BY LINDA BENTLEY | JUNE 30, 2010
Milwaukee supervisor calls Arizona ‘a ways removed from the border’
Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007 was right about maps after all
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – One would have had to be living under a rock not to have seen, heard or read about Lauren ‘Caitlin’ Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007, who gained international notoriety for the bizarre response she gave during the question and answer portion of the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant, where she subsequently placed fourth.
Actress Aimee Teegarten asked Upton, “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
Upton’s inane response was, “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.”
The video clip of Upton’s response received over 40 million hits on YouTube and was the most viewed video during September of that year.
When Upton subsequently appeared as a guest on the Today Show, she said she was overwhelmed at the time and didn’t correctly comprehend the question. Today Show hosts Ann Curry and Matt Lauer gave Upton another opportunity to answer the question.
Upton responded this time by saying, “Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe that there should be more emphasis on geography in our education so people will learn how to read maps better.”
After attending Appalachian State University for one year, Upton, who has modeled for Nautica and Wrangler, appeared in Seventeen, Cosmo Girl and American Cheerleader magazines, and came in third as a contestant on the reality show “Amazing Race,” dropped out and has since moved to the Los Angeles area where she is continuing her modeling career.
Last week, Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West, who represents approximately 50,000 constituents in Milwaukee County’s 12th District, in voicing her support of a proposed county boycott of Arizona businesses during a county board meeting over passage of SB 1070, made the following statement:
“If this was Texas, which is a state that is directly on the border with Mexico, and they were calling for a measure like this saying they had a major issue with undocumented people flooding their border, I would have to look twice at this. But this is a state that is a ways removed from the border.”
The video segment of West’s comments also went viral, although not anywhere near the extent as Upton.
West may also want to brush up on her Cesar Chavez history, since he was born in Yuma and died in San Luis, cities located in Yuma County, which shares a border with Mexico. In fighting for farmworkers’ rights, Chavez was no friend to illegal aliens, which he said depressed wages for farmworkers in the United States.
West also serves on the Executive Committee of the Milwaukee Democratic Party.
While Upton’s gaff didn’t hinder her prospects of becoming a fashion model, West doesn’t have the same sort of assets to fall back on should her constituents find her unworthy of holding public office.