Miss Michigan, Kathy Zhu, was stripped of her title for what she claims is discrimination against her political views.
What We Know:
- The 20-year-old University of Michigan student received an email Friday from executives with Miss World America, removing her from her position after several insensitive and racist tweets surfaced.
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 letter stated that Zhu no longer met the requirement of “being in good character.” The letter concluded, “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.” As a result, Zhu will not be representing Michigan in the Miss World America pageant in Las Vegas.
- “I have seen this happen before,” Zhu said. “It is just not OK to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you.”
- Zhu’s first incident dates back to 2018 when she declined to try on a hijab when prompted by students at a Muslim Student Association booth celebrating World Hijab Day. The tweet read “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 later transferred schools after receiving backlash.
- The second tweet was a reply to another user on Twitter which read, “Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others.” Zhu explained that the tweet implies every community. Both tweets from 2017 and 2018 have since bee deleted.
Zhu is a Political Science major, avid Trump supporter, and the vice president of the College Republicans group at her school. Zhu still stood by her tweets despite the backlash she received. On Friday she tweeted, “I am glad this story came to light because this is more than just some beauty pageant, this is about the prejudice views against people with ‘different opinions.'”