Asya Branch, who is Miss USA 2020, wants the world to know that she is not a huge supporter of President Donald Trump despite signs pointing in that direction.
In 2018, while the 22-year-old Detroit, Michigan native was Miss Mississippi, she performed the National Anthem at a Trump rally in Southaven, Mississippi.
That same year, Branch was part of a criminal justice reform roundtable at the White House with the President. Those two appearances were enough for some to label the young woman a Trump supporter.
It seems that observers had it all wrong and she is eager to correct the record. Branch told Page Six, “It does annoy me when people just jump down on me and assume that I am a Trump supporter. It’s aggravating that people always jump to assumptions before having the full story. But you know it’s just a part of life — people are always going to have something to say.”
Branch said she was at the rally as part of her former role as Miss Mississippi. She joined the roundtable because she wants to see some changes in the system.
Prison reform is a very personal issue to the first African-American Miss Mississippi USA because her father was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and kidnapping when she was just 10.
She explained, “My father was incarcerated for 10 years of my life and it affected our family drastically. He was the foundation of our home and our main source of income, so we faced extremely difficult times losing him.”
Branch continued: “I think that people forget about the family that’s left behind after a parent or guardian becomes incarcerated. I always say it’s a shared family sentence. My father may have been the one incarcerated, but we suffered as well in the outside world. But I realized that there are so many other people suffering from the same circumstances as myself. And so that gave me the motivation to really want to be a voice for the unheard and to set an example for other children who may not have had the same mindset and motivation and that parents had given me.”
The young woman plans to keep pushing for more prison reform and she hopes to be a real inspiration for young Black girls.
She revealed, “I feel so often we feel inferior to our dreams and aspirations and we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We think that we don’t have what it takes. I would tell (myself), and any other little girl looking up at me, that you have everything that it takes. Stop doubting yourself and really push yourself to become all that you aspire to be.”
Branch will represent the country at Miss Universe 2020 in December. The 69th edition will be a bit different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.