A pregnant African American lawmaker in Georgia said a white man told her to “go back where you came from,” in an expletive-filled rant in front of her nine-year-old daughter.
Democrat rep Erica Thomas, from Austell, said the man became angry after he thought she brought too many items to the self-checkout till. Thomas said she had taken her shopping in the line for customers with 10 items or less because she could not stand for long periods of time as she was nine months pregnant.
Thomas shared details of her traumatic experience on Facebook.
“This white man comes up to me and says ‘You lazy son of a b****, you need to go back where you came from’.”
After the tearful Thomas told the man she was nine months pregnant, he steamed ahead with the vitriol and called her “ignorant”.
“It hurt me so bad,” she said as she talked about the confrontation on her Facebook page, crying.
My child was just sitting there and she said, ‘mama why would he call you that?’ I can’t even explain to her why he has so much hate in his heart.
Thomas went on to say that she never gave him her identity as a public official, and admitted she had been so shocked by his words and behaviour that it hadn’t even occurred to her to record him.
She told The Associated Press that it seemed as though the man had already paid for his shopping when he had approached her.
“He ran up on me and just verbally assaulted me,” she said in the AP interview. At one point, the man told her “You people are ignorant”.
A store employee eventually approached the man to leave.
The incident occurred at a Publix store in Mableton, and Thomas notified the police and intends to get video of the incident.
This racist incident comes after US president Donald Trump was criticised after he tweeted that four congresswomen of colour, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, should go back to the countries they came from.
The US president has not apologised, and the House of Representatives voted to condemn his words.