Miss Michigan stripped of title over 'offensive' social media posts

Andrea Perez Balderrama
Kathy Zhu, 20, accepting her Miss Michigan Crown on Sunday, July 14.

DETROIT, Mich. – A beauty queen was stripped of her title for what she claims is discrimination against her conservative political views. 

Kathy Zhu, also a University of Michigan student, was dismissed as a Miss World America pageant participant a day after she was crowned when the organization claimed the content of her social media was "offensive, insensitive and inappropriate." 

Zhu is a well-known conservative political commentator and online figure, amassing approximately 80,000 followers in her Instagram and Twitter accounts combined. She is a supporter of President Donald Trump.

"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.”

Representatives for Miss World America did not respond to comment after multiple requests for comment.

The tweets Zhu claims caused Miss World America to dissociate with her have spurred backlash on social media.

Zhu still defends the two now-deleted tweets that have generated the controversy.

The first was an incident that dates  to 2018, in which Zhu went up to a Muslim Student Association booth celebrating World Hijab Day and declined to wear a hijab when prompted. She then tweeted:

 "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?"

"I said that it was (getting women used to) being oppressed because there are so many women in Middle Eastern countries that are being punished and stoned for refusing to wear a hijab," Zhu said. "Nobody is talking about that in the West because all they see is everyone being at peace, but that is the beauty of America."

Zhu transferred to the University of Michigan after the backlash of this incident.

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The second is a reply to another user in which Zhu says:

 "Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others."

"This applies for every community," Zhu said. "If there is a problem, fix things in your own community before lashing out at others and trying to find an issue there. That is all I wanted to say. It is not a problem against black people. Obviously I am not racist or stuff like that."

Zhu said that Miss World America should be more specific and clearly define what "insensitive" means, as she does not believe anything she posted was insensitive.

Contributing: Joshua Bote, USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Miss Michigan, student Kathy Zhu, stripped of Miss World America title