A Tennessee woman caught on video hurling racist and homophobic slurs at Black Lives Matter protesters at a rally has been fired from the job. The woman, Sonia Holt, is no more an employee of Keith Family Vision Clinic in Johnson City, her former boss confirmed on Tuesday. The video also shows her yelling at a teenage girl and abusing her racially.
The video, which went viral over the weekend, shows Holt repeatedly chanting 'White lives matter, white lives are better'. However, the woman reportedly regretted her actions and apologized later but that couldn't save her the job.
She can also be heard blurting out sexist comments: "You're a gay homosexual piece of crap who's going to burn in hell," she told one of the protesters, while at another point she can be heard screaming at a 16-year-old girl, Sierra Gilmer, "just a poor little black girl with a messed up mind." The video went viral over the weekend, following which she was fired from her job at the Keith Family Vision Clinic on Monday. Her former boss said that the company has severed all ties with her after learning about her actions.
In fact, the video was captured by the Gilmer. Another counter-protester standing next to Holt can be heard hurling racial slurs at the peaceful protesters, as he said: "We should have kept you [N-words] as slaves." However, the identity of this protester is still unknown.
A Planned Counter-Protest
Although Holt publicly apologized to all the protesters including the teenaged activist for her racial rants in a 20-minute interview to Channel 11 on Tuesday, her comments weren't impulsive. Instead, it was a planned counter-protest organized at the park. On July 4, a Black Lives Matter protest was organized and sponsored by New Panther Initiative at Covered Bright Park. However, a set of white people, including Holt, planned a counter-protest and flocked the scene to jeer at the demonstrators as they entered the park.
Holt and a few were particularly more aggressive, which can be seen in the video. Gilmer was particularly the target of Holt given that she was taking the video. Later Gilmer said she wasn't surprised at Holt's behavior. "The biggest thing to take away from this is just to realize that racism is in your community however much you think it might not be," she said.