Miss Michigan Removed From Pageant For Racist Tweets, Still Defends Her Statements
Kathy Zhu said Black people had lower IQs than white people in now-deleted tweets.
Miss World America (MWA) removed pageant participant Kathy Zhu from the national competition after finding old tweets where she said Black people had lower IQs than white people, praised Hitler and criticized a hijab appreciation event.
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The 20-year-old University of Michigan student was named a 2019 national finalist in both Indiana and Michigan, propelling her into October's Miss and Teen World America Preliminary and Finals in Las Vegas.
But on Thursday, Zhu shared an email she received from MWA Michigan state director Laurie DeJack removing her from the competition because of dozens of racist Tweets that were discovered.
Miss World America's State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive.— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
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
"Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks?" Zhu wrote on Twitter in 2017.
"Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others."
The tweets, which Zhu quickly deleted, include wide-ranging criticism of the Black community and debunked charts claiming Black people had lower IQs compared to white people. Many of her tweets praise Hitler and the KKK while denigrating people of the Muslim faith.
You're a liar. You deserve to have it stripped. This is not the thinking or actions that should be emulated by little girls. pic.twitter.com/2CgTxtFMGL— Uncaged.ulfhedinn (@UncagedU) July 22, 2019
Last year The Orlando Sentinel reported that Zhu incited a conservative Twitter storm when she angrily wrote about a University of Central Florida World Hijab Day event that allowed people to try a hijab on.
Zhu was a student at the university at the time and furiously wrote on Twitter that all Muslim women were oppressed and that the event was intended to "prepare" women in America for oppression.
The email removing Zhu from the competition was cosigned by MWA national director Michael Galanes and COO Robert Gandara.
Happily! https://t.co/ljBcyMnoz5— 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.
"Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it related to any and all events of MWA."
MWA added that Zhu had to "remove any mention of [herself] as a participant in MWA from all social media platforms (including photographs of [her] wearing the MWA Michigan sash and/or crown, and any text claiming to be a participant of MWA events."
Zhu shared her weekend-long text exchange with DeJack on her Twitter account, where she has amassed a huge conservative following.
These are the text message exchanges between the state director and me. pic.twitter.com/HtHS1gns6X— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
DeJack asks her whether she was forced to transfer from the University of Central Florida to the University of Michigan because of the hijab incident, and the two go back and forth over Zhu's tweets, particularly those about Black people.
Zhu has become widely known in right-wing Twitter circles for her avid love of Trump. She is the vice president of the University of Michigan chapter of the College Republicans and communications director for the Chinese Americans for Trump movement.
She has turned her removal from the pageant into a cause célèbre, branding herself as oppressed while making stops at CNN and Fox News morning shows. She's capitalizing heavily off of the situation and has already gained thousands of followers in the last week. It's only a matter of time until Trump wades into the conflict.
Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu was recently stripped of her title over several offensive tweets. She is defending her posts criticizing a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at her college and another post in which she responded to a tweet about Black Lives Matter and officer-involved shootings pic.twitter.com/ifaQfCGo7M— New Day (@NewDay) July 22, 2019
When confronted on CNN about her Islamophobia, praise of Hitler, defense of the KKK and racist takes on Black intelligence, Zhu was defiant.
Former Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu: "I think it's really, really awful how the left thinks that statistics and facts are racist. So I don't think anything I said was remotely wrong. I stand by every tweet that I post." https://t.co/8k4SSuY5fA pic.twitter.com/RC4sGn28vz— The Hill (@thehill) July 22, 2019
"I think it's really, really awful how the left thinks that statistics and facts are racist. So I don't think anything I said was remotely wrong. I stand by every tweet that I post," she said, later telling the Detroit Free Press: "Obviously, I am not racist or stuff like that."