Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas (D) claims to have been “verbally assaulted” by a white man at a Publix and told to “go back where you came from.” Apparently, Thomas was in the 10 Items or Less lane, and Eric Sparkes didn’t like that and commented to her about it.

Thomas went on Facebook and filmed a tearful tirade about how she was berated, called names, and told to go back where she came from. She also says that he told her to “go back to your country.”

The Washington Post reports:

A white man has admitted cursing at a pregnant black Georgia lawmaker for taking too many items into a supermarket express lane but denies telling her, “go back where you came from.”

Eric Sparkes showed up during a WSB-TV interview with Rep. Erica Thomas of Austell on Saturday, outside the Atlanta-area store where the incident occurred , the station reported .
He denied making any racially charged comment, adding, “I am Cuban.”

Thomas confronted Sparkes in front of reporters and said he had “degraded and berated” her.

She has told The Associated Press she notified police and will seek store video.

As a result of Thomas’ video, the incident went viral and a range of people from Democrat presidential hopefuls to celebrities to random Twitter users all piled on. #IStandWithErica was formed, and everyone who was anyone was outraged by the outrage. Because Trump.

Here’s Thomas’ tweet about the incident:

And here’s a sampling of the response from the left:

The outrage continued unabated until Sparkes stepped forward to tell his side of the story.

A lifelong Democrat who uses his own Facebook page to rail against President Trump and Republicans, Sparkes is upset because he feels that he is being smeared by Thomas “for political gain.”

Now Thomas is walking back her accusations and claiming that Sparkes “can’t get away” with the “simple assault” against her because “people just can’t go out in public and berate people.”

Watch the confrontation between Thomas and Sparkes the day following the incident:

Towards the end of the interview, Sparkes insists that he is not racist and that he cannot abide bigotry and racism, having experienced it himself as a boy whose grandmother could not speak English.

WaPo reports:

Sparkes said she told him the same thing, and he responded, “It doesn’t matter during this case … There’s two empty lines — you don’t need to be in the express lane.”

In an exchange shown on video, Thomas asked, “What did you say to me then?”

“I called you a lazy bitch. That’s the worst thing I said,” Sparkes answered.

Thomas said Sparkes was just trying to make himself look better.

Sparkes said he’s a Democrat and was being unjustly attacked for political purposes.

. . . . During the television interview, she said Sparkes “needs to be held accountable because people can’t just go out and berate pregnant women.”

Here’s that interview in full:


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