The Erica Thomas Incident Wasn't National News, But That Never Stops Our Outrage-Hungry Media

A trivial encounter between two irate grocery shoppers becomes a viral story, then a hate hoax.


Prepare to be outraged: A white male shopper at a grocery store in Cobb County, Georgia, told Erica Thomas, a pregnant black woman and state legislator, to go back to where she came from. His verbal assault echoed the racist remarks of President Trump. "People need to see the hate that is going on in this country," a tearful Thomas told her Facebook followers in a heart-wrenching video.

Are you angry yet? Well, you were fooled. The above account was one-sided and misleading, and now even Thomas has suggested that she can't actually recall if the man, Eric Sparkes, literally told her to go back to where she came from, or merely said other unpleasant things. Moreover, Sparkes claims he is a Cuban and an anti-Trump Democrat. This was more than enough new information for some people to file this incident under hate hoaxes and consign Thomas to the status of a Jussie Smollett or Nathan Phillips (whose sins were far greater).

Having read this new information, maybe you're now outraged about having been driven to outrage in the first place. For that you should direct your ire to local media outlet WSB-TV, which hauled Thomas back to the grocery store over the weekend to film a segment about the episode, and also at The New York Times, which for some reason decided that what is ultimately a trivial argument between two stressed-out shoppers should be turned into a national news story. The Times's initial headline, "'Go Back to Where You Came From,' Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Told," was of course specifically designed to spin this story as an outgrowth of Trump's poisonous rhetoric. The new headline, "'The Hate Is Real': Black Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Berated at Supermarket," tries to achieve the same, while tacitly conceding that there's uncertainty over the back-to-where-you-came-from language.

Here's the de-sensationalized version of events: Thomas and Sparkes agree that she had opted to use the express checkout option, even though she had more groceries than the line allows. This irked Sparkes, despite the fact that two other lanes were open and available. He snitched on Sparkes to customer service and was informed that company policy forbade the store from doing anything about it, but that Sparkes could take matters into his own hands if he wished. Ultimately, Sparkes approached Thomas, and the two had words. Which words, precisely, is up for debate.

"This woman, Ms. Thomas, is playing the victim," Sparkes told WSB TV, telling his side of the story. "I am a Democrat, I vote Democrat party line. All my statements are anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-bigotry."

Sparkes utterly denied that there was anything racially tinged about his comments to Thomas. His strong denial, political affiliation, and the fact that Thomas backtracked slightly are being treated as conclusive evidence by Team Hoax. Of course, it's easy to go too far in this direction. Sparkes admits, for instance, that he called Thomas "lazy"and a "bitch." Maybe his comments weren't racist, but if you're calling a pregnant lady a lazy bitch, you aren't exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your conduct as non-hateful. Perhaps this is a sign of our incredibly politicized times: an accusation of racism must be rebutted at all costs, while mundane cruelty, seemingly tinged with sexism, is considered above board.

In truth, both Thomas and Sparkes seemed like they behaved obnoxiously. Sparkes should have minded his own business, especially given his admission that Thomas's abuse of the express checkout lane didn't even inconvenience him—there were other lanes. But Thomas quite clearly chose to escalate—and publicize—the incident, injecting it with political urgency and slotting it into a national narrative the media would find too tempting to ignore.

Thus a minor, trivial encounter between two stressed shoppers—a story so old that it is not actually a story—was transformed into a viral social media moment, and then served up to outrage-hungry readers by national news media. I hope everybody is good and mad.

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  1. Both of these assholes should stay wherever they came from.

    1. That dude is one of those grocery-store cops. Who the fuck cares how many items someone has in the express line?…oh yeah – a member of the Duopoly party.

      1. Sure, but at the same time – what kind of inconsiderate bitch uses the Express line with a cart full of items?
        Probably the same answer.
        Two identitarian progressives: what a surprise

      2. I hope a coupon obsessed asshole gets in front of you at every store from now on. We have fucking rules. Stop being an asshole and follow them. Common courtesy.

        1. You cats think that confronting someone in an express line is going to speed things up??
          It will eat up your whole afternoon arguing about it and giving your deposition to the cops after they’re called to break-up a bitchfest….

          1. Sure. And next time the cops abuse their authority you can just let it slide – because you can’t fight the ride.

            OTOH, if people make this sort of thing painful enough, others will stop doing it.

          2. I once saw a cashier kick a woman out for that shit and honestly it made my day I think it was her first time hearing No from someone.

        2. Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero!

        3. In this case Sparkes was wrong, a woman 9 months pregnant should be able to use whatever like she wants without having to deal with some righteous asshole.

          2-3 months pregnant or not pregnant and under 80 then she is an entitled bitch who should reap what she does.

          1. @Kazinski
            Why? I’ve had six children and never expected, or asked for or expected, special treatment – even when they were like ducks in row as they grew, even at airports… never. Now, I can see offering a lady – pregnant or otherwise, and certainly an elderly one, (I haven’t been on a bus or city train thing in decades, but…), a seat.
            I agree with the general consensus here : it’s common courtesy to at least not have more than one or two more items.
            The guy was a prick for basically being a snitch though. But in principle, I agree with him. Pregnant or not.

      3. In this lone example yes but if there was a wait at the check up then this dumb bitch can go fuck herself. I have had to wait behind too many morons who can’t count to forgive that shit the express line is there for a reason. Also I find it funny that she politicized it to win points only to find out they were all on the same damn team.

        1. OsamanPrickStache: Then you are a little child no matter your age. GTFU, and do so quickly as the rest of us adults are already tired of you.

          1. Embarrassed, aren’t you. CGN

    2. Etiquette used to be taught in elementary school, and perhaps we need to ramp this up again. I have kids who aren’t as old as the shoes I am wearing calling me by my first name, instead of “Sir”, an pretending overall as if they didn’t need to respect their elders. Societies don’t work well without set boundaries.

    3. Both of these assholes should stay wherever they came from.

      And away from where ever they are going to.

    4. This has sparked outrage…Mrs Thomas an official of the government- herself said we would see the witness statements and store video. The media must show this as yaw always say we have a right to know- let’s get this done. When anyone says their is a crime involving racism – the evidence must be shown. As our country has got to stop all this racism. America wants to know the outcome of these charges, Thomas/ Sparks Georgia, Racism.

    5. The sheboon started the fuss.

    6. “Racist”: A person who believes blacks, immigrants and other minorities should behave responsibly, follow rules, and obey laws.

  2. His strong denial, political affiliation, and the fact that Thomas backtracked slightly are being treated as conclusive evidence by Team Hoax.

    That works for me too.

    Of course, it’s easy to go too far in this direction. Sparkes admits, for instance, that he called Thomas “lazy”and a “bitch.” Maybe his comments weren’t racist, but if you’re calling a pregnant lady a lazy bitch, you aren’t exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your conduct as non-hateful.

    Whether she is pregnant or not, calling a lazy bitch a lazy bitch may not be necessary every time one pisses you off, but doing so doesn’t exactly make you a bad guy or hateful.

    1. I don’t know about “hateful” but calling a stranger a lazy bitch in the supermarket definitely makes you a bad guy.

      1. Sometimes people need to be told.

        1. Feedback loop engaged.

        2. He was just keepin it real.

      2. But calling a whole bunch of strangers racist is virtuous, eh Rhayader?

      3. So many filthy thugs, so few George Zimmermans. Fuck.

    2. “…if you’re calling a pregnant lady a lazy bitch, you aren’t exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your conduct as non-hateful.”

      If you’re calling Trump’s speech “poisonous rhetoric” you aren’t exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your comment as non-hateful.

      1. Agreed.

      2. Some haters don’t view their hate as hate. They think it is morally justified therefore not hate.

    3. This must be your first time reading a Robby article lol

    4. Soave with his “Sure he’s not a RACIST…but man, he is RUDE” nonsense.

      SHE made it a national story at his expense.

    5. Fine:
      “As a member of Team Hoax, I’m perfectly willing to back up to the point where we concede that BOTH Democrats are complete assholes.”

  3. The takeaway:

    All Democrats are terrible people

    1. At least Democrats don’t put children in cages or build literal concentration camps.

      1. *liberal

      2. You mean Roosevelt wasn’t a Democrat?

      3. Besides Obama and FDR?

        1. Woodrow Wilson would like to have a word…

      4. Democrats prefer the term “internment camp”.

        1. Democrats are Socialists and National Socialists certainly put people in literal concentration camps.

      5. Awesome. One of your best posts, ever.


      6. But that’s where your wrong buddy.

      7. Are you serious.
        These cages were built during the Obama administration.
        There are absolutely zero pictures of kids in cages during Trump’s presidency.
        Obama deported over 3 million illegal immigrants, far more than Trump, yet Trump is painted as the hater.
        Also, it is typical of you to turn this into a political commentary considering both parties involved are Dems.

        1. No, OBL is not serious.

          As we used to say back in the dark ages: lurk moar.

          1. How bitter to have trolled so long, only to have someone whooshtard all your efforts away…like tears…in rain.

      8. There has already been an American President who put American citizens in concentration camps.

        Liberal Democrat and progressive icon Franklin Roosevelt.


        The dark cloud of fascism is always descending upon Republicans but it always turns out to be composed of progressives and Democrats.

  4. Sparkes should have minded his own business

    C’mon. “Should have”? What Law of the Jungle do you live by? Keep your head down so you don’t get your ass kicked?

    1. Not so much “keep your head down,” more like “don’t be a douchebag for no reason.”

      1. You can tell somebody that they are violating common etiquette without being a douchebag. Robbie is saying that in his moral code, someone should just STFU and let jerks be jerks.

      2. “Rhayader
        July.22.2019 at 5:42 pm
        Not so much “keep your head down,” more like “don’t be a douchebag for no reason.””

        Yet, you post here…

    2. Sparkes should have minded his own business


    3. TBH, this blame lies with both Erica and the store policy of none confrontation for people abusing the rules in their store..
      Once Sparks mentioned this to the shop representatives it is their job to tell the person breaking their own rules to move to a none express lane.
      If Sparks had seen someone opening a packet of biscuits in an aisle and had mentioned it to a store representative, should the store rep have told Sparks that they cannot confront the person rather than tell Sparks that they cannot, but Sparks can tell the person off.
      The store policy and their response to Sparks ignited this confrontation and the store should take their share of the blame.

      1. Note: The store itself is strongly Democratic and the official store website has called out Trumps’ toxic, racist rhetoric.

    4. “That dude who filmed the cops doing bad shit to some random dude? He should’ve minded his own business” — Soave

  5. I need to find that Douglas Murray interview where he discusses this new-ish phenomenon of people getting social standing from claiming to be a victim of something.

    1. It ain’t that new. More exposed because of the hoaxes.

      1. Yeah, it’s kind of new. This wasn’t happening when I was a kid– turning yourself into a national hero over some slight that happened to you in public.

        1. The phrase “valorization of victimhood” keeps coming to mind, I think it’s from Thomas Sowell, but I could be wrong.

          1. It’s been recognized as a thing. Not hard to find usage.

            “Using the tools of guilt, nostalgia, and the valorization of victimhood that are embedded in the idea of hōgan biiki (sympathy for the loser/victims) ….”
            — Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei, “Guilt, Nostalgia, and Victimhood: Korea in the Japanese Theatrical Imagination”, New Theatre Quarterly, vol 29, iss 3. May 2013, pp 185-200.

  6. re: “Sparkes should have minded his own business”

    Why? According to the article, the store’s policy is to encourage shoppers to enforce the item limit. And since they presumably don’t allow physical violence, that implies that they want to encourage verbal shaming. So Sparkes did exactly what he was supposed to.

    Maybe Sparkes “behaved obnoxiously” in how he confronted Thomas – the article is ambiguous on that point. But refusing to back down to a bully (by which I mean Thomas) does not count as such.

    The other blame I’ll throw (which the article does not even mention) is the utter spinelessness of the store’s policy. If they are going to offer an item-limited express checkout line, they should have the courage to enforce it. Their “enforce it yourself” position is garbage.

    1. Their “enforce it yourself” position is garbage.

      I’m guessing the store doesn’t want their employees to be the subject of a smear campaign on national tv.

    2. The store policy makes sense. Frankly, it’s not worth the conflict. They are generally counting on Shame! to enforce it. And when some asshole decides “I’ll do what I want!”, it’s up to the other adults in the room to call them out.

      1. I’m guessing he didn’t start with “lazy biotch”. Probably escalated quickly, based on her body language. Not sure how he had time to go to customer service and still confront her. And calling him out for calling out a pregnant woman, who can assume one is pregnant these days?

        1. He’s a Democrat. He has plenty of time.

        2. Because she had way too many items for the express lane?

        3. I’ve seen fat black women exposed to slightly harsh or vaguely negative comments in public before. Most commonly, the response is top volume profanity, sometimes attempted flailing violence…never, NOT ONCE have I seen the poor fat woman break down in tears over her feelings being bruised.

          But there she was, on camera, tragically wounded by the guys’ harsh words. Don’t the media people feel dirty reporting such obvious bullshit?

        4. *Stolen from Twitter*

          The latest rhetoric from the left says that it’s not a baby until it’s born, until then it’s still 100% her body. Therefore, pregnancy or lack thereof is immaterial.

      2. If it’s “not worth the conflict”, then stop making promises you don’t intend to keep and take down the express-lane sign

        1. It’s a suggestion.

    3. I agree on the point about the store policy. But since when does bringing too many items into the express lane make someone a “bully”?

      1. ^the asshole who routinely holds people up in line outs itself

      2. I’m with you on “bully”, but it sure makes them an inconsiderate asshole. They probably cut in line at the theater and talk on their cell phone during the movie too. They probably tailgate, run red lights, and talk on their phone while driving. In a construction zone, they drive all the way up to the merge point and jam, further backing up people patiently obeying the “merge left” signs for the last two miles. They probably smoke in no-smoking areas. They ignore no-wake zones.

        And if anyone ever calls them out on their asshole behavior, they explode.

        1. They probably park in fire lanes or handicapped spots or in front of hydrants. They will steal the parking space out of which you’ve been clearly waiting on patiently allowing auntie to reverse lah! They probably let their kids run around screaming in a restaurant (which is not Chucky Cheez).

        2. Oh that fucking “drive past everybody and jam into the merge point” shit drives me berserk. That’s an asshole move by someone who knows they’re an asshole and doesn’t care if YOU know they’re an asshole. I’ve been prepared to ram people in that situation, and I’ll look them in the fucking eye too.

        3. Totally disagree with you and mpercy on the merge left in a single line two miles before you have to.

          The important thing is not who gets in front of whom. Nobody’s winning Daytona out there. The important thing is to maximize the available road used until the actual merge point is forced.

          This is better both because there’s only one standard merge point (instead of a mile-long string of ad-hoc ones), and a double-stack one mile long causes much less disruption than a single stack two miles long.

          Say it with me: “merge like a douche.” It’s actually old news:


          1. With heavy traffic, if every one zipper merged, took turns politely, and moved at proper speed with proper gaps to make the zipper work smoothly, then sure, using both lanes works great. But douches don’t zipper merge. They tailgate and prevent anyone from merging between them and the car in front of them lest they lose 1.6 seconds of time.

            And when there’s light traffic and plenty of time to merge into one lane that one lane tends to move quickly. But one douche who runs up the left lane a 80MPH, jams on his brakes and forces his way into the lane blocks it all up for everyone.

            Optimization Theory does not account for actual douches.

  7. His strong denial, political affiliation, and the fact that Thomas backtracked slightly are being treated as conclusive evidence by Team Hoax.

    Person said an exact thing.

    Can’t recall if person said thing, but I’m convinced they said something awful.

    The ‘slight backtrack’ in this case pretty much obliterates her entire story.

    1. Where the hell would we be if it weren’t for Team Hoax?

      1. One idiot hires Nigerians to play the part of maga deplorables, and this idiot mistakes a Cuban immigrant democrat for another deplorable.

        This is gettin fun! Haha.

        1. It is the left eating itself.
          All 3 parties involved are on the left. Thomas, Sparks and the bias media and yet they are still attempting to spin this as racism on the right.
          The whole thing is pathetic.

  8. so “outrage” is dead. what’s next?

  9. The libertarian position is that you should mind your own business and who cares which line someone uses anyway. And if there were cash registers open why didn’t he just move over to one of those.

    From now on I’m using the express registers just to piss people off.

    1. I bet you pay with a check, too.

      1. Cash. Mostly quarters. And food stamps for the lobster.

        1. Be sure and wait till the entire checkout procedure is done before opening your purse and bringing out another smaller purse, in which is the tiny purse containing all your coupons, which you must then sort through.

          When that’s all sorted out, put the coupons back and start the search for your checkbook.

          This happened to me, at an express lane, when I was desperate to get on the road as quickly as possible. I was only consoled by the fact that each second this old lady took (oh yea, an old lady, so this was all in slow motion) brought her that much closer to death.

          But I didn’t make a scene!

    2. libertarian position is that you should mind your own business and who cares which line someone uses anyway

      Um, no. There is no libertarian position here.

      1. What is the libertarian position on returning your buggy to the corral?

        1. I seemed to have lost my copy of Etiquette in Libertopia, so I guess the answer is to push the cart as hard as you can towards the corral the farthest away and then haul ass back to your car before it gets run over.

        2. Return it to the damn corral you wastrel!

          At least pop the front wheels over the curb, out of the way so it doesn’t roll away.

    3. >>> just to piss people off

      if i’m minding my own business who cares which line someone uses?

    4. From now on I’m using the express registers just to piss people off.

      I’ll bet you drive slow in the fast lane then bitch about tailgaters.

    5. “From now on I’m using the express registers just to piss people off.”

      You deserve to be shot

    6. Common courtesy works both ways.

      The express says “10 items of less” or whatever. Then common courtesy is to follow that and let people with a few groceries use that line.

      I might have said something or ran to the checkout computer and put my credit card in to pay for the groceries. Once YOU pay, the groceries are your property. That stupid bitch would have to shop all over again.

      If she took my groceries, I would call the cops that she stole my property.

      Libertarians work smarter not harder.

      1. It’s so beautiful…like beating the Kobayashi Maru…and you beat it.

  10. The Times’s initial headline, “‘Go Back to Where You Came From,’ Georgia Lawmaker Says She Was Told,” was of course specifically designed to spin this story as an outgrowth of Trump’s poisonous rhetoric.

    No “spin” needed. The progressive / libertarian alliance must take every opportunity to denounce not only Drumpf’s white nationalism, but also the racism he’s been inspiring ever since he started his campaign. So no, the brutal oppression Thomas experienced should not have been “just a local story.”

  11. …an accusation of racism must be rebutted at all costs, while mundane cruelty, seemingly tinged with sexism, is considered above board.

    Meh. We seem to be struggling to affix some kind of -ism to this. Leave it at two obnoxious, entitled individuals going at each other and refrain from delving deeper into their hearts.

    1. This.

      This is what irks me so much about the term “mansplaining.” Not only is the term itself sexist, but we ALREADY have a word for the concept: condescending. But lefties are so self absorbed they think that they’re the first ones to have experienced it…and that its sex-based.

      1. And of course, women are never condescending.

    2. Similarly, I think Trump has demonstrated pretty effectively that he’s an equal opportunity asshole who will insult anyone. I think he’d have said pretty much the same exact things if the Squad was 4 straight white cis-males if they spouted the same shit the Squad has. Trump’s twitters are like the honey badger.

  12. Go back to where you came from… lane 2.

    Similarly, AOC should go back to where she came from… waitressing in the Bronx.

    Only the race-baiters here ‘where you came from’ and think ‘race’.

      1. *this hear

        1. Yeah, not sure why but I’m having trouble with ‘hear’ and ‘here’ today.

          1. Well that’s just two bad.

  13. What was the Grocery store? Part of that weighs into my decision to be outraged.

    1. Says Cobb county.
      Bit of a snooty, uptight suburb of ATL.

      1. I will never watch a Falcons or Braves game live again because its in Cobb County.

        1. Falcons aren’t in Cobb.
          The Benz Dome is right next to where the GA Dome was, the convention center, and across from Centennial Park.
          That’s Fulton

          1. Doesn’t matter if it’s Falcons or Braves, it the outrage that counts.

    2. Piggly Wiggly?

      Or has that chain been reeeeed out of existence?

  14. Sparkes may be a jerk, but she is a public official and escalating what happened to make it a race issue was irresponsible for someone in her position.

    1. The Left sows the fear, hatred, and resentment of identitarian politics to divide and conquer us.

      Race baiting is what they do.

      Exhibit A: racebaiterjeff

      1. Haha. Yup.


      2. “Everyone who opposes me is a bigot, uneducated, and evil!
        Look at all their divisive rhetoric!”

        1. Calm down jeff.

    2. It’s all the left know how to do. It is their first response to every criticism of their personal behaviour.
      She is an obnoxious idiot.
      The irony here is that because Sparks is a Democrat he may well have voted for her if she represents his district.
      This was not about race of sex.
      It was about Thomas being an asshole and the store completely abdicating their responsibility to enforce their own rules. It was also about Thomas attempting to paint a false narrative to her own disgusting behaviour instead of accepting she was wrong and simply moving to another checkout. Her entitled, selfish behaviour escalated this way beyond control.

    3. The mayor of a South Carolina town believed she was the target of a hate crime after cars belonging to her and her husband were dusted with a mysterious, “yellow, sticky substance.”

      Local and state police investigated the claims made by Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson, who reported that on February 7 at 10 p.m. local time, someone sprayed her 2017 Symphony Silver Hyundai Elantra Sport and her husband’s soft-top 1998 Buick Roadmaster with a residue outside of their home.

      The material, she remembered, “got in all of the grooves” of her husband’s gray sedan.

      The mayor had recently returned to her home from a meeting in the larger city of Hartsville, about 22 miles north of Lamar.

      “My husband went out to the car to get some things out of the garage,” she told Newsweek. “He says, ‘Somebody’s painted your car!'”

      She recalled that the couple’s neighbor, who had stopped by in his van to pick up some laundry, also chimed in.

      “Darnell, there’s something on your car,” she remembered him saying. “They started rubbing it, and it was this yellow, sticky substance. So it was like, What is this?”

      She said her husband and the neighbor “started scraping all over” their cars to rid what she described as a “grainy substance” akin to industrial spray foam used to patch concrete.

      “It looked like little pebbles,” she added.

      Setting in was the deafening fear of an attack.

      “I likened it as a hate crime because No. 1, there’s a history in our town of Lamar,” the volunteer mayor of the town with approximately 980 constituents, said.

      The report went on to detail how the mayor and her husband streaked a finger over the tarnished parts surfacing the car and “realized it was not paint and that the substance could be removed with a finger; similar to pollen.”

      She explained in the interview with Newsweek that there were no words or symbols drawn on the cars. The cars were parked in the street near the end of the couple’s driveway, a block and a half from Lamar’s downtown.

      “To me that was the message,” she said.

      Kilgo explained that once the mayor was intent that she had been attacked, the local agency referred the matter to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or SLED.

      “Due the suspicion from her of it being a hate crime, we couldn’t say no,” he said.

      The report added that the mayor also had “a possible suspect in mind at the time” of the incident.

      A SLED spokeswoman informed Newsweek that after receiving the report, the decision was made against launching a probe.

      “We reviewed the incident report, but we did not open a formal investigation,” she said.

      As to why they didn’t open a probe? “Because we did not believe a crime occurred.”

      1. Yeah, it was pollen. Racist, hate crime pollen. But she not only used her authority as Mayor to get the police to investigate, when they told her it was just pollen, she took her claims of hate-pollen attacks to the state level. They told her it’s pollen. And she still runs around trying to get on TV to tell anyone who’ll listen that this a racist hate-crime attack on her person.

      2. “The report went on to detail how the mayor and her husband streaked a finger over the tarnished parts surfacing the car and “realized it was not paint and that the substance could be removed with a finger; similar to pollen.”

        If it looks like a duck…

        1. “”If it looks like a duck…””

          Then it must be racist.

        2. Anyone who’s ever been in the South when the pine trees start spewing their sperm all over the place would immediately recognize the yellow goo. Add a little dew condensation and it forms little blobs like playdoh almost on any car left outside. That she didn’t know this after living there all her life is unfathomable, so her hate crime effort was probably completely fabricated in her mind just for the publicity…like Jussie.

  15. Never go to the grocery store during peak hours. It’s full of screaming children.

    1. But enough about Erica Thomas.

  16. Thomas and Sparkes agree that she had opted to use the express checkout option, even though she had more groceries than the line allows.


    But seriously folks, as a former supermarket cashier, this stuff happens all the time (extra items, and shouting matches over said items). It’s a non-event.

    1. This is not ‘Nam. This is shopping. There are rules.

      1. More like guidelines, enforced by shame.

      2. You’re entering a world of pain in the express checkout. A world of pain.

        1. Put the gun away, Walter, his foot slipped.

      3. Go to a grocery store hours before a major storm, or leading up to Turkey Day, Xmas or Easter. Rules, my ass.

  17. Robbie is jockeying to take over the Jerry Springer show, methinks.

  18. You can’t spell America without Erica!!!

    1. Wait. Is she Lucas’s sister from Stranger Things all grown up?

      1. Two black kids in rural IN in the 80s and it’s the little girl who’s both mouthy and an ardent capitalist? Least believable part of the show. Also, as someone who more than once found himself in Steve Harrington’s position in the late 80s, lesbians, if they knew/understood their sexuality, didn’t generally out themselves like that. “Not being someone’s type” was still a thing. Lastly, there are/were plenty of kooks in IN who spoke Russian (or other obtuse languages) and distrusted the government.

        Other than that, the third season was pretty good. But, considering the above, I hope they’re done. It’s starting to seem less like they opened a window back in time to the 80s and more like a lens by which someone in 2019 may view 80s-eque culture nostalgically.

        1. …lesbians, if they knew/understood their sexuality, didn’t generally out themselves like that.

          SPOILER ALERT: She was still under the influence of Ivan’s drugs.

          1. SPOILER ALERT: She was still under the influence of Ivan’s drugs.

            A drug that makes women think they’re lesbians? Diabolical!

            Seriously, still felt more like how a couple guys in 2019 imagined a teenage girl coming out in the 80s rather than a teenage girl coming out in the 80s. Or, at least from my perspective, inebriation was no barrier to a woman telling someone he wasn’t her type.

  19. Good and mad? I LOL’d

    1. Live Cheap or Free

      LOL, that’s a good one.

  20. My irritation depends on whether the express lane says “20 Items Or Less”. If you don’t know the difference between “less” and “fewer”, I can’t trust you to count to 20. But people who think they’re too important to wait in line and shove into the express lane with an over-flowing shopping cart and make the 8 people who have one or two items wait are gigantic assholes and should be thumped upside the head.

    That being said, I saw a store one time that had a bollard in the middle of the entrance to the express lane – carts won’t fit. The Express Lane is whatever you can carry in your hands.

    1. In my experience, they all say “less.”

    2. “Whatever you can carry in the little baskets we provide, not the carts.” Thus we don’t have to depend on the ability of people to count above the number of fingers.

      1. You know how the single-trip salad bar costs less than the all-you-can eat? My mom used to layer cucumber slices like shingles to extend the edges of her single-trip bowl at least 3-4 inches to make a massive single-trip bowl. I’m imagining folks using flatbread or boboli pizza crusts to extend the capacity of their shopping basket to make use of the express lane.

  21. America’s calling, Emily Litella. Emily won’t you please come home?

  22. I may be turning into a curmudgeon, but I’m at the point where I have no more tolerance for the outrage types and the urinal-lists who promote them in the media.

    Maybe all those involved should go back where they came from (i.e., their mothers’ wombs—and then those moms can be solicited by Planned Parenthood).

    1. Or we could lobby for government-paid abortions unto the 93 trimester.

  23. Haha. This is awesome. Don’t change a thing, lefties.

  24. Assuming Sparkes is telling the truth when he denies that he said “go back where you came from” (and I don’t see any reason to disbelieve him), then how is this different from every story Reason has ever done about elected officials acting like assholes to the little people just because they can?

  25. A significant percentage of people still see Smollett as just a victim, believe Tawana Brawley, think the Covington kids were little Hitlers, and are totally convinced that Brett Kavanaugh ran some sort of rape gang due to the most elaborate “borking” yet. Even the majority that don’t believe still feel some compulsion to temper it with some rightthink doubletalk; “oh well perhaps that’s not exactly how it happened but they are evil racist nasty people which is jolly bad!”, etc.

    1. Not to mention those who are convinced that Trump said neo-Nazis are fine people.

    2. Why do people keep bringing up Jeff in this theead?

    3. Like the kids this week who were given “the President’s” words on illegal immigration and deportation, believing they were Trumps,

      “Uhh, I think that policy comes from a place of white American nationalism.”

      then when shown Obama saying them…

      “I don’t know a ton about Obama’s deportation policies, but I imagine that they were a lot more humane than the ones currently going on.”

      1. Well trained in the doctrine that reality can be conformed to thought, rather than the other way around.

      2. I’m a reasonable man, but I gots to calls ’em as I see ’em, and that is programming beyond what even Sidney Gottlieb could have hoped to achieve.

  26. Expressholes suck.

  27. Pravda pays well.

  28. The stores should set up the registers to only ring up the exact number of items allowed.The customer pays for those items and sent back of the line to purchase the additional items, meanwhile sirens whistles, bells and flashing lights are set off with messages over the intercom warning there is an innumerate and/or illiterate customer in lane 1.
    Either that or the cashier whips out a taser and zaps the scofflaw once for every item over the limit.
    Check writers should have their hand hacked off.

    1. That would be good.

      Some of us let the person behind us who might only have a few groceries go ahead.

      Life is too too short.

  29. Also I’d like to know if Miz Representative paid with a SNAP card. She was awful reluctant to show her receipt.

  30. Poor Robbie has gone from making excuses to enabling racism. I think only Robbie saw this story, and decided to earn whatever Welch is paying him to enable this crap. Oh look, someone mentioned SNAP!

  31. Those two nitwits deserve each other.

    Go back….just go back.

    1. But of the two, she acted worse and more irresponsibly especially since she’s a public official and then made a grand standing scene over it. Betcha she didn’t think Sparkes the Cuban was going to hit back. Love the part where she says she’s pregnant as an excuse to be inconsiderate when choosing that lane but then stands in front of cameras for I can only imagine would be at least 30 minutes.

  32. A trivial encounter between two irate grocery shoppers becomes a viral story, then a hate hoax.

    You got that backwards. It was a trivial encounter that became a hate hoax that went viral.

    If ol’ girl there hadn’t lied and besmirched pudgeboy’s reputation with hateful lies this likely would have never became a national story.

  33. . . . was of course specifically designed to spin this story as an outgrowth of Trump’s poisonous rhetoric.

    Preach it brother! Even when you’re right you can’t help but try to take an undeserved swipe at the man, can you guys? Eight years and hardly a peep about the poisonous rhetoric spewed by the previous officeholder or his party.

    You know, Trump isn’t poisonous, he isn’t divisive – he’s *the response to* poison and divisiveness.

    1. The TDS here doesn’t even make me chuckle anymore. I’m down to sighing and rolling my eyes. Then again I don’t throw cocktail parties so I don’t think Reason gives a shit about my libertarian ass.

  34. but if you’re calling a pregnant lady a lazy bitch, you aren’t exactly the good guy, and it would be a stretch to label your conduct as non-hateful.

    I don’t understand this. You can absolutely call somebody ‘lazy’ and ‘bitch’ and ‘lazy bitch’ and be the good guy. Sometime (often) that’s exactly what people are and they need to be called on it and not let it pass. Granted, I wouldn’t have done it here though.

    As for ‘non-hateful conduct’ – aren’t we told that there are things we should rightfully hate? Like Trump?

    1. Black female liberal politicians are above reproach, racist.

    2. In my head I see this…

      “Hey lady, the express lane is for 10 items or FEWER. Can’t you read or can’t you count?”

      “You better back up on out of here! I’m pregnant mother fucker, can’t you see that?!”

      “Fuck you, you lazy bitch!”

  35. “I am a Democrat, I vote Democrat party line. All my statements are anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-bigotry.”

    Quite funny, unintentionally I presume.

    And, Mr. Sparkes, you evidently didn’t pay attention in your right-speak class: as a white man, you always have to defer to black women. No exceptions.

  36. I used to do my grocery shopping after midnight when there was no one else around, and the only register typically open was the express lane because who is really shopping at 3 a.m.?

    Wouldn’t you know it, one time about five people decide to check out right after the cashier started to ring me up. Felt like an asshole, but there was no other choice.

  37. […] here to read the rest.  Go here to read about the real incident.  Thomas actually was using the express lane checkout when she had […]

  38. It is now the world we live in, “a chicken crossed the road” is now a National story that sparks outrage!

    1. It is if the chicken crossed the road specifically to avoid a black democratic politician or celebrity.

  39. Vindictive sociopath with a political agenda and the power to pursue it deliberately flat out lies about what happened to claim moral imperative for her agenda, and defame and malign a citizen based on judgments she made solely based on skin color. Aaaaand somehow in progressive medialand, and among the throngs so devoutly commited to The Narrative, she is somehow still virtuous and oppressed and her calculated lies are actually justified by some greater #orangemanbad #resistance “good”?

    1. Yes, on all counts.

    2. Yes. Haven’t you been paying attention?

  40. You see a lot, Robby.
    But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself?

  41. The worst is those people who have e.g. 30 items in the express lane, but break it up into three separate transactions, “so it’s ok.” No it’s not, that’s worse. There’s a special place in hell for those people. Ninth level of hell if they’re also using a WIC voucher for each transaction. Yes, I’ve been behind that person (including WIC vouchers), and damned straight I said something, but the store had the same asinine policy as this store.

  42. Classic Angry Black Woman, no doubt.

    1. Classic “Black Woman So Deeply Wounded By Hurtful, Racist Words She Bursts Into Tears and Sobs”*

      *-never actually seen except in front of media.

  43. This example of idiocracy is nothing new. With regards to the black chick, she was called out for being a douche and screamed racism. Shocker! The white cuban whatever guy is an entitled cry baby douche who thinks it is his job to make people follow rules even the dumb ones like lines at a grocery store.

    1. Right. We don need no steekin 15 items or less lines.

        1. Jawol Mein Fewer.

  44. “This irked Sparkes, despite the fact that two other lanes were open and available.”

    So there were options other than picking a fight with a pregnant woman. Not keen on how she handled it but shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

    1. If there were other lanes open then SHE should have used them instead of the express lane. But SHE thought SHE didn’t have to follow the rules.

      Yeah, he could have let it slide, but she was the asshole first. And sometimes you’ve just got to call out assholes when you see them.

    2. “Open and available” does not mean there’s no line.

  45. Outrage is the staple diet of journalists on both side of the political spectrum. It makes for cheesy journalism and appeals to the lowest common denominator.
    But on the other hand, isn’t that why we have the First Amendment in the first place?

  46. but this story, Antifa attack on CBP facility, did not garner absolutely no coverage on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, etc… Only Foxnews covered it.

  47. I hate it when people at the grocery check out slap down one of those little plastic dividing bars on the conveyor belt to demarcate their purchase even though I have already made the effort to carefully place my items close together so that no check out person would confuse my order with that of the person next in line. I feel the unnecessary use of the plastic dividing bar is aggressive and insulting to my purchases and myself.

  48. Easy solution, Clerk: [scans 10 items] Sorry, the express lane register locks out at 10 items. I’ll have to get a manager override to scan the rest but there are people behind you so could you please take the rest of your items to the back of the line and I’ll ring the rest up as a separate order. M’kay?

    1. Not enough humiliation. If only our shops would put more effort into humiliating their customers.

  49. Is she too dumb to count, or does she just think rules are for the little people? Either way, she sucks. And people like that will continue to act like that until they are called out on it. Guarantee she’ll think twice before misusing the express lane. Unfortunately she’ll probably also use her bullshit racism story to win an election.

  50. “In truth, both Thomas and Sparkes seemed like they behaved obnoxiously.”

    But it’s a little more than that, isn’t it?

    Sparkes acted like jerk. Thomas used her status as a government official to push her political party’s narrative, and possibly ruin a man’s life in the process. Only one of them acted obnoxiously. The other nearly committed a crime.

    The American left and the media WANT to believe allegations from a certain group of people and advance a narrative. Literally, the democrats say “believe all women and people of color”. Their endgame is disparate empowerment, not broad personal autonomy and freedom. But when the mob comes for the jobs of the accused, some libertarians fold their arms and say “private companies can do anything” or “due process is only for the courts”.

    I believe in limited government and regulation. I don’t believe in an anarchist society advocated by Chemjeff the radical individualist. A just society should not be swayed by angry mob. If Sparkes was fired from his job the government should give him back pay, given that it was one of their own who defamed him.

  51. There may be some background context missing here.

    Remember when the white guy called the cops on a black guy who tried to bypass the residential security by following him into the condo? And everyone (progs + media allies) were outraged until they learned that the white guy’s dad had been murdered by a vagrant who had bypassed security and when the cops refused to intervene, confronted the guy and was murdered? And then they were all, “well, maybe just this once, it actually wasn’t racism”?

    So here you’ve got a Cuban (expat? Refugee?). He probably spent countless hours of his life waiting in lines only to eventually be told that whatever commodity he wanted was no longer available, and to return tomorrow. But here in the U.S., the products almost never run out, and the lines aren’t that long, and almost nobody in the line is an asshole — almost. So he sees this obnoxious, privileged cunt abusing all of the blessings of capitalism, and he just snaps and gives her a piece of her mind. A perfectly reasonable response, assuming the scenario I’ve described is at least partly accurate.

    That bit of background information may be helpful in withholding judgment on him as a “hateful guy.”

    1. And everyone (progs + media allies) were outraged until they learned that the white guy’s dad had been murdered by a vagrant who had bypassed security and when the cops refused to intervene, confronted the guy and was murdered? And then they were all, “well, maybe just this once, it actually wasn’t racism”?

      Nope. They didn’t care and still called it racism.

  52. Two lib morons eating each other. How good is that?

  53. The guy is a hero. The lady was arrogant not lazy. Sadly, we’ll probably see a spike in express lane abuses by woman of color.

  54. I have used the express line with more items than technically a allowed. During busy times at the “Hy Vee,” ( Iowa’s equivalent of Publix) I have been invited by the cashier to use the express lane despite my excess quantity of items. All the other lines are full and the 2 or three express lines are empty and it just works out well.
    Never again. I must atone for my sins in the grocery line. Even when I am technically entitled to use the express lane due to my grocery numerical status, I will get in line behind the most backed up lane available and suffer the delays so that others may get through sooner. Social Justice, all the way..

    1. Obeying the rules doesn’t make one an SJW

  55. […] The Erica Thomas incident wasn’t national news, but that never stops our outrage-hungry media. […]

  56. Regardless of his rudeness, she blatantly lied her fat black butt off, and abused her power as a politician. Then the irresponsible media took her garbage seriously because it fit their agenda.

  57. […] after getting cold fries Store video made public in Georgia lawmaker’s confrontation at Publix Erica Thomas Wasn’t National News, That Never Stops Outrage-Hungry Media Did Werner Herzog Tweet America is ‘Waking Up, As Germany Once Did’? Television: It’s Called […]

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