To the new Miss America we offer hearty congratulations, and best wishes in her determination to ignore the psychos who have been posting racist comments online.

It is a sad fact of modern life that bigots can gain visibility much more easily than they used to. There was a day when they had to screw up the courage to confront their targets in the flesh, or at least take the trouble to scrawl graffiti or draft a letter.

Now they can post a comment online under an anonymous screen name in 30 seconds. And with that vile mission completed, they can move on to pollute another online conversation. So a mere handful of bigots can spread their slime far and wide, making their views seem more common than they are in reality.

The messages regarding the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, who is Indian-American, proved yet again that bigotry and stupidity often go hand in hand. Here’s a sampling:

“And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic.”

“9/11 was four days ago and she gets Miss America?”

“Congratulations Al-Qaeda. Our Miss America is one of you.”

For the record, Davuluri, 24, is headed to medical school, unlike the clowns who wrote these notes. When she was asked about the ugly tweets, she turned it into a teaching moment.

“At the end of the day, we are all Americans,” she said. “Some of us have different skin color or may speak a different language at home or may practice a different religion. But we are all still American.”

Tweet that, bigots.

— The Star-Ledger,

Newark, N.J., Sept. 17

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