Georgia House of Representatives member Erica Thomas reportedly was told to “go back to where [she] came from” while grocery shopping with her nine-year-old daughter this past Friday. In a tearful, 12 minute long video, which she posted on her Facebook account, Thomas explained that it all started when she went into the express checkout line at Publix with more than the maximum amount of items.
This type of rhetoric has been the center of political debate after President Trump had told four sitting congresswomen to go back to their home countries. Later on that week, during a rally, his supporters began chanting “send her back!”
“Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!”
The way Thomas described it, she was with her daughter when a man by the name of Eric Sparkes began verbally abusing her for having too many items in the express lane. In the video she shared, she said he began calling her “lazy” and to “go back to where she came from.” Thomas said she had expressed to the man that she was nine months pregnant, yet still went on to call her “ignorant.”
Thomas was scheduled for an interview with WBS-TV, when Sparkes showed up to the Publix in Mableton, Georgia. The two argued over the debacle, and Sparkes claimed that he did call her a “lazy piece of sh*it,” but that was the extent of what he had said.
A Cuban American, Sparkes said he did not tell Thomas to go back home, and that he is a Democrat, and does not support President Trump. “This woman, Ms. Thomas, is playing the victim for political purposes because she’s a state legislator,” Sparkes told WBS-TV. When asked by the news station if the man had used the language “go back to where you came from,” Thomas said he didn’t directly say those things, however he “was making those types of references.”
According to WBS-TV, Cobb County Police are working with Publix to investigate further.