As Red State‘s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote Sunday, Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas (D) tweeted Friday that she was “verbally assaulted” in a Publix grocery store by a white man who told her to “go back to where she came from”:
Her attorney Gerald Griggs tweeted out her video recap of what she said happened during the incident:
We have a serious problem in this Country when @itsericathomas is subjected to racism in a Cobb County @Publix in front of her daughter. #gapol. #IStandwithErica thank you @RenittaShannon for alerting me and the @NAACPGA. #NoPlaceforHate. pic.twitter.com/hN5HDS4aG9
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) July 20, 2019
Griggs’s tweet and Thomas’s have a combined total of almost 30,000 retweets as of this writing. Many of the people who shared the tweets and/or who responded to them believed the alleged incident happened because of the “send [Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)] back” chant that happened during a Wednesday Trump rally in North Carolina.
As it turns out, Thomas walked back a key part of her claim when interviewed by local journalists, as Fox News reports:
“He said, ‘go back,’ you know, those types of words,” Thomas said on Saturday. “I don’t wanna say he said ‘go back to your country,’ or ‘go back to where you came from,’ but he was making those types of references, is what I remember.”
“So, you don’t remember exactly what he said?” a reporter pressed.
Thomas answered: “No, no, definitely not. But I know it was ‘go back,’ because I know I told him to ‘go back.'”
Thomas and her attorney had a press conference this morning in which her attorney said she was called a “b” twice (which the accused admitted in a news segment). Her attorney also said that is the worst insult you can call a black woman. He claimed the Publix video proves her allegation (he didn’t note the video does not have audio).
He also says that, contra to news reports from local and national outlets, she has not walked back anything (even though she did). Over the weekend:
Erica Thomas is now walking about her claim that she was told to "go back to your country." pic.twitter.com/mMVhT2QSEk
— Boomieleaks (@Boomieleaks) July 21, 2019
"He said, 'Go back where you came from!' … and after that he kept harassing me." – Rep. Erica Thomas
WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE LIVE HERE – https://t.co/TJDIAYa5Zg
*NOTE: We're working to talk with Eric Sparkes today to get his side of the story pic.twitter.com/ZWqQsO3vkT
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 22, 2019
Also, just a reminder about the man she is accusing of racism:
Georgia Democrat Erica Thomas claims a "white man" told her to "go back to where I came from"
The guy is a Cuban Democrat and he says that he didn't say that and that she is doing this for political gain
He defended "the squad" this week on Facebook against Trump's attacks pic.twitter.com/ldWvrYGyqJ
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 20, 2019
Here’s what I think happened: Thomas took took too many items to a “10 items or less” checkout lane. Eric Sparkes (the accused) got upset and suggested she “go back” to her original checkout lane. A verbal altercation ensued where harsh words were exchanged and Sparkes called her a “b” a couple of times. Until the video(s) are released, we won’t know if he left the store and came back in to go off some more, as Thomas claims.
Twitter sleuths did some digging over the weekend and found this 2015 gem from Thomas about “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who concocted a hate crime hoax earlier this year by accusing two mythical Trump supporters of beating him up after he left a Subway restaurant in the wee hours of a January morning:
In fairness, no one knew in 2015 what Smollett would do in 2019. And we are also still finding out new information and waiting for the release of the video(s) in the Georgia case. Still, in light of Thomas retracting a key part of her initial claim, it was worth noting.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –