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Girl stripped of pageant crown for not proving ethnicity

Sept. 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Officials with the Little Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant said they stripped last month's winner of her crown because she couldn't prove her heritage.

Seven-year-old Jakiyah McKoy won the pageant last month but some parents complained the girl wasn't Hispanic enough, The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., reported Friday.

Pageant rules state all contestants must prove they are at least 25 Hispanic -- their grandparent must either come from Spain or Latin America -- with documentation.

McKoy's grandmother allegedly came from the Dominican Republic, but because she came to and died in the United States illegally, the girl's family said they don't have any documents verifying her heritage, the newspaper said.

Maria Perez, president of Nuestras Racies [Our Roots], which operates the pageant said it isn't about the girl's race -- which is black -- but about her ethnicity.

"The issue was we asked her for verification. The verification she brought does not specify she was 25 percent Hispanic or Hispanic at all," Perez said.

If the girl's family can prove McKoy is at least 25 percent Hispanic, she will share the first-place win with the runner up.

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