The Trump-loving Miss Michigan crown holder, Kathy Zhu, was stripped of her title over what Miss World America believed to be insensitive and racist tweets on her account.
Zhu posted screenshots of the correspondence on Twitter with the caption, “Miss World America’s State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive. They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and ‘insensitive’ statistical tweets.”
MWA Michigan state director Laurie DeJack sent an email to Zhu informing her that the group is cutting ties, effectively immediately. The email read, “It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America that your social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content, and in violation of MWA’s Rules and Conditions, specifically the contestant requirement of ‘being of good character and whose background is not likely to bring into disrepute Miss World America or any person associated with the organisation’.”
The email continued, “Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA. Furthermore, let this communication serve as official notice to remove any mention of yourself as a participant in MWA from all social media platforms (including photographs of you wearing the MWA Michigan sash and/or crown, and any text claiming to be a participant of MWA events).”
Zhu, who is Asian-American, gained notoriety in 2018 after she complained on Twitter about a “Try A Hijab” booth at the University of Michigan. This was the first questionable tweet. “So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing?” she wrote, according to The Orlando Sentinel. “Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?”
According to Newsweek, Muslim students at the college began a campaign to have Zhu expelled, shortly after. The student manning the booth that day replied, “I invited you to try one on, and you said ‘no thank you…You didn’t take the time to even ask questions or try to understand what Hijab is. That’s ignorant of you. You literally sprinted after taking the photos. That’s pathetic.”
The other problematic tweet was in regards to “black-on-black” violence. Zhu tweeted, “Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”
The former Miss Michigan stood by her tweets, replying to DeJack saying, “Statistics and facts are not always pleasant. It’s disgusting how you would rather lie to the public’s face than be supportive of someone that is trying to make a difference by talking about subjects that no one dares to say.”
Zhu did not provide any actual statistics or facts to back up her assertion. When DeJack pointed that out, Zhu replied, “Maybe you should read an educational journal on the statistics of blacks killing blacks. I go to school for this. I’ll save you the chance to lose this political debate.”
In regards to the hijab incident, Zhu said, “What’s ‘insensitive’ is that women in the Middle East are getting stoned to death for refusing to obey their husband’s orders to wear hijabs. I tweeted about it on my social media…Almost everyone was supportive of me refusing to be put in that situation.”
She added, “Are the people in MWA, implying that they advocate for the punishment of women who refuse to wear a hijab?”
What do you think about Kathy Zhu’s tweets? Offensive or not so much?
Miss World America's State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive.
They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and "insensitive" statistical tweets. pic.twitter.com/K1Btho0Pgq
— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019