By Tia’Lavon Hill, Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local
As if we all aren’t stressed out enough about the Covid-19 crisis, the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia has to add death threats to her list of concerns. On Wednesday night at 10 p.m. according to the time stamp, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms received a disturbing text message.
This comes after she voiced concerns about Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen the state, during the coronavirus pandemic. The governor did not communicate with Bottoms about his decision to reopen, a move she called “premature.” Via Twitter, Mayor Bottoms posted a screenshot of the 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!”
“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.” According to FOX 5, the text message appear to come from ReOpen GA, however that is false.
A representative of the ReOpen GA leadership team condemned the racist message and released this statement to FOX 5:
“We do not have a Georgia.gov email address, either. This comment is mostly likely from a troll trying to tar our group, but even if not, the person absolutely does not speak on our behalf. The leadership team universally condemns racism and hate speech. We actively work to limit even divisive political speech, as ours is a diverse movement that encompasses Georgians of every type.”
Bottoms isn’t the only person upset with Governor Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses such as beauty salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors. Concerns have also been raised by, Stacey Abrams, who is the state’s former gubernatorial candidate and President Trump.
At his daily briefing on Wednesday Trump said, “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.” Even some of Georgia’s very own residents have expressed their own concerns via social media, about reopening the state during this critical time.
The Atlanta rap community has been responding to this decision as well, with T.I. taking to Instagram to share his thoughts on Gov. Kemp’s decision, saying “I see an agenda, ya dig. And I’m sure everyone can see it, it ain’t subtle, it ain’t sophisticated, it’s not no mind-manipulated warcraft. It’s real simple.”
Other ATL artists like Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris also chimed in about not wanting Georgia to reopen because of the risk it puts on black communities there “What I want you to understand is they expecting us to die. We don’t have to go that way,” Dupri told TMZ in a video interview.
Dupri was emphatic about the effects that COVID-19 has had on the black community and that Georgia ranks last in testing for the virus. Since sharing the photo, Mayor Bottoms’ tweet has received thousands of comments with many followers offering support for Atlanta’s mayor.
“This is so disgusting, Mayor Bottoms,” Twitter user @methanoJen said. “Please know that we Atlantans truly appreciate and respect your leadership keeping us safe through this crisis. According to the state’s Department of Public Health in Georgia, over 21,000 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus and 872 have died.