. It it run by the Miss America pageant and the winner goes on to the Miss VA competition. With that said, Hampton brings in judges from outside of the school and the students have no role in the decision making process. I apologize for jumping around a bit in my comment, I just wanted to provide a bit more information about the pageant winner and subsequent student reaction.

    • Maria,
      I don’t know you but I really really appreciate your insight into this article! Thanks for stopping by and please continue to stop by my post. Again thanks!

    • Thanks for that additional insight & perspective. I had no idea that the selection process is as you describe, just assumed that it was the student body selecting. I did think it was strange that she chose to reach out to the President about this issue, but your explanation about her possible position in the Miss America pageant explains that; I’m sure national press coverage will be a plus for her and the pageant.

      Thank you again for keeping us fully informed.

      • You are very welcome. If there have been any students that have been unkind and disrespectful to this young lady, that behavior is completely unacceptable. I just wanted to provide a bit of information about the process at Hampton. To be honest, Hampton students have been critical of the Ms. HU selection process for quite some time; they feel that often the panel chooses the young lady with the best chance to win Ms. VA as opposed to the young lady who best represents Hampton and its student body. Additionally, Mr. HU, also recently crowned, is not Black; I believe he is Asian. The student body has been completely accepting of him as he is an active member of the school community and someone with whom they are all familiar. By the way, I enjoy your blog. Be well.

  4. Maria,
    Thanks so much I appreciate you! Also do you have a blog that you belong to? Keep coming back I hope to have other articles that you are interested in.

    Again thanks!

  5. Maria do you blog? If so please forward me your link! And thanks for the compliments and please continue to come by!!! Hopefully I can keep things of interest on here for you!!!

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