Former Miss Texas Averie Bishop recently penned an opinion piece that expressed her concerns about the state of Texas and its treatment of marginalized and minority communities.
“Y’all Means All”: In her article published on MSNBC on Saturday, the 26-year-old influencer and political activist started by highlighting her reign as Miss Texas 2022, which she dedicated to advocating for diversity, inclusion and equality in the state.
I am the very first Asian American to win the title in the 85-year history of this scholarship competition. I took my platform “Y’all Means All” on the road, giving more than 250 keynote speeches across the state and around the world, making history once again as the most well-traveled Miss Texas.
Positive cultural shifts: According to Bishop, she is concerned that Texas politicians could hinder the state’s progress by oppressing marginalized and minority Texans, as she experienced firsthand the challenges of being part of a minority community.
I was born and raised in McKinney… My mother is a Filipino immigrant, and my father is a fifth-generation Texan and Cherokee Indian… I was shy, and embarrassed of both the way that I looked and the financial circumstances I came from.
However, she noted the positive shifts in Texas’s cultural landscape, such as a thriving South Asian community, a vibrant Black music industry and rich Latinx and Chicano cultures.
“So many of the leaders of my state are living in denial,” Bishop added. “Rather than celebrating this diversity and the ways it makes us stronger, they are trying to smother it.”
Harmful legislation: Bishop criticized recent legislative actions, including the passage of SB 17 by the Texas Senate, which bans diversity, equity and inclusion departments in public universities. She argued that such measures harm historically underrepresented communities and hinder the ability of children across the state to feel at home and see themselves reflected in society.
“The United States is and has for more than a century been a nation built of immigrants and rooted in mixing cultures,” Bishop wrote. “Texas is no exception. If anything, we should be leading our fellow states as a shining example. Instead, we risk becoming a national embarrassment.”
She then stressed that legislation protecting minority communities should not be dismissed as “woke” liberal propaganda. Instead, she emphasized the necessity of these efforts to propel the state toward its potential.
Bishop called for bipartisan support, urging Texas Governor Greg Abbott and state leadership to “cease its assault on DEI policy and focus on improving the economic and social livelihood of all of us.”
Beyond the crown:
Bishop, who made history last year by becoming the first Asian American woman to win the Miss Texas title, has personally met with Republican leader
s to discuss issues relevant to the state.
While her tenure as the state’s beauty queen ended this month
, Bishop has indicated that her advocacies would continue as she intends to run
for a seat in the state legislature in the near future.