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Just one day after being crowned Miss Michigan, a pageant winner was stripped of her title over racially charged and Islamophobic comments she made online.
On Thursday, Kathy Zhu, 20, shared an email she received from Miss World America notifying her she was to stop claiming to be part of its events and take down any social media photos in which she’s wearing her sash or tiara.
In the message, Laurie DeJack, director of the Michigan state pageant, wrote that Zhu’s “social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content” that violates “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.’”
In a 2017 post that remains on Twitter, Zhu wrote that “the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks,” adding, “Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.”
In a 2018 Facebook post, Zhu bashed a World Hijab Day event at the University of Central Florida where she studied before transferring to the University of Michigan.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus,” she wrote. “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.”
In a CNN interview Monday, Zhu defended both of the posts, claiming that the tweet on black deaths was in response to a user “talking about how all cops are bad people, that they kill innocent black people.”
The full interaction is not visible on Twitter.
Doubling down on her statement about Muslim women, Zhu claimed that “there are so many women” being stoned and crucified for refusing to wear hijabs and that “there are so many bad things happening in Muslim countries.”
In her emailed response to DeJack, which Zhu also shared on Twitter, she said the hijab was “forcibly” placed on her head and accused the pagent director of attempting to tear her down.
“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,” she said.
Zhu serves as the social media director for Chinese Americans for Trump, and, as evident from her Instagram account, she is a supporter of President Donald Trump.
Neither Zhu nor MWA immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.