July 23, 2019

USA: FAKE HATE Black Democrat Legislator From Georgia Said In Viral Video A White Racist Told Her To Go Back To Your Country. Turns Out He's A Hispanic Democrat And She Told Him To Go Back.

CBS46 Atlanta published on July 20, 2019: Lawmaker confronts man who allegedly told her to "go back where she came from"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution AJC.com Atlanta, Georgia
written by Greg Bluestein Jennifer Brett
Tuesday July 23, 2019

A witness to a heated grocery store encounter between state Rep. Erica Thomas and a man she accused of uttering racist comments told authorities she didn’t hear him make those remarks, according to a Cobb County police report.

A Publix employee told a Cobb County officer that she witnessed part of the conversation and heard (Erica) Thomas “continuously tell Eric Sparkes to ‘Go back where you came from!” but did not hear Sparkes utter those words to Thomas.

In a tearful video, Thomas accused Sparkes of using that phrase, which echoes a tweet by President Donald Trump that sparked a national uproar. Her account quickly went viral and triggered a wave of support and backlash.

Sparkes admitted to calling the Democrat an expletive during the run-in, saying he was upset she was at an express aisle in the grocery store with too many items, but he said he didn’t tell her to “go back” to where she came from.

Thomas’ attorney, Gerald Griggs, said the officer’s report shows the case needs additional investigation because the employee, and another witness who also said he didn’t hear Sparkes use the phrase, “didn’t hear the initial argument.”

Cobb authorities, meanwhile, said Tuesday they don’t intend to file criminal charges in the case after what the police department said was a “thorough” investigation into the confrontation.

Meanwhile, the debate over Thomas’ account has echoed the political divide. Some liberals declared the run-in a heartbreaking side effect of Trump’s rhetoric. And some conservatives cast her as a version of Jussie Smollett, the Chicago actor accused of concocting a racist attack to advance his career.


The report offers new details about a dispute that started Friday evening when Thomas, a vice chairwoman of the House Democratic caucus, posted a Facebook video accusing Sparkes of berating her for flouting the rule of 10 or fewer items rule at a Mableton Publix.

“This white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of (expletive). You need to go back where you came from,’” she said in the video, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy. I’m nine months pregnant.”

The video soon caught the attention of liberal activists who amplified her message that “racism and hate is getting out of control.” Soon, it had tallied millions of views and sparked a media frenzy of competing headlines and hashtags.

A day later, Thomas’ story came under scrutiny when she arrived at the Publix to speak with television reporters — and Sparkes arrived, too, eager to respond. He said he called her a “selfish little (expletive)” when he noticed she was skirting the express lane’s rules.

“I did say that. That’s all I said after that, and I walked out of Publix. Her words stating on Twitter, and her video, stating I told her she needs to go back where she came from are untrue,” said Sparkes, who said he was a Democrat of Cuban descent.


Both Thomas and Sparkes have called on Publix to release a video of the incident, which has not yet been made public. But the officer who reviewed the tape, which did not include audio, described it in the report.

He wrote that Sparkes “did not appear to be irate” during the confrontation and that he quickly retreated from Thomas as she moved his way “pointing her finger at him.”

When she moved toward Sparkes a second time, a Publix staffer waved for him to leave and Thomas turned to her daughter and paid for her items, he wrote. The dispute lasted about 45 seconds.

The Publix employee, a customer service manager, told police that after Sparkes accosted Thomas he began to leave but “Ms. Thomas kept ‘running her mouth’ as she approached him.” Sparkes, she said, responded by repeatedly calling her “ignorant.”

The employee told the officer that she did not hear either of them use profanity.

Another Publix staffer, Derrick Tompkins, told police he heard Sparkes call Thomas an expletive. Tompkins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he didn’t her him tell her to “go back” to where she came from.

“I’m not going to say that wasn’t said, but I don’t remember hearing it,” he said in an interview. “I’m going to leave it at that.”


Thomas held a press conference Monday where she maintained Sparkes used hateful language that echoed Trump’s recent tweets, and said remarks she made to a TV station where she appeared to backtrack were taken out of context.

She and Griggs also said she had witnesses to prove her account, and also urged authorities to investigate Sparkes’ background.

“Rep. Thomas wants the world to know that she’s standing up for the rights of women who have been victimized,” said Griggs, who said he hasn’t seen a Publix videotape of the confrontation yet.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sparkes said he wasn’t surprised that Cobb authorities decided not to file charges and blasted media coverage of the incident.

“Everyone that knows me knows that I am anti-hate, anti-bigot and anti-racism,” he said, adding: “Sadly, too much of media isn’t fact-checking items or they are just taking the word of a politician when they do a live Facebook or a Twitter post.”
written by Robby Soave
Monday July 22, 2019

Prepare to be outraged: A white male shopper at a grocery store in Cobb County, Georgia, told Erica Thomas, a pregnant black woman and state legislator, to go back to where she came from. His verbal assault echoed the racist remarks of President Trump. "People need to see the hate that is going on in this country," a tearful Thomas told her Facebook followers in a heart-wrenching video.

Are you angry yet? Well, you were fooled. The above account was one-sided and misleading, and now even Thomas has suggested that she can't actually recall if the man, Eric Sparkes, literally told her to go back to where she came from, or merely said other unpleasant things. Moreover, Sparkes claims he is a Cuban and an anti-Trump Democrat. This was more than enough new information for some people to file this incident under hate hoaxes and consign Thomas to the status of a Jussie Smollett or Nathan Phillips (whose sins were far greater).

Having read this new information, maybe you're now outraged about having been driven to outrage in the first place. For that you should direct your ire to local media outlet WSB-TV, which hauled Thomas back to the grocery store over the weekend to film a segment about the episode, and also at The New York Times, which for some reason decided that what is ultimately a trivial argument between two stressed-out shoppers should be turned into a national news story. The Times's initial headline, "'Go Back to Where You Came From,' Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Told," was of course specifically designed to spin this story as an outgrowth of Trump's poisonous rhetoric. The new headline, "'The Hate Is Real': Black Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Berated at Supermarket," tries to achieve the same, while tacitly conceding that there's uncertainty over the back-to-where-you-came-from language.

Here's the de-sensationalized version of events: Thomas and Sparkes agree that she had opted to use the express checkout option, even though she had more groceries than the line allows. This irked Sparkes, despite the fact that two other lanes were open and available. He snitched on Sparkes to customer service and was informed that company policy forbade the store from doing anything about it, but that Sparkes could take matters into his own hands if he wished. Ultimately, Sparkes approached Thomas, and the two had words. Which words, precisely, is up for debate.

"This woman, Ms. Thomas, is playing the victim," Sparkes told WSB TV, telling his side of the story. "I am a Democrat, I vote Democrat party line. All my statements are anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-bigotry."

Sparkes utterly denied that there was anything racially tinged about his comments to Thomas. His strong denial, political affiliation, and the fact that Thomas backtracked slightly are being treated as conclusive evidence by Team Hoax. Of course, it's easy to go too far in this direction. Sparkes admits, for instance, that he called Thomas "lazy"and a "bitch." Maybe his comments weren't racist, but if you're calling a pregnant lady a lazy bitch, you aren't exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your conduct as non-hateful. Perhaps this is a sign of our incredibly politicized times: an accusation of racism must be rebutted at all costs, while mundane cruelty, seemingly tinged with sexism, is considered above board.

In truth, both Thomas and Sparkes seemed like they behaved obnoxiously. Sparkes should have minded his own business, especially given his admission that Thomas's abuse of the express checkout lane didn't even inconvenience him—there were other lanes. But Thomas quite clearly chose to escalate—and publicize—the incident, injecting it with political urgency and slotting it into a national narrative the media would find too tempting to ignore.

Thus a minor, trivial encounter between two stressed shoppers—a story so old that it is not actually a story—was transformed into a viral social media moment, and then served up to outrage-hungry readers by national news media. I hope everybody is good and mad.
Daily Caller 5/6/2013: South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian, who said Friday that he intends to help send Indian-American Republican Gov. Nikki Haley “back to wherever the hell she came from,” was a major campaign bundler who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for President Barack Obama, records reveal.

Obama has yet to condemn Harpootlian’s statement, which a Haley spokesman called “the lowest common denominator.”

Harpootlian made his remark at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Friday, shortly before a speech by Vice President Joe Biden. Harpootlian introduced 2014 Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Vincent Sheehen with the controversial remark.

“In about 18 months from now, hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from,” Harpootlian said as the crowd reportedly broke into cheers and applause.
UPDATE 7/24/19 at 4:38pm: I added tweets below.

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