Zhu, 20, a Trump supporter, defended the two now-deleted tweets she said MWA officials used to oust her, which she said were taken out of context.
In the first post from 2017, Zhu was responding to criticism of police officers in connection with the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Times.
“Did you know the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks?” Zhu posted on Twitter. “Fix the problem within your own community first before blaming others.”
In the second post from 2018, when Zhu was attending the University of Central Florida, she criticized a World Hijab Day awareness event.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus,” she posted. “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.”
Zhu told the Times in an interview Saturday that her comments about the hijab "did not make her an Islamaphobe."
"They just immediately assumed I was a racist," she said. "They should have let me explain myself."
Zhu believes she was ousted over her conservative activism. She's the vice president of U of M's College Republicans.
"I have seen this happen before," she told the Free Press. "It is just not OK to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you."
It is unclear why pageant officials were not aware of Zhu’s social media posts prior to the pageant. They did not respond to requests for comment.
Zhu is now barred from attending the Miss World America competition in Las Vegas in October.