A Michigan beauty pageant winner was stripped of her “Miss Michigan” title after pageant organizers discovered what they considered to be “offensive” posts on her social media accounts.
Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student and vociferous supporter of President Donald Trump, was dismissed as a Miss World America contestant because she posted content that the organization determined was in violation of the pageant’s code of conduct for participants, according to an email she received from the organization’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Gandara.
Zhu, a well-known political commentator with over 100,000 Twitter followers, posted the email in a Thursday tweet with the comment, “Miss World America’s State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamophobic, 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.”
“It has been brought to the attention of MWA that your social media account contains 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 organization,” the email said.
The organization then informed Zhu that they were severing all association with her and informed her to remove any mention of participating in the pageant.
“Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or an any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA. Furthermore, lit this communication serve as official notice to remove any mention of yourself as a participant in MWA from all social media platforms.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, MWA primarily dismissed Zhu for two specific now-deleted tweets. The first was a 2018 tweet posted after Zhu approached a University of Michigan Muslim Student Association booth on World Hijab Day and refused to try on a hijab.
“There is a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus. 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.
The second was a tweet in which Zhu wrote, “Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others.”
In a Friday interview with the Detroit Free Press, Zhu said that Miss World America should be more specific and clearly define what “insensitive” means, because she did not believe anything she posted was insensitive.
[image via YouTube screengrab]