Miss Michigan is stripped of title after 'racist' tweets surface
In this age of tweets and emails, everybody is at risk of having their personal thoughts and comments dug up years later and used against them. We all leave a digital paper trail, and it is important to make sure that we're not saying anything online that we wouldn't want people hearing out in public.
One person who is discovering the full weight of this issue is student and former Miss Michigan, Kathy Zhu. The Miss World hopeful has since been stripped of her title and pulled from the pageant after several "racist" and "insensitive" tweets have surfaced.
The 20-year-old University of Michigan student shared screenshots of an email she received from pageant officials on July 19, detailing her removal from the contest.
"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?"
While the second one reportedly read:
"Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others.’ The tweets were sent in 2017 and 2018, but have since been deleted."
The tweets were originally posted in 2017 and 2018, respectively, but have since been deleted.
Zhu, the vice president of UM College Republicans, said that organizers have taken these comments out of context, and failed to provide her with an adequate platform to explain herself and her reasoning behind them.
Zhu received the news in an email from state director Laurie DeJack, where she was informed that she would no longer be permitted to participate in pageants or have her name associated with the title in any way. In screenshots shared by Zhu, the email began:
"It has been brought to the attention of Miss World America (MWA) 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’."
The news came just one day after Zhu was announced as Miss Michigan World America 2019. In an apparent confirmation, the pageant's organizers have since deleted the original announcement from a regional Facebook page, and replaced it with an updated list of other winners, UNILAD reports.
Zhu has since responded to MWA's decision in a video posted to her Twitter account on Friday, where she claimed that she has been discriminated against as a result of her personal political views.
In the video, she says: "Little attacks like those really, really diminishes the value and the trust of the word, 'racism'." She also thanked her followers for their support.