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Dem Lawmaker Flip Flops on Racism Claim After Man She Confronted Tells His Side of the Story

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Another Democratic claim of racism running wild is running into a wall.

Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas made national news on Friday when she said she’s been verbally assaulted by a white man in an Atlanta grocery store who told her to “go back where you come from.”

She made it again when she backtracked on the story over the weekend.

On Monday morning, Thomas did it again when she held a news conference to walk back her own walk-back of her own accusation. And even demanded that the man be charged by police over the incident.

For liberals, it was originally a clear-cut story of a Donald Trump supporter taking a cue from the Oval Office, but the whole story turns out to be much more complex — and still developing.

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Here’s the Twitter post Thomas originally published about the incident.

In a tearful Facebook video (note: strong language), Thomas didn’t use the word “racism,” but made it clear that she thought racism was the subtext for the man’s remarks.

“I’ve never had a white man come up to me and say those things to me,” she said. “I was shocked, y’all…

“If you see other people being treated like that, if you see someone else being called a son of a b****, or ‘go back home,’ or ‘you’re ignorant,’ ‘you’re a piece of s***’ because of their color, you need to say something.”

The man who confronted Thomas, Erik Sparkes, is actually a Democrat of Cuban heritage who has a social media history of attacking Trump.

He just doesn’t like shoppers who get into the express line with too many items.

At a raucous news conference on Saturday outside the Publix where the confrontation took place, Sparkes told reporters he didn’t know who Thomas was at the time of the clash. He said he saw her with too many items and went to the store personnel to complain.

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He was told that the store had a policy of not confronting customers about express lane violations, but that he as a customer could complain individually if he chose.

“I took a step outside, the door, thought about it, walked up to … Mrs. Thomas and said, ‘ma’am, not to be rude’ – my exact first words — … pointed at the sign, ’10 items or less,’” Sparkes said.

“She berates me after that.”

Sparkes also said he called Thomas a “b****.” He said Thomas approached him and he took “a couple steps back.”

Check out the news conference here. (Note: Some strong language.)

“I was raised with a Cuban grandmother who didn’t speak any English,” Sparkes said.

He said Thomas was using her position as a state lawmaker to distort the situation.

“I am a Democrat, No. 1. I vote Democrat, party-line.”

He also cited his own social media posts on his Facebook page that prove he’s anti-Trump.

“This lady does not know me,” he said.

In a statement after the news conference, Thomas backed away from the whole “go back where you came from” claim.

“I don’t want to say he said, ‘Go back to your country,’ or ‘Go back to where you came from,'” she said, according to “But he was making those types of references is what I remember.”

Then, at a news conference on Monday morning, Thomas not only returned to her original story, but said Sparkes should face charges over the incident.

Now, obviously, no one is condoning a man using the “b****” word with a woman, or instigating confrontations in supermarkets – no matter how irritating it is when the express line gets abused by customers with way too many items in their cart.

But the point isn’t supermarket protocol or proper language in public.

The point is that, thanks to Thomas’ initial social media posts, a routine, if annoying, incident at a  local grocery store got blown into a confrontation that CBS News compared to President Donald Trump’s tweets about four progressive congresswomen and “the dark, racist history of telling people to go back to where they came from.”

Now, her initial claims are being compared to another national story – and one that doesn’t reflect well on Thomas or Trump critics as a whole.

The case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, of course, has turned into a complicated accusation of crooked Democratic politics and a hate crime hoax.

The Thomas accusation isn’t quite in the same league — not yet, anyway. But it does show another Democratic claim of racism running wild hitting a wall.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.