Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas is proving it a challenge to keep up with her claim of being verbally attacked by a “white man” in a grocery store.
The African-American lawmaker denied she had backtracked on her story last week when she claimed she was confronted by a white man in a Publix grocery store who told her to “go back to where you came from.”
Thomas held a press conference Monday to clarify that she was not retracting any of her allegations and urged police to file charges against the man who “verbally assaulted” her, Eric Sparkes, a registered Democrat of Cuban ancestry.
“Today I’m here to be very clear about what happened Friday: I want to make sure that everyone knows I’m not backtracking on my statement or retracting anything I said,” the lawmaker said.
She doubled down on her initial story, saying that “He said, ‘Go back where you came from!’ … and after that he kept harassing me.”
The whirlwind of accusations and counter arguments have gone viral on social media where Thomas first shared her story of what allegedly transpired on the grocery checkout line.
Black lawmaker claims guy told her ‘go back where you came from’ in store line. He says it’s big hoax and he’s a life-long Dem. https://t.co/kqBbIj6Ztp
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 21, 2019
The pregnant lawmaker tweeted an emotionally-charged video giving an account of what happened.
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. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!
— Erica Thomas (@itsericathomas) July 20, 2019
But Sparkes denied Thomas’ version of the story and accused her of “playing the victim for political purposes.”
“I’m a Democrat and will vote Democrat for the rest of my life, so call me whatever you want to believe,” he continued. “For her political purposes, make it black, white, brown, whatever. It is untrue.”
After the initial story took off amid the attacks on President Trump for alleged racist comments, Thomas seemed to change some of the narrative.
This woman was crying so hard she couldn’t breathe because the “white man” told her to go back to where she came from… now it’s proven it was a Hispanic Democrat who told her either “stand back” or “step back” https://t.co/v0zv6iDZif
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) July 21, 2019
So she for the most part walked the entire thing back. Great work everyone. https://t.co/BJtTe1XuH9
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 21, 2019
“I was embarrassed. I was scared for my life. He left the grocery store and came back in to tell me a piece of his mind. … I’m fearing for my life about what I’ve seen all over this country,” she said on Monday, apparently walking back that she walked back her comments.
Her lawyer, @AttorneyGriggs, says he’s asked Publix to release video tape that corroborates Thomas’ story and told witnesses to be prepared to testify. “This is not a ‘He said, she said.’ This is a, ‘She said, with evidence.’” #gapol pic.twitter.com/sBX9ejQphL
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) July 22, 2019
America tried hard to follow the thread as Thomas stood her ground during Monday’s press conference.
From this weekend: “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.” #EricaThomas https://t.co/SsDF0WBl9m
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) July 22, 2019
She explicitly backtracked. Now she’s backtracking on her backtrack. Let’s move to a safe distance before somebody gets run over.
— Daniel Lee (@RealDanLee) July 22, 2019
Backtracking the backtrack of her lie. https://t.co/XbURUoQnAT
— EducatëdHillbilly™ (@RobProvince) July 22, 2019
🙄 first backpedaling now over-dramatizing…. keep digging.
— Hiking Diva (@TheHikingDiva) July 22, 2019
She was “scared for her life”? She’s twice the man’s size…. pic.twitter.com/CyEE1C2lc4
— breezy (@breeeezy35) July 22, 2019
She wants to exploit the racial issues in America for notoriety.
— Harrowgate’s Watermelons (@JohnnyPixelface) July 22, 2019
Except sane people have already seen the video of @itsericathomas saying that he in fact DID NOT say that. She’s giving us whiplash.
— Tonya still @watchingfoxes (@tonya_still) July 22, 2019
First round: He said go back where you came from.
Second round: I’m not saying he said go back.
Third round: I said whatever the press will spin for my benefit.
— You can’t faze Mrs. BACCV (@baccv) July 22, 2019
Too pregnant to go through regular check-out, but just fine to stand for media…ok🙄
— BhawkMom (@bhawk_mom) July 22, 2019
She is setting herself up for one hell of a lawsuit.
— Guachito (@moondogster69) July 22, 2019