Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms received a racist text message after she expressed her concerns over Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to allow some non-essential businesses to reopen starting Friday, April 24.
Bottoms shared a picture of the message in a tweet on the night of Wednesday, April 22.
“N—-r just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!” the message read.
“With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you,” Bottoms wrote before she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The mayor has been a vocal critic of Kemp’s decision to allow some non-essential businesses to resume operations on Friday, April 24 after being shut down just nearly two weeks prior due to coronavirus precautions. Bottoms’ critique has become more pointed as time passes.
“Our numbers are not going down. And simply because we have hospital beds available doesn’t mean that we should work to fill them up,” she said during an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. “I am asking people to please stay home. Avail yourself of the services that we have through the city, whether it’s through our food program, or our small business loan program.”
She added, “We need to, as government leaders, step up and give people an incentive to stay home. But there’s nothing essential about going to a bowling alley in the middle of a pandemic.”
To the surprise of many, on Wednesday, April 22, President Donald Trump also derided Kemp’s decision.
“I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the Phase I guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia,” Trump said during a press briefing.
“At the same time, he must do what he thinks is right,” Trump added. “But I disagree with him on what he’s doing.”
Previously, Kemp responded to Bottoms and his other detractors during an appearance on Fox News. He claimed the changes will be gradual.
“We took measured steps to get to the shelter in place, and now we’re taking measured steps to come out of that,” said Kemp. “This is not a giant leap forward.”
The former Georgia Secretary of State believes he’s stuck in the middle of a difficult situation.
“It’s a tough balance. I understand where folks like the mayor and others may agree or disagree. I have some people protesting me because I took this step, and I may have others that protest me because I didn’t go far enough,” he said.
Still, Kemp stands firm in his decision and expressed concern for Georgia’s business owners.
“If people don’t want to open the gym, they don’t have to. But when you close somebody’s business down and take their livelihoods, he continued, “I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
The latest numbers as of the afternoon of Thursday, April 23 showed that more than 21,500 Georgia residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 872 have died.