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Little Miss Hispanic Delaware 2013: Was Jakiyah McKoy's Title Revoked Because She Is Too Black?

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First Posted: Oct 01, 2013 10:31 AM EDT
Little Miss Hispanic Delaware
Jakiyah McKoy (left), who was stripped of her Little Miss Hispanic Delaware title, stands next to the new title holder, Meriana Ayala. (Photo : www.delawareonline.com, El Tiempo Hispano)

Jakiyah McKoy, 7, was crowned August 31, earning the title Little Miss Hispanic Delaware, only to have it stripped away from her two weeks later.

The Miss Chiquita Delaware organizers require that contestants be at least a quarter Hispanic, with grandparents hailing from Latin America or Spain. This is a requirement that McKoy apparently met, as her grandmother was an undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic, though this is difficult to prove because her grandmother is deceased.

The pageant spokesperson and Nuestras Raices president, Maria Perez claimed that McKoy's parents were unable to provide sufficient verification and documentation to prove McKoy's ethnicity, which resulted in her being removed. She claimed that McKoy's dark complexion had very little to do with the reversal, though many are calling foul, saying that the sole reasoning behind this action was to remove McKoy's title and crown because she did not possess traditional Latin features and was too black. After all, Mckoy was allowed to participate and win, her background not being questioned until other parents complained.

Tiffany Ayala, the mother of another contestant who is now the title holder, brought her doubts about McKoy's heritage to the pageant producers, claiming that McKoy activity said that she was black, not Dominican during pageant practices.  

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"If you're not Hispanic, you can't join it," Ayala was reported to have said. "Just like I'm not going to put my daughter in the Little Miss Ebony Queen.

Daniel Jose Older, who stared a Change.org petition on behalf of McKoy insists that the organization is being racist and disrespecting black women.

"As Latinos, it's really important that we understand what's going on with us and that we reclaim this girl as our sister," Older said.

The petition has gained 822 signatures to date, and both the recall and petition have become Twitter-bait, incurring outrage from everywhere.  

Perez stated that if McKoy's parents were to provide proof that she is 25 percent Hispanic, then her crown will be returned to her and there will be two winners this year. Perez then said that she will ask for proof of heritage from all girls who intend to participate; though Perez's predecessor, Wilmington Concilwoman Maria Cabera took the contestants at their word.

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