Former Miss Michigan Kathy Zhu defended her position on Fox News Tuesday after being stripped of her title over controversial social media posts.
Miss World America (MWA) took Zhu’s beauty pageant crown away over two tweets they labeled as racist and Islamophobic. Zhu posted about her experience on Twitter:
Miss World America's State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive.— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and "insensitive" statistical tweets. pic.twitter.com/K1Btho0Pgq
One tweet Zhu wrote talked about black-on-black crime, and the other detailed Zhu’s experience of refusing to wear a hijab at her school.
"I refuse[d] to wear a hijab because it just isn't my religion," Zhu said on Fox. "So I felt like it wasn't right for me to do so."
When asked whether she regrets her social media posts, Zhu responded, “Not at all. Everything I said was basic stastics.”
Zhu said that MWA officials never gave her a chance to defend herself.
“They never asked me to explain. They saw the tweet and said I was racist and Islamophobic. And then stripped me of my title.”
In light of her hijab comments, Zhu said people should be focusing on empowering women, not her tweet.
"Just two years ago, Saudi Arabian women were allowed to drive," she said. "And I think it's really important how people should focus on that detail instead of that tweet and, you know, empower women."
Zhu deleted the hijab tweet last year, but has left the black-on-black crime post up on her account.
"The other tweet is still up and still there," Zhu said at the end of the interview.
Watch Zhu's comments here: