Kathy Zhu, crowned Miss Michigan in 2019 by the Miss World America organization, was recently stripped of her title for social media posts deemed “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate” by the pageant’s state director, Laurie DeJack.
Her remarks on Twitter targeted Muslims and African Americans.
When the remarks came to the attention of pageant organizers, they ruled that Zhu violated the competition’s rules of “good character.”
The vocal supporter of President Trump said her tweets were “taken out of context” and that she sees no problem in her remarks. She told CNN that she did not say anything that is “remotely wrong… I stand by every tweet that I posted,” she said.
“Everything I posted was my statistics and opinions,” she said. “And I think we should be empowering women’s voices and not stripping them of their title only because of their opinions.”
Zhu’s past controversial comments were brought to light when she posted a screenshot of a message she received from Miss World America officials, who told her she was dismissed from being a pageant participant and stripped of her title.
“It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America ‘MWA’ that your social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content,” DeJack wrote to Zhu in an email.
The first tweet that drew the pageant attention came in response to criticism of police officers about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Did you know the majority of Black deaths are caused by other Blacks?” Zhu wrote on Twitter in October 2017. “Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”
Zhu’s tweets extended beyond the African American community to the Muslim community in February 2018. In a tweet she has since deleted, she criticized a World Hijab Day awareness event at the University of Central Florida, where she had been a student before transferring.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus,” Zhu tweeted. “So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam.”
Zhu is an outspoken Trump supporter and often gives political commentary through her Twitter account.
Zhu sparred with CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota several times throughout the interview as Camerota highlighted how some people could perceive her posts as offensive.
“Again, this is taken fully out of context; and if you actually think that statistics and facts are racist, I don’t know what to tell you,” she said.