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This Black Pregnant Lawmaker Says A Racist Told Her To 'Go Back Where You Came From’

Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas says the man insulted her in front of her nine-year-old daughter.
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 21: Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas speaks during a protest against recently passed abortion ban bills at the Georgia State Capitol building, on May 21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Georgia "heartbeat" bill would ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Alabama abortion law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last week, includes no exceptions for cases of rape and incest, outlawing all abortions except when necessary to prevent serious health problems for the woman. Though women are exempt from criminal and civil liability, the new law punishes doctors for performing an abortion, making the procedure a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
By Paula Rogo · July 21, 2019

A Black Georgia state representative is speaking out after a racist man attacked her at a grocery store, telling her to “go back where you came from.”

A pregnant Erica Thomas, a state representative from Austell, says she was at a Publix store in Mableton with her nine-year-old on Friday when a middle-aged white came up to her.

“And this white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of a bitch,”’ Thomas said in an emotional retelling of the incident in a Facebook video. “He says, ‘You lazy son of a bitch; you need to go back where you came from.”’

Thomas said she was stunned by his anger. “I said, ‘Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy. I’m nine months pregnant.”’

I’m about to be very Transparent because this racism and hate is getting out of control! I feared for my life!

Posted by Erica Thomas on Friday, July 19, 2019

The man, who has now been identified as Eric Sparkes, appeared to be angry with her for standing in an express line with more than the required 10 items or less. But as Thomas explained, she can’t stand for a long time since she is almost full term with her pregnancy.

She did not identify herself to the man as a public official. 

The incident took another turn the next day when Sparkes showed up to a press conference that Thomas was giving outside the same store. He denied making the racist comment, adding that he was “Cuban.” He appeared unapologetic for his actions, admitting that he had “degraded and berated” her.

The incident came days after President Donald Trump tweeted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) should go back to the “broken and crime-infested” countries they came from.

Soon after, a Trump 2020 campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, went awry when the crowd started chanting “send her back! send her back!” referencing Omar.

Trump lied to reporters on Friday, claiming that he tried to stop the chant, even though footage shows otherwise.