Branch has dignity and class

Published 7:42 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

On Sunday, a new Miss America will be crowned.

I hope our Miss Mississippi Asya Branch will be a standout, but with the revamping of the program, it certainly makes it hard to know what this year’s judges will be evaluating.

I totally get that change can be positive, I just wish those who had been put in charge of the competition had not altered it mid-stream. To me, it seems unfair that many of the state contestants competed with one set of rules and then in Atlantic City, they will compete under another set of rules.

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I also hope that because Mississippi was one of the 30 states that signed a petition for the current board to step down, Branch will not be penalized.

I am proud our state was one of the many who took the risk of asking Gretchen Carlson and the current Miss America Board to step down, especially after 2018 Miss America Cara Mund posted a letter she had written to Facebook about how she had been treated during her reign as Miss America.

In the letter, Mund spoke of how she had been pretty much pushed out of her role as Miss America. She also gave examples of how she had been bullied by those in charge.

While Carlson has made it one of her missions to push the #MeToo agenda within the confines of the Miss America Competition, as it is now referred, I hope she keeps in mind that it is not only men who can abuse their power over others.

I feel sure there are women who are also in positions of power that have either taken advantage of, bullied or abused their subordinates.

Power and bullying don’t go hand in hand with gender. Ladies, don’t you remember the mean girls on the playground. You know the ones who had their gaggle of friends and you just made sure you stayed out of their way.

So with all that said, my hope is that all the contestants in this year’s competition get a fair shot at the title and that whoever wins will not have the same experience as Mund.

As our own Miss Mississippi said, you get one chance to become the national titleholder, and it should be one of the best years of your life.

For those who want to watch the Miss America Pageant, I want to remind you it will be aired at 8 p.m. central time on ABC.

Also if you are interested in finding out more information about this year’s competition, who the judges are and a look at all 51 contestants and their bios, visit

Whether or not Branch brings home the crown, this young woman will represent our state with dignity and class, and after interviewing her a couple of times, there is no doubt in my mind she is already a winner.

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer at The Vicksburg Post. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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