A beauty queen known for her pro-Trump conservative views was stripped of her Miss Michigan title and dismissed from the Miss World America pageant this week after the organization found her social media presence “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate.”
Kathy Zhu, 20, and president of College Republicans at the University of Michigan, tweeted screenshots of the email correspondence with the Miss World America organization on Thursday.
"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," Zhu asserted Thursday.
After Zhu's story went public, she received a torrent of feedback, both positive and negative.
"I woke up this morning with an overwhelming amount of support; I can't thank you all enough," she wrote to her supporters Friday. “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.'"
But she also blasted her critics, whom she sarcastically labeled, "the tolerant left."
In 2017, Zhu tweeted that African Americans needed to fix problems within their own community because the “majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks.” She defended the tweet on Twitter Friday, claiming statistics backed her statement and that she is not a racist.
“When the left calls you racist for using statistics to back up your claim, you know you’re on the right side of history,” Zhu wrote.
In her response to the dismissal email from Miss World America, Zhu said a Muslim woman tried to “forcibly” put a hijab on her head on her college campus in 2018.
Zhu said she refused to wear the garment in support of women in the Middle East who are getting “stoned to death” for refusing to obey their husbands' orders to wear hijabs. She also asked Miss World America officials if they would have dismissed her if she refused to wear Catholic rosary beads instead of the Muslim hijab.
Zhu said Friday that she would not be taking any legal action against Miss World America officials because they “have suffered enough negative publicity - especially because they wanted to decrown me due to not wanting bad publicity in the first place.”
“When they go low, we go high,” Zhu wrote, a reference to Michelle Obama’s famous motto. The former first lady first uttered the phrase during her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention amid the contentious campaign cycle between the future President Trump and then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
Miss World America has not commented publicly about the nature of Zhu's dismissal.