Woman caught on camera saying ‘white lives are better’ at BLM protest apologizes

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The Tennessee woman was fired from her job but says she understands why

A Tennessee woman who was caught on tape saying homophobic and racist remarks at a Black Lives Matter protest has apologized and said she should have known better.

The woman, Sonya Holt, attended the Elizabethton, Tennessee, rally as a counter protester Saturday. On video recorded by a teenager, Sierra Gilmer, Holt can be heard saying, “White lives matter, white lives are better.” She was caught on another video at the event making comments toward a man taking footage of her yelling “you’re a gay homosexual piece of ---- who’s going to burn in hell.”

By Monday, it was reported by Tennessee news station WCYB that Holt was fired from her job at Keith Family Vision Clinic in Johnson City after the video went viral. In an interview with News Channel 11 on Tuesday, she said she was regretful and could see why her company had to fire her.

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“I no longer have a job. I don’t have any animosity toward the doctors I worked for. They’re great people. Of course, I didn’t want their business to suffer because of mistakes that I made, and I have great respect for them. They did what they had to do to protect their business,” Holt said.

Holt said she also discovered that she was directing her statements about “white lives” at a teenager. Gilmer, 16, is the person who filmed Holt’s rant. Holt said she wanted to “apologize to the little girl” in the interview because she didn’t realize she was a minor.

“That comment about me saying ‘silly little black girl’ – I would have said that if it was a white girl. I would have said ‘silly little white girl.’ So I do apologize for saying that. I did not mean to demean anybody. Of course, I apologize to her family. I did not know she was a minor. I am very, very sorry for that,” Holt said.

Holt also addressed her homophobic comments toward a man named Seth Loven, who also filmed her making remarks. She admitted she said “bad remarks,” but she said what was not caught on video is that she was called “Ku Klux Karen” by Loven.

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“As far as the gentleman that I said some bad remarks about his sexuality, prior to that, you’re not seeing that on video. I was just standing there, along with everybody else. And he called me ‘Ku Klux Karen’ because of my haircut. And he said that I was a member of the KKK. And he repeated this several times.”

Holt contends that she is “not racist and all” and has Black friends and relatives. Her initial reason for attending the event was to advocate for police officers. She now regrets going to the protest.

“I’m ashamed of the way I came across. But I want to get this point out there. There is not one person in this world who has not said something when they have been angry that they did not mean. And they wished they could take it back. But you cannot un-ring a bell.”