Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu has been stripped of her title after several ‘racist’ and ‘insensitive’ tweets surfaced.
The 20-year-old shared a picture of an email she received on Friday (July 19) from the pageant removing her from her position.
Zhu, the vice president of UM College Republicans, said organizers took her tweets about hijabs and African-American murder rates out of context and did not give her chance to explain her reasoning behind them.
“It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America ‘MWA’ that your social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content,” the letter said.
It also said that Zhu no longer meets the requirement of “being in good character.” “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,” it concluded.
In the wake of the scandal, Zhu told the Detroit Free Press, “I have seen this happen before. It is just not okay to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you.” Zhu has said that she will not be taking any further legal action against Miss World America.
The email began:
It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America ‘MWA’ 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 organization’.
Zhu was announced as Miss Michigan World America 2019 by the beauty pageant earlier this week, but her title was revoked just one day later. Organisers appear to have deleted the original announcement from a regional Facebook page, instead reposting a list of other winners.
The ‘insensitive’ tweets referenced by the email were targeted at Muslim women and gun violence in the black community.
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?
While the second one read: ‘Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.’ The tweets were sent in 2017 and 2018, but have since been deleted.
In response to the email stripping her of her title, Zhu referred to the organisers as ‘gullible’ before defending her claims and saying her hard work shouldn’t be taken away because of ‘one person’s complaint’.
She went on to say:
I suggest you all fully review what you stand for and what you condemn. 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, an avid Donald Trump supporter on social media, will no longer go on to represent Michigan in the Miss World America pageant in Las Vegas.