Ex-beauty queen put on blast after telling black people protesting in US to ‘relax’

Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 lounges on a sofa. Photo: Samantha Katie James / Instagram
Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 lounges on a sofa. Photo: Samantha Katie James / Instagram

A former Malaysian beauty queen has been put on blast over her offensive remarks to black people protesting in the U.S., telling them to “relax, take it as a challenge.”

Among those who have shut her down was the Miss Universe Malaysia organization itself, saying that Samantha Katie James’ online posts were “inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable, and hurtful.” The 25-year-old, who is of Chinese-Brazilian descent, won the beauty pageant in 2017. 

“Miss Universe Malaysia Organization (MUMO) notes with dismay the recent social media posts made by Samantha Katie James, a past winner of Miss Universe Malaysia. We also note that these posts are inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable, and hurtful,” a statement by the organization said. 

“The views expressed on Samantha’s personal Instagram account are her own personal views and are neither the view nor the position of MUMO.”

The organization noted that James was no longer tied to it since her contract expired in June 2018 and that her details would be removed from its website

James did not respond to Coconuts KL’s request for comment sent to her yesterday. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has been trending online ever since protests against racism and police brutality spread in the U.S. following the death of a black man after a white police officer kneeled on his neck. 

James was among those who had jumped on the online conversation, but only to fuel more hate and ignorance, it seems. 

Through her Instagram stories, James wrote the following: “To the black people. Relax, take it as a challenge, it makes you stronger. You chose to be born as a ‘coloured’ person in America for a reason. To learn a certain lesson.”

She went further to say that the angry protests made it look to her like the white people had “won.”

“I don’t live in America. It (racial protests) has nothing to do with me, but to me, it seems like the ‘whites’ won. Because if you’re angry, you respond in rage and anguish. That means it has power over you. THEY HAVE POWER OVER YOU,” she said.  

An Instagram exchange between her and an unknown Instagram user showed her attempt to clarify her statement. 

“Like our souls. Chose this life, this country, this race, this human form. Specifically. For a reason,” it said. 

James’ Instagram stories that sparked the backlash. Photo: Samantha Katie James / Instagram
James’ Instagram stories that sparked the backlash. Photo: Samantha Katie James / Instagram

Beauty pageant director Elaine Daly was among those who told James off yesterday. Elaine told James that it was “not ok” for her to tell people to “suck it up and get over racism.” 

“People of colour in the USA deserve the space to express their outrage at not just the death of George Floyd, but centuries of slavery, racism, and oppression,” she said

Elaine Daly, Alexis Sue Ann, and Henry Golding have weighed in on Samantha’s remarks. Photo: Elaine Daly, Alexis Sue Ann, and Henry Golding / Instagram
Elaine Daly, Alexis Sue Ann, and Henry Golding have weighed in on Samantha’s remarks. Photo: Elaine Daly, Alexis Sue Ann, and Henry Golding / Instagram

Crazy Rich Asians actor Henry Golding said James needed to be called out. 

“You have zero idea what black people have to go through on a day to day bases. For you to be talking such racist shit on a platform like yours needs to be called out,” Golding wrote online. 

Former Kim Kardashian assistant Stephanie Shepherd also directed comments to James, saying: “YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.”

Meanwhile, Miss World Malaysia 2019 winner Alexis Sue Ann had urged people online to refrain from directing anymore hate towards James. 

“What she did was unacceptable, but you would be just as guilty if you project the same hatred the same way the person did on her page,” she said. 

Strangely enough, Coconuts KL saw that James has amassed nearly 6,000 new Instagram followers since posting up her stories, pushing the total number to 166,000 followers as of today.

Other stories to check out:

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18 youths detained in Ipoh house party

Malaysia’s interracial romance film ‘Sepet’ streaming on YouTube this week

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