Update: Miss Wisconsin USA has dropped out of the pageant! Here’s the reason why; Miss Wisconsin USA has forfeited her crown and resigned from the Miss USA beauty pageant after admitting to charges of identity theft, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports . Shaletta Porterfield, 26, was named Miss Wisconsin USA last year, and would have competed in the national contest in Las Vegas on June 19. The allegations arise from Porterfield’s job selling ads last summer, according to the Waunakee Tribune. Three business owners in the Madison, WI, area complained to police that someone had forged their signatures on contracts to buy advertisements in Homepages, a local business directory. Police allegedly connected the fraud to Porterfield, who confessed on Dec. 9, the Waunakee paper reported. She faces three counts of misappropriating identity information to obtain money, with a maximum penalty of $30,000 or six years in prison. Porterfield resigned as Miss Wisconsin USA on Friday to avoid bringing more scandal to the Miss USA pageant, her attorney, Robert F. Nagel, told the Milwaukee paper. “It’s unfortunate, but she has a lot going for her, and she’s ready to move on,” Nagel said.... http://www.credit.com/blog/2011/05/miss-wisconsin-charged-with-id-theft-loses-crown/ _________________________________________________ This is sad but in her defense, I believe that she is too young to realize the real issues behind this experience. Some of those major pageants pull in a lot of money by their requirements in which those girls have to go out and get a set amount of sponsors. This was her first pageant of which means that she did a pretty good job!--but as a result, she was probably not prepared for this issue and just did not see the reality until she was enticed to get involved. Obviously, those big companies dominated by White America in Wisconsin knew exactly what she was going to have to do in order to maintain her place in that pageant, and they were ready for her…when she came a knockin and they shut the door in her face,…ever so politely…and told her that they were not interested in sponsoring her…a young Black woman…to represent their companies in this pageant. For some Black African Americans, this young girl’s predicament in that situation may not seem like that big of a deal, but I believe it is and other situations similar to this situation in which a young Black person, even if she did it through her vanity and became exploited, can affect us, as a whole, in many other ways, in our vanity as well. I’m sure that other Miss Wisconsin’s USA contestants in the past had no problem getting sponsors! And someone could have given her some kind of suggestions in where to go. But what comes around will go around--one day. Yes, vanity, vanity, all is vanity, but she was young and it should not be such a big deal that a young Black woman should want to be recognized for being beautiful and putting what they believe to be ‘their best foot forward’, as she is very beautiful. Like all of those other young girls, she was no different in the way that she was made to think and feel about herself. I remember once when I was very young, before I was a preteen, and as Navy Brat, my two sisters and I were sent to be babysat by a Philippine woman. She had married a Black African American man, my Step-fathers’ friend, and wanted to help my mother out one day. So off we went to her house on the military base one day and I remember feeling at that time that I felt I was too old to be babysat, but had to be in her house all that morning anyway. I was an outdoors child but that morning, she made us stay inside with her and I remember being so restless that day and that I hated being inside with little to do. She had a little son at the time therefore, she did not have anything for us to do as girls but she was very nice though and a quiet typed person. She used to love to go to the parks with our family and other Navy families on days when we went fishing and crabbing and had cook outs. I used to love when she and her husband would come over our house on party days, when my father would boil crabs. The men would drink their Budweiser beer and more, the women would sometimes sit at the table and play cards with the men, and us children could eat all the crabs and party food on the tables that we wanted. That was the good thing about being a military child and it was also a great opportunity to meet different kinds of people that came from different places as was this Philipino woman. She was straight from the Philippines but spoke English well. She was a short woman and had long straight dark hair that hung down her back past her thighs and she had a brown complexion. I loved her house because she had these fancy beads and leather furniture of which, when her favorite show was about to come on, she told us to be quiet while she laid down on her couch to watch the show. I remember it so well, it was ‘the Newlywed Show’! At that time, I pretty much hated to watch TV and rather be outside riding my bike, skating, playing soccer with the kids in my block and so much more. But I paced through her house while she made us be quiet as she lay there with her arms folded across her chest and watched the show quietly. There was one Black African American couple on the show, both the man and the woman and the three others couples were white. This Philipino woman showed absolutely no emotion as she watched the show, but towards the end, I heard her quietly mumble that she thought the Black couple was not going to win. But surprisingly, when the Black couple lifted up their board, --Yes!-- They had won! And all of a sudden that Philipino woman went from being almost motionless to acting in the complete opposite. She sprung up off the couch and started shouting and hollering! She was jumping up and down, flinging her arms, spinning around, bending over… She cut up so bad, it made me laugh and from then on, I began to love to watch the Newlywed show because of her. I recall this story sometimes because of the mind game that I feel America has played on many Black African American people today of whom I believe have lost touch with themselves and I feel that many of us have been conditioned to become ashamed of showing our emotions and our happiness when something good happens to someone Black or African that may be good for us as a whole. It is so sad. I remember when Vanessa Williams won the Miss America pageant as the first African American woman to ever win, and she opened the door for many other girls to feel confident enough to come forward and become in the public mainstream, a situation that might open the door to so many other opportunities to make us all have a better life. Some Black people that get into the public mainstream just might help us in Civil Rights issues, you never know. It seems that we have been made to believe that it is a shameful thing to highlight the fact that ‘we are still the minority’ and when something good happens to us as a minority, I believe that we should support it if it is a good cause that won’t harm us as a whole. Other people from other cultures can see that still today, Black Africans are still a minority despite the false picture that America has tried to present. The numbers tell the truth, we are still a minority yet, many of us want to blend into the American picture so badly, we don’t even look at what could become a negative ramification of conforming and not holding onto our own cultural presence. Nobody else is trying to wipe out their cultures, but they carry it along with them even though they may want to be apart of the American dream. I feel we have been made to believe that it is not a good thing to highlight times when other Black African Americans become recognized for something noteworthy and we have been made to believe that we should ‘act like we are just apart of the American process’ when this is just not true, not for the past as well as today. If anyone should see this Miss USA pageant, that will become obvious. Black African American girls in this pageant show the reality; we are still the minority in a system that used us to set up. Today, again, we still are the minorities and when something good happens to someone else who are like us and of our culture that won’t harm us, then if we are ashamed to recognize it, we may fail to see that it might circle right back around and become an issue in some way, form or fashion in other ways later on. Yes, there are so many times like when Black people get recognized for something that is dominated by this white dominated system, they many times turn their backs on their culture and want nothing to do with Black people, but I believe that we should deal with this when it happens and confront it wholeheartedly, but we should not judge a young person before they even have a chance to prove themselves otherwise. The one good thing though, that I like about some Black people is that they will not abandoned young people no matter how shallow their goals may seem to be. Miss Wisconsin was kicked to the curve, so to speak, because no company saw the need to back her up and offer her some kind of support in some way. But there are a few other young Black girls in this pagaent that I hope will get better support from the Black friends and families in their communities. There is Miss Pennsylvania, Miss District of Columbia, Miss Colorado and I think a few more. But one in particular seems to have some great support and she doesn’t seem to hide her culture!--Miss Kentucky! I was surprise to see that Kentucky named a Black, Kia, for this pageant system and I now wonder if she is the first for that state! At any rate, I probably will check out the outcome of this show but hope the best for all the girls. Yes, I know, ‘Vanity, vanity, every man [and woman] at his best is vain’…for something or some reason.