Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas, who asserted in a tearful Facebook post that a white man at a Publix grocery store told her to “Go back to where you came from!” seems to be less sure that the Friday encounter was exactly how she remembered.
Now Erica Thomas is changing her story after it trended all day and resulted in extensive news coverage
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 21, 2019
The Washington Examiner Reports:
After reaffirming to reporters Saturday that a white man had verbally accosted her and her daughter telling them to “go back” to where they came from in a racially charged tirade, Thomas was interrupted by the accused man himself, Eric Sparkes, who had a very different story to tell. Sparkes accused Thomas of faking the story for political purposes, saying he was, in fact, a Cuban American Democrat who was simply irritated that she brought so many groceries to the express checkout lane.
Thomas rebuked Sparkes’ version of events, however, in an interview later in the day on Saturday, saying, “I don’t know if he said ‘go back,’ or those types of words … I don’t know if 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.”
A local journalist further asked her, “So you don’t remember exactly what he said?”
Thomas replied, “No, no, definitely not. But I know it was ‘go back’ because I know I told him to ‘go back.'”
In Thomas’ original video, the black lawmaker tearfully recounted a traumatic incident in which a man began using racially charged insults after accusing her of bringing too many groceries to the express checkout line. Thomas posted the video to her Facebook account on Friday evening.
Thomas’ story quickly gained traction in the wake of President Trump’s “go back” tweet as the media seemingly believed her version of events, and #IStandWithErica began trending on Twitter.