Having been thrust into the limelight after her Miss Michigan title was stripped by the Miss World America pageant for posting allegedly racist tweets, Kathy Zhu said that it’s harder to come out as a conservative than it is to come out as gay in today’s toxic political climate.
Those critical of the decision to take the beauty queen’s crown suggest it has more to do with her being a conservative who supports President Donald Trump than a tweet or two taken out of context.
Speaking to a group of Michigan Trump Republicans on Friday, Zhu, vice president of the College Republicans student group at the University of Michigan, talked about what it was like admitting in high school that she was a conservative.
“After I came out as a conservative, which I think is very hard to do nowadays — it’s harder than coming out as openly gay,” Zhu stated, according to MLive Media Group. “Ever since junior year, I’ve been ridiculed online, bullied online, on Twitter and Facebook … People [told me] I was a white supremacist, even though I’m Asian. I don’t know why that’s even a thing.”
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Zhu, 20, immigrated to the U.S. from China as a child and found herself the focus of attention after the Miss World America pageant took away her title for tweets said to be “offensive, insensitive, and inappropriate.”
She took to Twitter to say a big part of the reasoning she lost her title was because she refused to “try on a hijab” while attending classes at the University of Central Florida and for commenting on black-on-black crime in another tweet.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus,” Zhu tweeted in February of last year. “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?”
Another tweet was in response to a tweet criticizing police for killing young black men.
“Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community first before blaming others,” Zhu wrote in October of 2017.
Fortunately for Zhu, Team Trump knows a gift when they see one.
After losing her title as Miss Michigan, Zhu retained a brand new title, that being a new member of the Women For Trump Coalition Advisory Board.
And given her remarks on Friday, the campaign’s decision appears to be a wise one.
“I’m a huge advocate for free speech,” Zhu said. “I think that no matter what you say, you’re entitled to say it. Obviously there’s some things that are very negative to say but you still have the right to say it, in general.”
“I think that Trump is a very big role model for a lot of people because he openly expresses what he believes in,” she added. “I think that for me to stand here as an Asian-American, to come here and say, ‘I am a conservative, I support Trump,’ I guess the left finds it hysterical that I’m doing this, but a lot of people have reached out to me and said ‘you inspired me to be a conservative,’ and I’m so glad I was able to do that.”
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