This past weekend Georgia State representative Erica Thomas recently shared the story of her nightmare at Publix Grocery Store. While shopping for groceries with her daughter, Erica shopped for more items than she can handle and checked out at the ten items or less line when she had 15 items. During her checkout, she was interrupted by Eric Sparkes who she says verbally harassed her in front of her daughter. Erica who is nine months pregnant was shocked that the man mentioned hateful words like “go back to where you came from” following Donald Trump's same words to Ilhan Omar.
The story went viral once Erica posted a video of her crying on Facebook, and #IstandwithErica began trending on Twitter. Saturday afternoon Thomas held a press conference outside of Publix where the incident took place, while Erica was sharing her side of the story, the accused man interrupted her to share his side. Sparkes called out Thomas for exaggerating the story for likes and views, he stated that he is a Cuban-American democrat that was irritated with her buying so many groceries.
Later in the day, Erica was questioned by reporters who wanted to know what were Sparkes main words when he cold-heartedly shouted at her,” I don't know if he said ‘go back,’ or those type of words…’ I don't know if he said go back to your country or go back to where you came from,’ but he making those types of references is what I remember.”
Things got messier when the reporter asked Erica “So you don’t remember exactly what he said?” “No, no, definitely not. But I know it was go back because I said you go back.”
Erica confirmed that she doesn’t remember exactly what Sparkes said, but social media quickly painted her as the female Jussie Smollett. Commentary Youtubers such as Hear these thoughts, Jesse Lee Paterson, and more have decided to ignore Erica’s claims and share negative comments on their view of the incident.
What are your thoughts, do you think the man should publicly apologize to Erica for disrespecting her in front of her child?