Atlanta Mayor: I Received Racist Text Because Trump Gave ‘Permission to This Type of Behavior’

Friday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms addressed the claim both her and her 12-year-old son received a racist text calling her the n-word and stating, “Just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!”

Host Andrea Mitchell asked, “I want to ask you about the racist text you and your 12-year-old son received, by your attempt to protect Atlantans’ health. Tell me how that affected you and your family.”

Lance Bottoms said, “It saddened me. It doesn’t frighten me, but it saddened me that in 2020 this is what we’re still facing in America. The difference between what I received and things that perhaps happened in the 1960s is there was very different leadership in the White House that did not speak in xenophobic terms and didn’t, in so many ways, give permission to this type of behavior. So far, in our household, it was a teachable moment. I think it really speaks to the larger discussion that we still continue to need to have in America about race.”

Mitchell pressed, “Well, for our viewers as well, how did you handle this? How was it a teachable moment for your 12-year-old, for your younger child as well?”

Lance Bottoms responded, “Well, my 9-year-old daughter was looking over my shoulder when I received it, so she was literally shocked at the same moment that I was. But just in our house listening to my high school senior share with a sixth-grader he’s been called the n-word more times than he can count was surprising to me but also heartbreaking to me. For us, it really just was a discussion about ignorance. I reached out to Ambassador Andrew Young, who also served as mayor to Atlanta. I said to him, I just need some fatherly advice, how do I handle this with my children? What he reminded me is that racism is an illness, and for many generations, Atlanta has been a city that we called ourselves too busy to hate. But clearly, there’s hatred that is still throughout America, and as the mayor of Atlanta, I’m not immune to it, and neither are my children.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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