Illustration for article titled Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Got a Racist Text Just Because She Doesnt Want More Georgians Dying From COVID-19
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images)

It doesn’t take much for black people to prompt attacks by racists. All Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wants is to keep her citizens safe during an ongoing global pandemic. That’s it. She decided it was better that the people of Atlanta stay as healthy as possible rather than risk lives in an effort to save Georgia’s economy, which is why she publicly criticized Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reopen non-essential businesses in Georgia. For that, she was told “Shut up, nigger” by an angry anonymous texter.

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On Wednesday, Bottoms tweeted a screenshot of a text that read, “Nigger, just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!” She included a caption with the tweet that read “With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you.” The caption included a paraphrased quote from Martin Luther King’s “Letter From Birmingham’s Jail” in which he said, “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

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“It doesn’t frighten me, but it saddened me that in 2020 this is what we’re still facing in America,” Bottoms told MSNBC.

On Monday, Kemp announced plans to start reopening businesses that were shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak such as gyms, movie theaters, barbershops and nail salons. Bottoms said in an interview that she had no idea that he was going to make his announcement and she expressed concerns that the decision was premature because, according to her information, COVID-19 cases were on the rise in Georgia. In an interview with CNN, she said, “I have searched my head and my heart on this and I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on.”

She said she is considering legal options for Atlanta, which she said is “not out of the woods yet.”

“You have to live to fight another day. And you have to be able to be amongst the living to be able to recover,” she said.

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According to CNN, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is investigating the text. Carr said he was very concerned about the “hateful message” and requested his office “immediately investigate” to ensure it wasn’t sent from a state employee.

Bottoms told CNN that she would not be intimidated and that she would not stop speaking up.

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“We are not cowards. Cowards don’t run for office,” she said.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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