A black Georgia lawmaker says a white man cursed her out at a supermarket and told her to “go back where you came from.”
Democratic State Rep. Erica Thomas said in a tear-filled Facebook Live video that she was in the express lane at a Publix in Mableton Friday with her daughter, when a man became enraged over the number of items she had.
“This white man comes up to me and says ‘You lazy son of a bitch. You need to go back where you came from,’ ” Thomas recalled in the clip.
“I said ‘Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy I’m nine months pregnant,” Thomas continued, through sobs. “It hurt me so bad.”
On Saturday, the lawmaker was being interviewed in front of the grocery store by WSB-TV, when Eric Sparkes, the man she’d accused of berating her showed up.
In a televised confrontation, Sparkes denied telling Thomas to “go back” where she came from — but admitted he’d called her a “lazy bitch.”
“That’s the worst thing I said,” Sparkes told Thomas.
She replied: “Ok. Because that makes you look better.”
Sparkes, who said he’s a Democrat of Cuban nationality, claimed Thomas was just accusing him to advance her political career.
“This woman is playing the victim for political purposes because she is a state legislator,” he told the outlet. “I’m a Democrat and will vote Democrat for the rest of my life, so call me whatever you want to believe. For her political purposes, make it black, white, brown, whatever. It is untrue.”
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When asked to clarify whether Sparkes had actually made the “go back” comment, Thomas said: “I don’t want to 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.”
Regardless, he shouldn’t have verbally assaulted her, she said.
“He needs to be held accountable, because people can’t just go out in public areas and berate pregnant women,” Thomas countered. “Whether it was because I’m pregnant, whether it’s because I’m black.”
Thomas said she was so taken aback by the encounter that she didn’t think to record it — but she said she notified police and will seek store video. She said she never identified herself to Sparkes as a public official.
Publix said the company was “cooperating with local law enforcement as they look into the matter.”
The incident came a day after President Trump tweeted that four congresswomen — apparently Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — should ”go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
In her video, Thomas alluded to that incident and accused the president of inciting hatred.
With Post wires