A Michigan conservative woman is alleging that she was booted from the Miss World America pageant because of tweets she wrote about black deaths and her refusal to try on a hijab. Kathy Zhu, a political commentator, said she was informed that she'd no longer be competing in the pageant on Thursday.
The 20-year-old claimed she received an email from Miss World American pageant organizers letting her know that she was removed from the competition. Zhu was previously crowned Miss Michigan. Her removal from the Miss World America pageant was a direct result of her tweets, which were deemed "offensive, insensitive and inappropriate."
Zhu included the email in her tweet. It informed her that her "social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content" and was "in violation of MWA's Rules and Conditions, specifically the contest requirement of 'being of good character and whose background is not likely to bring into disrepute Miss World America.'"
The email Zhu received ordered her to remove all mentions and photos of herself representing Miss World America from her social media accounts.
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
The hijab tweet in question was posted in 2018, according to Detroit Free Press. It referred to the University of Central Florida's "World Hijab Day" celebration, during which Zhu opted not to participate in a hijab try on. In response to the event, she tweeted a query about whether hijab was for fashion or religious purposes.
"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 tweeted at the time.
The other tweet, written about crime in the black community, read, "Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others."
Both tweets have been deleted.
The embattled pageant queen claimed Miss World America failed to provide her with a clear definition about what "insensitive" means. She disagreed that any of her posts were insensitive in any way.
Thank you 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/quEC4ibjCp— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
Zhu spoke with the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, telling the outlet this type of repercussions were not uncommon in the pageant world, especially for people with extreme political views such as hers. The former Miss Michigan is an outspoken supporter of President Trump, and makes her right-wing views known.
"I have seen this happen before," Zhu told the outlet, adding, "It is just not OK to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you."
She also told Yahoo! Lifestyle Miss World America is "not letting people that represent another side of the story represent them."
"They only want someone to say things that people want to hear. And there's a lot of things in this world that it's hard to hear, but it's the truth," Zhu told the outlet.0comments
She added that despite using the Twitter handle @PoliticalKathy she wouldn't be using social media to promote her conservative views. She did, however, encourage folks to stand up for what they believe in.
Several other conservative mouth pieces, including Joy Villa and Jack Posobiec, rallied around Zhu. Her title hasn't been reinstated, though.