A Malaysian beauty queen has apologized after her comments that blacks should “relax” in response to US protests against racism that sparked online protests, including condemnation from “Asian Rich” actor Henry Golding.
The United States has been rocked for the past week by a one-generation demonstration for the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, by a white police officer in Minnesota.
But Samantha Katie James, who represented Malaysia in the Miss Universe 2017 contest in the US, posted on Instagram this week: “To black people, relax, take it as a challenge, make you stronger.
“You chose to be born as a ‘colored person’ in America for a reason. To learn a certain lesson.”
Social media ignited with anger after the statement, with Malaysian-born British actor Golding also condemning his comments in his Instagram stories.
More than 80,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the 25-year-old to be removed from the crown of Miss Universe Malaysia, which he won in 2017, before competing internationally.
“He misused his platform and social media presence to voice outright racist and stupid statements,” read the petition.
The organizer of the Miss Universe Malaysia contest also denounced the comment as “inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable and painful”.
When anger increased Tuesday night, James posted an apology.
“I do hear you, sorry, I know you are hurt. I don’t understand to understand this,” he said.
Responding to his comment that black people “choose to be black”, he added: “Throughout my journey, I have learned that we are more than just a physical body while, like an avatar, only a tiny speck of dust in a vast infinite vast universe this, we tend to ignore it from time to time.
“In our process of evolution as humans, on earth. We choose our bodies, our families, our birth places, our names, and our lessons from the path that we have taken specifically for us.”
Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have raged across the United States since Floyd’s death, with many descending into chaos at nightfall.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from syndication feeds.)
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]