Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, July 25, 2019
Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas had too many items in her cart when she tried to go through the express lane in a Publix grocery store in Mableton, Georgia. This petty incident sparked America’s latest hate hoax. In a viral tweet, Miss Thomas said a man told her to “go back where you came from”—presumably to Africa.
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
Miss Thomas posted of a video herself tearfully recounting the incident and blaming “racism.”
We have a serious problem in this Country when @itsericathomas is subjected to racism in a Cobb County @Publix in front of her daughter. #gapol. #IStandwithErica thank you @RenittaShannon for alerting me and the @NAACPGA. #NoPlaceforHate. pic.twitter.com/hN5HDS4aG9
— Gerald A. Griggs (@AttorneyGriggs) July 20, 2019
Her tweets earned write-ups in major publications. Many papers blamed the President, because this happened a few days after he tweeted that progressive Democrats should go back to their “crime-infested” countries.
Unfortunately for the Trump-haters, Miss Thomas’s story fell apart quickly. The man, Eric Sparkes, is much smaller than Miss Thomas. He also claims to be non-white (Cuban) and an anti-Trump Democrat. He says that he did not tell Miss Thomas “to go back,” but admitted calling her a “selfish little bitch.” He also said Publix staff said he could tell Miss Thomas she was over the limit, because corporate policy doesn’t allow employees to say so.
According to Mr. Sparkes, he politely told Miss Thomas she had too many items. She erupted, and he called her a “bitch.”
The confrontation was captured on video but without sound. Miss Thomas appears to be lecturing Mr. Sparkes, as she advances on him and he backs up. Miss Thomas certainly does not look intimidated.
WATCH: Rep. Erica Thomas says she was verbally attacked & told “to go back where you came from” by a white man in a Cobb Publix on Friday over items in an express lane. We were set to interview her today when the man involved unexpectedly showed up @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/AjDj8YUq3G
— Jasmina Alston (@JasminaAlstonTV) July 20, 2019
Eric Sparkes absolutely denies claim that he told politician @itsericathomas to “go back where you came from.” He says the argument started over her using the express lane while having too many items. pic.twitter.com/ZikyJc81vf
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) July 21, 2019
— Christian Jennings (@CJenningsWSB) July 21, 2019
On Monday, Miss Thomas held a news conference, where she demanded that police arrest Mr. Sparkes. He surprised everyone by showing up and telling his side of the story. Afterward, Miss Thomas backtracked on her accusations: “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 witness—a cashier—says he didn’t hear Mr. Sparkes tell her to go back. Another Publix worker told police it was Miss Thomas who repeatedly told Mr. Sparkes to “go back where you came from!” The same witness said Miss Thomas also screamed at the man when he tried to leave, and Mr. Sparkes’s repeatedly said, “You’re ignorant.”
Cobb County police did a “thorough investigation” but say they will not make an arrest. Mr. Sparkes is filing a defamation lawsuit.
Even with Jussie Smollett’s hate hoax just a few months old, state and national Democrats rushed to support Miss Thomas. Over the weekend, the state Democrat Party tweeted “#WeStandWithErica.” Democrat presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke tweeted:
These are the consequences of a president who foments hate every day—and sees our diversity not as a strength but as a weakness. Erica, thank you for serving your state and thanks to your husband for serving our country. We are better than this, and together, we will prove it.
Bill de Blasio tweeted: “Let’s be clear: this is on @realDonaldTrump and every single person who refuses to condemn his vile racism. #IStandWithErica”
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Teresa Tomlinson said, “All sane people of good conscience stand with @itsericathomas. This whole incident infuriates me. #IStandwithErica.”
Black media website The Grio called the incident “Shopping While Black.”
Some state Democrats also want criminal charges against Mr. Sparkes. Rep. Renitta Shannon called his actions “#VigilanteEnforcement” and insisted there was no hate hoax. Miss Thomas’s lawyer, Gerald Griggs, claims the evidence supports Miss Thomas’s story—though the police say otherwise.
In contrast, Georgia Republicans want Rep. Thomas to resign. She is vice chair of the Democratic caucus and will probably keep her job.
Even if Miss Thomas is telling the truth and everyone else is lying, what Mr. Sparkes did is not a crime. Some blacks seem want to make being rude to them a criminal offense.
Black U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson wants criminal prosecution for anyone who insults lawmakers. “Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace . . . ,” she said earlier this month. “We’re gonna shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.”
Other blacks want to make it illegal for whites to call the cops on any black who turns out to be innocent. The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed a bill this year that made it a misdemeanor to call the cops on “people of color for participating in their lives.” Punishment is a $500 fine. The legislatures of New York and Michigan considered similar bills but failed to pass them. Oregon passed a law allowing protected classes to sue people who call the police on them.
The media seem to think it is major news when an ordinary person is rude to or calls the police on a non-white. Last week, a white gas station clerk in Illinois was fired after being filmed questioning the citizenship of rowdy Hispanics. Earlier this month, the media blasted a white San Francisco man who called the police on a suspicious black man in his apartment building. Most murders get less coverage.
Even if it is proven that Miss Thomas lied, she will suffer no consequences. She may actually gain power. A hate hoax didn’t hurt Al Sharpton’s career.
Hoaxes are common for many reasons. First, those in power want to believe them and use the alleged crimes to punish whites. Second, if the hoax is believed, the “victim” is lathered with sympathy from breast-beating whites. Third, if the hoax is revealed, the hoaxer almost never faces the slightest punishment.
In contrast, whites who notice black misbehavior face smear campaigns and public shaming. Most decide it’s better to look the other way when blacks break the rules. The inevitable result: Institutions that require white standards of behavior continue to collapse.