Soho Karen apologises for assault on Black teenage boy as father points out double-standard

The second half of Gayle King’s nationally televised interview with Miya Ponsetto, the California woman nicknamed “Soho Karen” after falsely accusing a Black teenage boy of taking her iPhone, has been released.

Recorded prior to Ms Ponsetto’s Friday (8 January) arrest in Ventura County, California, the second half of Ms Ponsetto’s interview with King showed the 22-year-old claiming that she could not be racist because she is herself a woman of color.

“In my opinion, I was, like, ‘OK, any person walking down could possibly be the person that might’ve had my phone.’ And I, I really didn’t, I wasn’t racial profiling whatsoever. I’m a woman. I’m Puerto Rican. I’m, like, a woman of color. I’m Italian, Greek, Puerto Rican,” she said.

“You keep saying you’re Puerto Rican. Does that mean that you can’t be racist because you’re saying you’re a woman of color? Is that what you mean?,” asked King.

“Exactly,” Ponsetto said, to which King responded, “I would disagree with that.”

Ultimately, Ponsetto did issue an apology when pressed by King. “I’m sincerely sorry to the family and the dad and the son for making them feel as if I was racist towards them when that is not my intention.”

Ms Ponsetto drew ire on social media after a video of her attacking 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr at the Arlo Hotel in New York City went viral shortly after Christmas. The victim was identified as the son of Grammy-winning jazz trumpet player Keyon Harrold Sr.

Social media users dubbed her “SoHo Karen” – a nickname used to describe white women accused of verbally abusing Black people in public.

Ponsetto was arraigned over the weekend and freed on supervised release. She was charged with attempted robbery, attempted grand larceny, endangering the welfare of a child, and attempted assault.

“If I had done that, what Miya Ponsetto had done to my son, I’d be in jail now. If I had hurt her in any way, I’d be in jail now. We wouldn’t even be able to have this conversation. As a Black man, every day I walk outside, I have to play the perfect game, almost like throwing a no-hitter, just to be believed.”

When asked what he thought of Ms Ponsetto’s response regarding her own status as a woman of color, Mr Harrold said, “No one has to say the N-word for something to be an act of racism.”

“I feel like her apology was, you know, as genuine as when she shushed you,” continued Harrold, referencing an earlier moment in King’s interview with Ponsetto. “It said a lot. I have an issue with the idea of entitlement versus character.”

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