Not everyone is happy with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after she endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden instead of one of two Black Democrats vying for the presidency.
Many of the rumblings came via Twitter where Atlanta wrestler King Jeter posted on Sunday that Bottoms betrayed the city that backed her.
“The ATL supported #KeishaLanceBottoms and she betrayed them and supports Bigot Biden. Lol. Not shocked either. She just another black skinned politician without a actual soul. Her soul power sitting in the back of the bus for $$$”
Another Twitter user responded similarly to Bottoms’ endorsement of Biden in a post on Friday.
“She endorses him, the city of Atlanta does NOT,” Shawnta L.C. said.
Another user joked, recalling the drubbing Bottoms received after she shared photos of her now infamous macaroni and cheese over the holidays last year.
“If y’all had seen the way she cooked her macaroni & cheese during the holiday season y’all would know this was coming.”
South Carolina state Rep. John King, a Morehouse College graduate, told Atlanta Black Star on Monday that he is particularly interested in what happens in Atlanta because he has many friends and family here.
“Beyond that, the city of Atlanta has special significance as a center of African-American history and culture,” King said in an emailed statement. “So the mayor of Atlanta has a leadership role in the black community beyond the city itself.
King, who’s endorsing Sen. Cory Booker, said it’s critical Black leaders support Booker or Sen. Kamala Harris, who are the only Black Democratic candidates running so far.
“Black voters elected Barack Obama in 2008, Black voters elected Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Black voters will elect our nominee in 2020,” King said.
King also weighed in on the controversy on Twitter.
“We cannot campaign by asking for black votes, only to abandon black candidates,” King said.
Bottoms shocked political leaders and city residents alike Friday when she announced her endorsement among a field of 20 Democratic politicians seeking the nation’s top spot.
Although she hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment from Atlanta Black Star, she told The Associated Press she’s backing Biden because she believes he’s most qualified to beat President Donald Trump.
“For me, it was most important that we have a president who doesn’t have to walk in the door and figure out where the light switch is, that we have somebody who can lead on Day One,” she said.
Bottoms isn’t the only Black elected official endorsing Biden. He’s leading the field of Congressional Black Caucus endorsements, according to several media reports.
Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, announced in May that he would serve as Biden’s campaign co-chairman.
“I am honored to have been named to a major leadership role in Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s presidential campaign,” Richmond said on Twitter.
Biden has faced criticism for his work with segregationists to oppose federal school desegregation efforts and for his treatment of attorney Anita Hill when she testified in 1991 confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that he sexually harassed her.
Although Biden has since taken responsibility for how Hill was treated, he defended his work with segregationist during the Democratic presidential debate last Thursday.
He said he felt local governments should have handled busing decisions and not the federal government.
“I did not praise racists. That is not true, No. 1,” Biden said during the debate. “No. 2 if we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that. I was a public defender. I didn’t become a prosecutor.”
Bottoms told The Associated Press she felt the issue of Biden’s work with segregationists was blown out of proportion. She cited civil rights icon and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis‘ stance, which he shared with reporters earlier this month.
“During the height of the civil rights movement we worked with people and got to know people that were members of the [Ku Klux Klan], people who opposed us, even people who beat us, arrested us and jailed us,” Lewis said.
Bottoms had this to say in The Associated Press about the issue:
“My position is, if his explanation was good enough for John Lewis, then it’s good enough for me.”
She went on to say:
“In 2016, we had a candidate who went limping into the general election. That would be catastrophic for Democrats to do that going into 2020.”