#ShoppingWhile Black: Georgia State Rep holds press conference to dispute #hatehoax claims she changed story about white man’s “go back to where you came from” attack

Georgia State Rep Erica Thomas holds press conference about Eric Sparkes' verbal assault at Publix. (WSB-TV)
Georgia State Rep Erica Thomas holds press conference about Eric Sparkes’ verbal assault at Publix. (WSB-TV)

Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas held a press conference at the State Capitol to stand by her story and dispute claims that she has ‘backtracked’ on blaming a white man for telling her to “go back to where she came from.”

Pregnant Black Georgia lawmaker confronts racist who told her ‘go back where she came from’

Over the weekend Thomas’ tearful video about a terrifying encounter she had with a Eric Sparkes in Publix went viral. She reported that the man confronted her and called her a bitch in front of her daughter for being in the 10-items-or-less line with 15 items. She says he then told her that she should go back to where she came from.

“Today I’m here to be very clear about what happened Friday: I want to make sure that everyone knows I’m not backtracking on my statement or retracting anything I said,” said Thomas flanked by her attorney Gerald Griggs and others supporting her.

“I was embarrassed. I was scared for my life. He left the grocery store and came back in to tell me a piece of his mind. … I’m fearing for my life about what I’ve seen all over this country,” Thomas said at the press conference.

Both sides, however, are doubling down on their position of who took matters too far in the checkout line dispute. The man confronted Thomas at a previous press conference and denied saying “go back where you came from” although he admitted on camera that he called the pregnant politician a “lazy b****” in front of her daughter.

Although Thomas initially tweeted with certainly that Sparkes told her to “go back to where she came from,” many thought she waivered from that statement, which caused some concern and sparked the hashtag #HateHoax to trend on Twitter.

She previously said about Sparkes, “He said ‘go back,’ you know, those types of words,” she said prompting critics to question the accuracy of her comments. “I don’t want to say 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.”

During the press conference reiterated her sentiments that Sparkes made the racially insensitive statement.

On Monday, Thomas’ attorney Gerald A. Griggs, wrote on Twitter that “it’s time for all the facts to come out.”

“At no point should a Black pregnant mother be called a B in front of her child,” Griggs wrote on social media with the hashtags #IStandWithErica and “Not A #HateHoax.”

At the conference Griggs said he has asked Publix to release the video tape of the confrontation and that there are witnesses willing and ready to corroborate her story.

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A Georgia republican has joined the #hatehoax chorus calling for Thomas to resign.