Miss Puerto Rico's Islamophobic rant shows beauty pageant winners how not to act

Miss Puerto Rico Destiny Velez
Miss Puerto Rico Destiny Velez Credit: Getty Images

Twitter rants are dangerous – everyone from Katie Price to Donald Trump knows by now that letting loose on social media can haunt you forever.

But it seems that Miss Puerto Rico 2015 didn’t get the memo.

Destiny Velez recently posted a series of Islamophobic messages on Twitter, directed at filmmaker Michael Moore.

His crime? Encouraging people to stand outside the Trump Tower and post a sign saying ‘We Are All Muslim’ in response to Presidential candidate Trump’s comments about banning Muslims from America.

Velez, whose Twitter account has now been taken down, responded to Moore’s tweet saying: “All what Muslims have done is provided oil & terrorize this country & many others!!!!!!!

“There’s NO comparison between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Jews nor Christians have terrorizing agendas in their sacred books.

“Muslims use our constitution to terrorize USA & plant gas stations. Islamic god is NOT the same god of the Christians & the Jews.”

Unsurprisingly her hateful – and ignorant – tweets sparked a blacklash with many Spanish users on Twitter using the hashtag #nonosrepresentas (you don’t represent us) and #verguenzajena (shame on her).

A screengrab of Miss Puerto Rico's tweets

It led the Miss Puerto Rico Organisation to release a statement suspending her indefinitely for her comments.

“In regards to Miss Puerto Rico, Destiny Velez's, recent actions and conduct; the Miss Puerto Rico Organization feels that her words do not represent the integrity and esteem of our program, nor that of our board members, our sponsors and partners, or the National Organization.

"Miss Velez's actions were in contradiction to the organization, and therefore as a consequence of her actions, she has been suspended indefinitely. The Miss Puerto Rico Organization will not tolerate any actions or behavior contrary to the Miss Puerto Rico Organization."

Their statement also included an apology from Velez herself: "I apologize to the people I have offended with my words. I am first and foremost an #UpStander and as such I stand up against bullying. The last thing I wanted to do was to bully anyone. Again, I apologize to anyone who felt offended with my words.”

She has already competed in the Miss America contest this year but the organisation also distanced itself from her comments saying it does not agree, condone or support what she said.

"Though no one really expects pageant winners to bring about world peace, there is a basic understanding that they shouldn’t hold racist views - let alone share them all over Twitter."

It means Miss Puerto Rico’s beauty pageant career is over almost as soon as it begun. But it also serves as a warning to other contestants.

These women regularly stand up and speak about their goals for the world. At the Miss World 2014 contest last year, in true beauty pageant style, the five finalists spoke about ‘bringing hope all over the world’ and ‘making a difference’.

Miss United States even tried to address the fact that people think of the contest as ‘outdated’, and stressed each woman's focus on charity work and highlighting global poverty. 

No one really expects these women to follow through on their words and bring about 'world peace', but there is a basic understanding that they shouldn’t hold racist views - let alone share them all over Twitter.

If contestants have any inclination to stereotype an entire religion over the actions of a few like Velez, then perhaps they're better off joining Trump's campaign then donning a tiara.