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U-M student Kathy Zhu stripped of Miss Michigan World America title

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 7/19/2019 Andrea Perez Balderrama
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On Thursday evening, a beauty queen and fan of President Donald Trump 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 when the organization claimed the content of her social media was "offensive, insensitive and inappropriate." 

Zhu is a well-known political commentator and online figure, amassing approximately 80,000 followers in her Instagram and Twitter accounts combined. 

"I have seen this happen before," Zhu said. "It is just not okay to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you.”

Miss World America did not respond to comment after being repeatedly contacted by the Free Press.

Despite the apparent support from her peers, the tweets Zhu claims caused Miss World America to dissociate with her are serious and have also caused backlash.

Zhu still defends the two now deleted tweets that are being put into question. 

The first is an incident that dates back 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," said Zhu. "Nobody is talking about that in the West because all they see is everyone being at peace, but that is the beauty of America."

The second is a reply to another used 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.

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

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