Pro-Trump model Kathy Zhu stripped of Miss Michigan title over 'racist' tweets says she was fired for 'refusing to try a hijab'
20-year-old Kathy Zhu is a prominent conservative firebrand and the vice-chair of a campus Republican student group at the University of Michigan
A Trump-supporting model and activist has reportedly been stripped of her beauty queen title after her allegedly "racist" tweets.
20-year-old Kathy Zhu is a prominent conservative firebrand and the vice-chair of a campus Republican student group at the University of Michigan.
Furthermore, she boasts over 70,000 followers across Instagram and Twitter, where she goes by the name "PoliticalKathy", news.com.au reports.
Zhu first shot to fame during the 2016 presidential race.
The Chinese-born model immigrated to the US when she was five.
She received backlash in 2018 when she slammed a student for asking her if he wanted to try on a hijab at a “Try a Hijab” event at the University of Central Florida.
Later that year, she revealed she was transferring to the University of Michigan.
The oriental beauty was named as a 2019 national finalist by Miss Indiana and Michigan World America earlier this week.
If she'd made it through, she would have competed in the Miss and Teen World America Preliminary and Finals to be held in Las Vegas in October.
Zhu claimed on Twitter Thursday that she had been stripped of her 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."
One of the controversial tweets she shared earlier saw her ask African Americans to first "fix problems within your own community" before laying the blame on others.
“Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others," she wrote.
She later shared an email conversation she had with Miss World America Michigan state director Laurie DeJack, where the model claimed she was accused of "being racist, Islamophobic, and insensitive."
These are the text message exchanges between the state director and me. pic.twitter.com/HtHS1gns6X— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
“It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America 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’," DeJack wrote in the email.
“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," she continued. "Furthermore, let this communication serve as official notice to remove any mention of yourself as a participant in MWA from all social media platforms (including photographs of you wearing the MWA Michigan sash and/or crown, and any text claiming to be a participant of MWA events).”
In response, Zhu wrote: “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.”
Speaking of the alleged hijab incident, Zhu claimed that “a Muslim woman tried to forcibly put a hijab on my head without my permission”.
“What’s ‘insensitive’ is that women in the Middle East are getting stoned to death for refusing to obey their husband’s orders to wear hijabs,” she wrote. “I tweeted about it on my social media … Almost everyone was supportive of me refusing to be put in that situation. Are the people in MWA implying that they advocate for the punishment of women who refuse to wear a hijab?”
DeJack also accused Zhu of “misleading” the MWA by using her “Chinese first name” when she first applied.
“I have a lot of stuff being thrown at me right now from Nationals office. We are going to need to have a conversation,” DeJack wrote in text messages, screenshots of which were shared by Zhu.
She then cited a 2016 tweet by Zhu and asked her if it was really her.
“How is that racist?" Zhu retorted. "It’s statistics. Didn’t know statistics were racist."
That said, conservatives online were highly critical of the move.
“This is unbelievable,” BlazeTV host Lauren Chen commented. “@PoliticalKathy has been stripped of her pageant title for not wanting to wear a hijab and for highlighting crime rates in some black communities. The fact that these pageant people find her views offensive speaks more to their own bigotry than anything else.”
While Podcaster John Hawkins said, “A conservative woman isn’t even allowed to enter a beauty pageant anymore without holding the right politically correct opinions. Whatever happened the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Music video director Robby Starbuck, another conservative, added, “Apparently you can’t even participate in a @MissWorldLtd pageant if you’re *gasp* openly Republican. What a sorry bunch of bigots. @PoliticalKathy you’re still Miss Michigan to anyone with a functioning frontal lobe in their brain.”