Verbal altercation between Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes: Does every situation come down to race an
Recently, a video surfaced society media of Georgia state representative, Erica Thomas, sharing her experience, of what she describes as being verbally assaulted by a Publix customer, Eric Sparkes.
In Thomas’ video, she appears to be crying out of humiliation and anger as a result of the altercation between her and Sparkes. She begins her video saying, “I decided to go live because I’m very upset because people are getting really out of control with this, with this white privilege stuff.” She then explains that she was in the grocery store checkout express aisle. Although she had five items over the limit, because she is nine months pregnant, she figured she would be okay. She goes on to say that Sparkes approached her calling her a “Lazy son of a bitch,” and that she “needs to go back to where she came from.”
Publix employees what they could, but ultimately said that they couldn’t remember all that was said, but could say what wasn’t said.
Here is a link to surveillance footage: https://twitter.com/mattdizwhitlock/status/1154161518176604167
In this video, it appears that after Sparkes approached her, she continued to speak at him out of anger. Sparkes responded by repeatedly calling Thomas “ignorant.”
Eventually Thomas and Sparkes did confront each other in public. Thomas appeared very strong and bold as she explained how Sparkes made her feel. “Back off before I call the police!” Sparkes responds as Thomas began to confront him. Sparkes was very unbothered emotionally, by the situation in comparison to Thomas who was in distress.
Here is the video from the seco
nd confrontation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCM4AGQX7dk
Sparkes did clarify that he only called her a “selfish little bitch” when he had seen that Thomas had too many items to be in the express aisle. He is in denial of telling her to “go back.” He identified as a Cuban man, clarifying that he is not a white racist.
Ultimately, social media was on Thomas’ side until her and Sparkes confronted each other publicly. As they continued to combat each other and explain what was really said, it was then that Thomas began to have second thoughts on what was said in the video. The story was then beginning to get complicated as it was shifting away from what she had originally shared on social media.
Thomas held a press conference to clarify her statements. It was then that she said Sparkes “made a reference” to the racial statement ‘go back to where you came from.’ Thomas is making an effort to stand her ground because she wants to stand up for all the women who are degraded based on race and gender.