Katie Williams, the 2008 Altamont Community High School grad who has been banned from the 2019 Ms. America pageant, is now more famous than any Ms. America we can name.
Actually, we can’t name any.
Williams, though, was on FOX News Radio with Todd Starnes on Wednesday afternoon. She appeared on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning.
Thanks to an interview that a publicist helped arrange, she even appeared on the front page of the Effingham Daily News. Her story is among the most viewed on the EDN website and has generated tons of comments and shares on our Facebook page.
She’s been all over the internet since the Ms. America people stripped her of the Ms. Nevada State crown and told her not to bother showing up for the national competition, now underway.
Williams, 29, says that’s because she’s a proud supporter of President Donald Trump and isn’t shy about jabbing at “Democratic Socialists” and their liberal like on social media.
Pageant coordinators say it’s because she broke the rules that forbid contestants from political commentary of any kind – right, left or in between.
Look, we applaud people who speak their mind and stand behind their ideals. We applaud Williams for doing so. The First Amendment, one of our very favorite amendments, gives her that right.
But just as NFL owners have taken a stand against players kneeling during the national anthem, Ms. America officials have a right to set limits on people who want to participate in their event.
Lots of organizations do that. This newspaper has a policy that prohibits reporters and editors from taking political stands on their personal social media because it might affect the way people perceive how they cover the news.
Williams calls it censorship. But it’s not.
Censorship is something only the government can do. The First Amendment protects us all from the government — not each other. How many people have you banned from your social media because you can’t stand their politics?
We still applaud Williams for not backing down for being a Trump fan. She should wear her red cap wherever and whenever she wants. Except on a private runway that has established rules against such things.
We suspect she’ll be just fine. She’s trending faster than any Ms. America contestant we could name. (If we could name any.)
Nike should team her with Colin Kaepernick. She’s a shoe-in for an invite to the White House by Labor Day.