Mayor against reopening state receives racist message

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says the governor's order to reopen is "premature."

April 23, 2020, 6:00 PM

The mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, received a disturbing text message on Wednesday night after voicing concerns over Gov. Brian Kemp's call to reopen the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms posted on Twitter a screenshot of a text message she received from an anonymous sender.

"FRM:ReOpen@Georgia.gov," was on the first line of the 10 p.m. text. In the second line, it addressed the recipient as the n-word, and read "just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!"

PHOTO: In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during the Super Bowl LIII Atlanta Host Committee Press Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks during the Super Bowl LIII Atlanta Host Committee Press Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Newscom, FILE

"With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you," wrote Bottoms who ended the post with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance."

Kemp's decision to allow beauty salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors to reopen has raised concerns from Bottoms, Stacey Abrams, who is the state's former gubernatorial candidate and President Trump.

"I told Georgia's governor Kemp that I strongly disagree with his decision to open certain facilitates which are in violation of phase one of the guidelines ... but at the same time he has to do what he thinks is right," Trump said at his daily briefing on Wednesday.

Phase one of the president's three steps to reopen the country as the coronavirus curve continues to flatten in various states, calls for continued social distancing.

The governor did not communicate with Bottoms about his decision to reopen, a move she called "premature."

In Georgia, over 21,000 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus and 872 have died, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

PHOTO: In this Aug. 23, 2019, file photo, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the 10th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival  Women Superstars Luncheon in Atlanta.
In this Aug. 23, 2019, file photo, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the 10th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival Women Superstars Luncheon in Atlanta.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images, FILE

Request for comment from Bottoms about the racist text message was not returned.

However, Bottoms posted a photograph on Thursday of a coffee mug with a quote from civil rights activists Audre Lorde as her "Morning Motivation."

"I am deliberate and afraid of nothing," Bottoms posted on Twitter.

Women of color in leadership positions including Massachusetts councilwoman Julia Mejia and Baltimore City's State Attorney Marilyn Mosby have taken to social media recently to expose anonymous racist messages they've received.

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