Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, July 19, 2019
Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student, was dismissed Thursday as a Miss World America pageant participant when the organization described the content of her social media as “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate.” according to a letter from the pageant that she posted on her Twitter account.
Zhu is a well-known political commentator and online figure, amassing approximately 80,000 followers in her Instagram and Twitter accounts combined.
But Zhu still defends the two now-deleted tweets that she blames for her firing.
The first is 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,” 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 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.”
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.