After talking with Latino Rebels yesterday about the recent controversy surrounding the decision to strip the title of Little Miss Hispanic Delaware from seven-year-old Jakiyah McKoy because McKoy lacked “the proper documentation” to prove she was Latina, Nuestras Raíces Delaware sent us the following Facebook message tonight:
The recent issue of El Tiempo Hispano with 2013 Little Miss Hispanic Jakiyah McCoy on the cover has not only brought a negative perception of Nuestras Raíces, but it has put our mission and vision in jeopardy in the eyes of the community.
Nonetheless, we understand that any organization risks being put under scrutiny, but the perception that the community thinks the reason Jakiyah lost her crown is because Nuestras Raíces didn’t think she was Latina looking enough is unacceptable and false.
FACT: Ms. McCoy losing her title was NOT due to her appearance in any way, but because is NOT of Hispanic decent and couldn’t provide the proof to validate it as any contestant who is a title holder is required to provide. The color of the skin is not ever been a reason for this re-coronation. It has been left open to the grandmother that if she provides documentation to confirm Jakiyah’s Hispanic lineage, would be reinstated and we would have our first dual queens.
The family of Ms. McCoy had been asked to provide this after coronation and they were UNABLE to do so. They were very willing and understanding to the decision that was made, and in good faith the hard working Ms. McCoy was still welcomed to be crowned as a participant and join the festivities at the Parade and Festival. The family and Ms. McCoy accepted and had a great time on the float.
The current Little Miss Hispanic, Meriana Ayala, has blonde hair and very fair skin. She is also required to provide documentation to confirm her Hispanic lineage.
Going forward, like any organization, we will be asking for confirmation in advance from every and any participant, not just title holders, to avoid any confusion. We hope the community knows our interest and differentiate between the community opinion on the matter versus the fact.
We welcome any person to contact the organization by visiting www.nuestrasraicesdelaware.org and sending an email.
Our mission is to provide cultural awareness and bring unity to our community. The mere fact that anyone would think that we are removing a title based on skin tone is a complete misrepresentation of our vision and mission in Nuestras Raíces. In fact, we have had queens of every color; eye color, hair type, and body build from any countries [sic] including the Dominican Republic.
With that said, the new title holder is Meriana Ayala, 1st runner up Eleiana Santiago, 2nd runner up Katherine Fred-Martinez and 3rd runner up Ciara González.