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Omaha's Republican Mayor Accuses Korean Woman On Facebook Of Hiding Behind Strange 'Symbols'

The strange 'symbols' turned out to be characters from the Korean alphabet.

Soyeon Sohn uses Hangul characters to spell out her name on Facebook. The Mayor thought there was something not right about that, and called her a "Facebook troll" who "hides behind symbols."


Mayor Jean Stothert, who frequently uses her Facebook page to respond directly to Omahans, apologized Wednesday after writing a Facebook comment earlier in the week in which she called a Korean woman a “Facebook troll” who “hides behind symbols.”

The symbols to which Stothert was referring were letters of the Korean alphabet that spelled the name of Soyeon Sohn on her Facebook page. Sohn had commented on one of Stothert’s posts about the curfew the mayor ordered this week in the wake of protests over the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and James Scurlock in Omaha.

In the comment, Sohn said the mayor was demonstrating cowardice, not leadership. Stothert responded with the following: “a Facebook troll who hides behind symbols and doesn’t list their name, is a coward,” screenshots on social media show.

During a press conference Wednesday, Stothert apologized, saying her comment was inappropriate. She said she was unfamiliar with the letters that Sohn had used on her profile page.

“Basically, she called me a coward and a poor leader, and I fired back like a third grader and called her a coward. I shouldn’t have done that,” Stothert said.

“In no way did I mean to insult her heritage ... or her background ... and so for that, I apologize,” Stothert said.

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