DETROIT (AP) — The Miss World America organization has stripped its Michigan pageant winner of her title, which she says was because of tweets she made about Muslims and black people.
Kathy Zhu was crowned the pageant’s Michigan winner last week. She’s a University of Michigan conservative who’s active with a group called Chinese Americans for Trump.
In since-deleted tweets from the last two years, Zhu alluded to Muslim women wearing hijabs as “being oppressed under Islam” and disparaged black people for “blaming others” in regard to crime.
After being stripped of her crown, she posted a letter online in which pageant officials described her tweets as “offensive” and “inappropriate.” Zhu calls the decision discriminatory and defends the tweets.
In an interview with CNN Monday, Zhu said:
Everything I posted was my statistics and opinions, and I think that you know we should be empowering women’s voices and not stripping them of their title only because of their opinions. 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 posted. Everyone has problems with their own communities and I completely understand that, but you know we have to empower women voices honestly to to show that you know we could have different political opinions and not just statistics and facts are racist.
Pageant officials didn’t respond to a Sunday message seeking comment. It’s unclear who’ll represent Michigan in Miss World America’s October competition in Las Vegas.
Miss World America is separate from the more widely-known Miss America contest.