Over the weekend, Georgia Democratic State Rep. Erica Thomas posted a video to social media accusing a "white man" of telling her to "go back" to where she "came from" for being in an express checkout lane with more items than she was allowed.
"People are getting really out of control with this — with this white privilege stuff," Thomas says in the video, sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm at the grocery store … and this white man comes up to me and says, 'You lazy son of a b****, you need to go back where you came from.['] … And it hurt me so bad. … All I could tell him was please leave me alone. And my child was just sitting there, and she said, 'Mama, why would he call you that, why would he do that?' I can't even explain to her why he had so much hate in his heart."
But once the man in the alleged incident came forward to refute the claims made by Thomas, the state representative changed her story.
"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," Thomas said.
The "white man" she accused of saying such things told reporters he called Thomas a "lazy (expletive)" but never told her to go back to where she came from. "This woman is playing the victim for political purposes because she is a state legislator," he said. "I'm a Democrat and will vote Democrat for the rest of my life, so call me whatever you want to believe. For her political purposes, make it black, white, brown, whatever. It is untrue."
The left-leaning media, of course, jumped on the story; the recent string of "hate hoaxes" from the likes of Jussie Smollett and the Covington High School debacle did not serve as an effective reminder to be skeptical and wait for evidence.
Additionally, Democrat presidential candidates jumped on the story for political gain, though their knee-jerk reactions are now prompting blowback.
Failed Senate candidate Robert "Beto" O'Rourke, a Democrat from Texas, tied the alleged interaction to President Donald Trump.
"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," posted O’Rourke.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, linked Thomas’ claims to Trump, too.
"Let's be clear: this is on [Donald Trump] and every single person who refuses to condemn his vile racism," he said in a tweet.
In another post, the Democrat said, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It begins with a tweet. Then a chant. Now a racist attack on a 9-month pregnant lawmaker and military wife just trying to feed her family.”