I would like to take a moment to extend my congratulations to the Miss USA organization (excluding its co-owner, Donald Trump) for another wonderful pageant here in Baton Rouge.

This is especially true for the contestants, who have once again shown grace and poise under this year’s trying circumstance.

It is unfortunate that Trump’s despicable, politically self-serving comments brought about NBC’s withdrawal of its coverage of the pageant. But what I find more difficult to understand is the decision of the judges and others who decided to quit the pageant. Their ultimate responsibility is to the contestants.

Trump’s shameful comments do not represent those of the pageant or its participants. By withdrawing, the judges and others did nothing more than hurt young ladies whose grace and beauty has brightened Baton Rouge.

Doug Manship Jr.

retired journalist

Baton Rouge