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.”’
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.