Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu caught headlines over the weekend after being stripped of her title allegedly for her statements against hijabs. While free speech and women’s rights activists were immediately sympathetic to her case, additional information soon surfaced, pointing to a much more nuanced story.
Here’s what happened:
“There’s 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?”
But at the time, there was no mention of coercion or even contact with the people manning the booth.
Yet, after she was de-crowned, Zhu tweeted a different story about the event: “a Muslim woman tried to forcibly put a hijab on my head without my permission.”
As Twitter chatter broke over the controversy, conservative activists (to their credit) brought to light that there was no effort at the event to forcibly get Miss Michigan to wear a hijab.
More news surrounding Miss Michigan including that her statement around the hijab was misleading. If that’s the case withdraw support. https://t.co/1ZdhlUWxGT
— Shireen Qudosi (@ShireenQudosi) July 22, 2019
Next brought to light was Zhu’s history of tweeting racist remarks, which is possibly why the pageant decided to distance itself from the beauty queen.
Twitter personality Steeve Strange, CEO of The Scoop, called out the now-former Miss Michigan for a series of racist comments. He also singled out the fact that she deleted over 2,700 tweets in the last two weeks.
Hey @PoliticalKathy, just wondering when you said “I stand by every tweet that I post” were you including the 2,791 tweets that you’ve deleted in the last two weeks? Lmk!
— Steeve Strange the Free Thinker 🧠 (@TheScoopSteeve) July 22, 2019
Strange published screenshots of disturbing tweets by Miss Michigan and called on conservative activists to stop defending Zhu. One of them read, “Hitler was very smart and a good public speaker.” Another knocked black people, saying “Sucks to have a lower IQ” after posting a study showing blacks have lower IQs than whites.
That might have been the reason why Miss World America state director Laurie DeJack told Zhu that her social media accounts contain “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content” in violation of pageant rules that state that contestants be “of good character” with backgrounds “not likely to bring disrepute” to Miss World America or anyone associated with the organization.
I disavow @PoliticalKathy
The fact MAGA is defending someone as nasty Ana divisive as Kathy is very concerning pic.twitter.com/76tTqEOimw
— Steeve Strange the Free Thinker 🧠 (@TheScoopSteeve) July 23, 2019
Turning Point USA staff member and conservative activist, Richard Armande Mills, also distanced himself from supporting the decrowned Miss Michigan.
In our lightening-fast social media environment where fake news travels quickly, we don’t suspect that we need to question what comes from people we consider allies. The Miss Michigan story is a sound reminder that some stories are not what they seem and deserve being looked into more closely before we lend our good names and support to them.