*An investigation has been launched into a racist text to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over her response to the governor’s plan to reopen the state last week.
Bottoms received the hateful message late Wednesday (April 22), after she called out Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to allow some businesses to resume operations amid the COVID-19 crisis. He earlier shut down all non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of the deadly contagion.
The mayor was targeted because she disagrees with the reopening, and the racist text message, which referred to her as the N-word, was allegedly sent to her phone from a state government email account, per BET.com.
State Attorney General Chris Carr has ordered his office to investigate after being urged to do so by Georgia Democratic legislators, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“Though it is unlikely this came from a sanctioned georgia.gov account, we request that your office immediately investigate to make sure that a State employee did not send this text message,” the lawmakers wrote. “In the more likely event that this text came from a spoof account purporting to be from a georgia.gov email address, we also request that your office investigate and determine the culprits behind this intimidating message.”
OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Trevor Noah Calls on States to Form ‘Pacts’ to Decide When to Re-Open U.S. [VIDEO]
With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you.
“Conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr. pic.twitter.com/dOimv9sdN3
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) April 23, 2020
Bottoms on Wednesday tweeted that she received the racist text to her personal cellphone telling her “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,” Bottoms tweeted. Her message also included a quote from Martin Luther King. Jr. noting that nothing is more dangerous than “conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance.”
In an interview with BET.com, Bottoms said many in Atlanta support her side-eyeing Kemp’s plan to reopen the state.
“Overwhelmingly, what I’m hearing is that people think it’s a terrible idea,” Bottoms said. “People are confused. They don’t understand and [are] asking, ‘Is it safe to go back?’ I’ve heard restaurant owners say that they will not reopen because it will be more devastating to their business to reopen and then to shut down again. They’re not going to put their people at risk. I’ve also seen people who have said, ‘I don’t have a choice… I gotta go back to work.’ So that’s heartbreaking when you see that because you see the fear in their eyes.”
Bottoms will reportedly cooperate with the “TEXTgate” investigation and aid Carr in seeking subpoenas to “unmask the individuals responsible for this.”
Bottoms told Atlanta City Council members that her 12-year-old son had also received the text.
“I will continue to use my voice to speak on behalf of our community,” she said on Thursday during a conference call, noting that racists will not bully her into silence.