Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was critical of the governor’s plan to reopen Georgia’s businesses amid the still-spreading coronavirus pandemic, shared a text message late Wednesday she received calling her the n-word.
Georgia has been the center of a social media firestorm since Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans to allow businesses to reopen starting April 24 throughout the state despite coronavirus continuing to remain prevalent. The state has more than 21,000 cases and 846 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The mayor has been openly critical of Kemp’s decision to reopen citing the increasing number of cases in Atlanta alone.
“As a parent, I am concerned because what I know is that when I look at the data that we received from our public health department each day, our numbers are going up,” she toild reporters.
As a result of speaking out, someone responded to the mayor with a hateful message.
"With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you," Bottoms tweeted.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The content below contains racist language]
It’s unclear where the message came from, who the person is that sent it, or if there is an investigation of any type into the matter.
But there were dozens of messages of support for the mayor once she shared the text message on social media.
This is so disgusting, Mayor Bottoms,” one supporter tweeted. “Please know that we Atlantans truly appreciate and respect your leadership keeping us safe through this crisis.”
"You, and all of us as black Americans don't deserve that hatred. I am so sorry. Stay strong!” said another supporter.
After Kemp’s announcement, Bottoms pleaded with Atlanta residents to remain home and to continue following social distancing and hygiene guidelines already set by public health officials.
"More than 19,000 Georgians have tested positive for COVID-19 and the numbers continue to increase," she said in a statement. "It is the Governor’s prerogative to make this decision for the state, but I will continue to urge Atlanta to stay at home, stay safe and make decisions based on the best interests of their families."
Rapper Killer Mike is among those who are not following Kemp’s directive to reopen. His Atlanta Swag Shop barbershop chain will remain closed until the virus has cleared out, he says.
“Our first concern is the safety of our employees and the safety of our customers. We have an incentive to open, we could use that incentive, and we definitely wanna make money. [But] at this time, as a business, we aren’t comfortable opening. We’re gonna wait a while before we reopen,” he told TMZ.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Photo Creidt: Paras Griffin/Getty Images