Tennessee woman who yelled racist slurs and asked homosexuals 'to burn in hell' at BLM protest fired from job
ELIZABETHTON, TENNESSEE: A white woman has lost her job after she yelled at Black Lives Matter protesters in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The white woman identified as Sonya Holt allegedly made racist and homophobic remarks at the protesters, who gathered at Covered Bridge Park in Elizabethton to demonstrate against racism and police brutality over the weekend.
Holt was fired from her job at the Keith Family Vision Clinic in Johnson City after her video yelling racial slurs at protesters went viral. She was heard saying things like, “white lives matter,” “white lives are better” and “white lives matter you black crazy twisted person” in the video that has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.
Click here to watch the video.
The protest on Saturday, July 4, was held by the New Panther Initiative, a Black Lives Matter group. But it was crashed by counter-protesters, including Holt, who showed up at the location to mock demonstrators. In the clip shot by Sierra Gilmer, an activist and board member of the New Generation Freedom Fighters, a group advocating for social justice, Holt was also heard shouting: “You’re a gay homosexual piece of crap who’s going to burn in hell."
Commenting on the woman’s behavior, Gilmer said she was not surprised. “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. There are a lot of people that reached out to me saying that they didn't realize that this was happening in Elizabethton and they didn't realize there were people there like that,” the 16-year-old told News WCYB5.
The Saturday protest at Covered Bridge Park was just one of the demonstrations happening in the US for weeks following the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after a former Minneapolis officer allegedly knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. The New Panther Initiative has reportedly said that they were planning another rally on July 11 in Rogersville.
Meanwhile, in another incident, a teacher in California has been fired from her job after she allegedly coughed on a Hispanic toddler because his mother did not follow social distancing guidelines. The white woman in her 60s was filmed last month while coughing on the child.
Following the June 12 incident, Oak Grove School District Superintendent Jose Manzo recently said there was "no place in the Oak Grove School District for any employee who would deliberately cause harm to a child" and that "immediate action" would be taken if it was confirmed that the woman was one of their teachers. And now, the district officials said that they have fired the woman from her job position, but they did not reveal her identity while making the announcement.
"We want to inform our community that the District employee who was alleged to have engaged in this conduct is no longer an employee of our school district," the statement read. It added: “The Oak Grove School District’s highest priority is the safety of our students and the well-being of all of the children in the community we serve. We do not tolerate conduct from any employee that compromises any child’s safety. As we welcome our students back for learning this summer and in the fall in these unprecedented times, the District’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students is unwavering.”