Hate hoax: Lawmaker who claimed man said ‘go back to where you came from’ backtracks her comments

Update: The Georgia Minority House Leader is backtracking allegations of hate speech she made against a man at a local grocery store that had gone viral.

In her initial complaint, which was posted to Facebook, Georgia State Representative Erica Thomas cried and claimed a man called her a lazy b*#ch, and told her to go back where she came from after she put several extra items on the 10-items and under checkout lane.

However, after her post about the ordeal started gaining traction, she coordinated with local media outlets to go back to the Publix grocery store where the alleged incident took place and giver her statement.

What she wasn’t expecting though, was that the person she accused of making the supposed racist would be there too.

That man, Eric Sparkes, flat out denied the allegations, and gave a very different account of what took place. His full rebuttal, is in the video, above.

Since Sparkes’ denial of her accusations, Rep. Thomas has backtracked, somewhat, on her allegations. Here was her latest on camera retraction:

Also, Mr. Sparkes has claimed he is a Democrat, and has previously criticized Presidet Trump on social media on several occasions.

Original Story:

Tim Balk, New York Daily News

A black Georgia lawmaker who is nine months pregnant said Friday that a white man at a grocery told her to “go back where you came from,” in an echo of President Trump.

Rep. Erica Thomas said in a tearful Facebook video that the man’s harassment, which occurred in a checkout line and in front of her daughter, left her shaken and scared.

The state representative said she had more than 10 items in the 10-item or less line, but she said she struggles to stand for long periods of time because of her pregnancy. She said the man told her: “You lazy son of a b—h, you need to go back where you came from.”

“I said, sir, you don’t even know me, I’m not lazy, I’m nine months pregnant. He says: ‘you’re ignorant,’ and it hurt me so bad,” Thomas said, choking up. “And my child is just sitting right there, she said: ‘Mama, why would he call you that? Why would he do that?’”

Thomas has served in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2014.

She said store managers at the Publix grocery store in Mableton were slow to respond to the incident.

Publix spokeswoman Brenda Reid told the Daily News the chain is “committed to creating a safe and welcoming shopping experience for all our customers. We are cooperating with local law enforcement as they look into the matter.”

“I’m tough. I’m a state rep. I fight for other people,” Thomas said. “But when you’re in [that] situation… and I’m thinking, I’m from America, it really hurt me so bad.”

Thomas alluded in her video to remarks made by Trump, who suggested four Democratic congresswomen leave the country. Thomas said she had never been yelled at before in public in her adult life.

In a July 14 tweet, Trump revved up his attack on the four lawmakers, all women of color, who call themselves “The Squad,” asking in a racist outburst: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

At a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, Trump supporters began chanting “send her back,” after he mentioned Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the congresswomen. Trump later disavowed the chant.

In response to criticism of his comments on Twitter, the president has said that he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.


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