Editor’s note: This is the 13th part in Frontpage Mag’s series on Racist Mayors. (See previous parts below this article). Stay tuned for more installments.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms became the mayor of Atlanta by 759 votes by accusing her opponent of racism for exposing voter fraud.
Mary Norwood of Buckhead, who had lost the mayoral election against Bottoms’ corrupt predecessor, Mohammed Kasim Reed, by 714 votes, had described how Democrats steal elections by bringing in “thugs” and pay people to vote.
Bottoms claimed that the word “thugs” was racist.
Even after winning by a margin suspiciously similar to that of Reed, who had endorsed her, Bottoms went on complaining about racism, and claiming that being accused of corruption was racist and “it was still shocking to me in Atlanta. I thought that we were way beyond that”.
After George Floyd’s overdose death while in police custody, Bottoms showed up on Oprah and told the racist billionaire celebrity that, “My mother recently said to me that this America didn’t feel like 1965 to her. It felt like something before 1965.” A black mayor in a city with an uninterrupted string of them for generations was claiming that segregation was back.
When Rayshard Brooks, who had an extensive criminal record, was shot after struggling with police, Mayor Bottoms wasted no time with a press conference a few days later that falsely claimed, “we saw the murder of Rayshard Brooks” and cracked down on Atlanta police.
Bottoms played the race card, describing his death as “so personal to so many people of color.”
“That could have been any one of us,” the Atlanta politician, and daughter of the R&B singer behind “Monkey Time” who used to open for the Beatles, claimed. Keisha Lance Bottoms spent years growing up in England and then back home in upscale Collier Heights until her father, Major Lance, who had sold millions of records, got addicted to cocaine and wrecked the family.
The “us” rings hollow coming from the daughter of a superstar who had spent time studying at Cambridge University. Much as it did from Barack Obama and still does from Kamala Harris.
But when she was running for office, Bottoms hit Mary Norwood with an attack ad for not “immediately” agreeing that racial profiling existed, sneering, “Mary and I live very different lives” and falsely claiming that the police were endangering the lives of her three sons.
“I live in southwest Atlanta,” Bottoms declared, neglecting to mention that she lives in a massive 5,000 square foot mansion in a neighborhood described by real estate agents as “upscale” and “prestigious” that’s a far cry from the modest rundown home of her grandparents where she stages interviews to act like she can relate to her poor black constituents. .
While Bottoms enjoys her mansion, she’s pushing for an end to single-family zoning.
The Democrat campaign to urbanize Atlanta suburbs and other suburbs across the country is meant to shatter middle class communities transforming homeowners into renters. That won’t affect Bottoms’ mansion, but it’s another reason why Buckhead is fighting to escape Atlanta.
Destroying Atlanta’s black and white middle class by eliminating homeowners would kill what’s left of the city’s civic culture and allow the Democrats a tighter grip on power. Even as they are finishing up destroying the cities, the Democrats are moving to wreck the suburbs.
Mayor Bottoms has overseen another burning of Atlanta while hiding behind racism smears. Atlanta’s new mayor, like other inauthentic Democrat elites, is adept at playing the race card.
The death of Brooks led to another in a series of BLM riots and the site of the Wendy’s became the epicenter of a lawless zone occupied by criminals. BLM barricades were used to confront drivers who faced a choice between being terrorized or driving through the mob.
Those who drove through the mob went to jail.
In one of the cars was an 8-year-old girl named Secoriea Turner. As the car tried to turn around, the men at the BLM barricades opened fire killing the little girl.
“They say Black Lives Matter. You killed your own this time,” Secoriea’s father said. “You killed my baby because she crossed a barrier and made a U-turn? She’s a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.”
It was July 4th. That weekend, 31 people were shot in Atlanta. The violence was so extreme that Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency and sent out the Georgia National Guard.
The lawyer for Julian Conley, one of the alleged gunmen, claimed that he was just “peacefully protesting”.
Secoriea’s family sued Mayor Bottoms, along with other city officials, for having “negligently performed their ministerial duties relating to the protection of the public’s health and safety, by omitting to act and clear the area of the barricade and the violent armed civilians that surrounded it.” The officer wrongly fired over Brooks’ death also sued Bottoms.
Bottoms began her rise through the political ranks as a speechwriter for Attorney General Thurbert Baker. The first black Democrat AG in the state, despite having a partisan agenda on ObamaCare and redistricting, was popular because he was tough on crime. Three strikes weren’t good enough for Baker: he championed “Two Strikes and You’re Out”, electrocuting criminals, and advocated abolishing parole. Bottoms however championed criminals.
When Black Lives Matter racists took to the street demanding police defunding, Bottoms claimed that she had already been defunding the police for years. Atlanta jail’s was going to be shut down and turned into a community center. Police defunding, like all pro-crime policies, always gets results and it was no different in Atlanta where murders shot up 60%.
After the BLM riots, the chances of being murdered in Chicago and Atlanta were the same.
Shootings went up 51%, while rapes and aggravated assaults rose by double digits after arrests dropped by over 40%. As the violence spun out of control, the suburb of Buckhead announced that it was planning to secede from a city that was hitting rock bottom under Mayor Bottoms.
As Atlanta burned, Bottoms reversed course from talking police defunding to hiring 250 more cops. Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who is black, blamed Bottoms for anti-police moves. “Everybody watches the news and that includes the criminals. So if they know Atlanta is perceived to be soft on crime, they are going to come to Atlanta to cut up.”
And Mayor Bottoms decided to blame Gov. Kemp and Republicans for reopening the state along with “systemic issues of gun violence” and people with “mental illness” buying guns.
It was the latest in a series of desperate excuses in which Bottoms tried to blame everyone else.
The same gun laws, a typical Bottoms excuse, were there in 2019. And Atlanta’s crime wave began with the BLM riots, not with the reopening of the state. Secoriea Turner, as her family’s lawsuit testifies, was not murdered because of mental illness or gun laws, but because Bottoms turned over Atlanta to criminals in the hopes of moving up the political ladder of the Democrats.
Her hopes have been dashed.
Once touted as a potential Veep pick for Biden, Bottoms is not even running for reelection. But Kasim Reed, her predecessor, is thinking of making a comeback.
As Buckhead, the home of Mary Norwood, ponders secession, it may become impossible for anyone except the same old mafia to win Atlanta. But Norwood’s narrow losses and the allegations of corruption will make it just as urgent for Bottoms’ successor to cry racism.
Bottoms ran a racially charged campaign to dissuade black voters, some of whom were thinking of voting for Norwood. Before the election, voters across Atlanta received a call telling them, “Keep Atlanta black. Vote Keisha Lance Bottoms.” Bottoms denied any involvement.
Growing up, Bottoms described a world in which she believed that there were no white people in America. One magazine article described her surprise “as a preschooler at seeing a white woman working at a grocery store. Up to then, she’d thought only black people lived in the United States. England was for whites.” It’s doubtful that Bottoms experienced much racism, but playing the race card to distract from her privilege has been her only political gambit.
In the previous election, a black strategist described black voters saying, “‘What the [heck] has a black mayor done for me?’ They are the ones saying, ‘Let’s give white folks a chance.’”
Any Democrat candidate who succeeds Bottoms will have to race bait even harder. And hope that black voters put racism ahead of the violence in the streets and the poverty in their homes.
Previous Parts of the Series:
Part I: Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot.
Part 2: LA’s Eric Garcetti.
Part 3: DC’s Muriel Bowser.
Part 4: KC’s Quinton Lucas.
Part 5: SF’s London Breed.
Part 6: Philly’s Jim Kenney.
Part 7: St. Louis’ Tishaura Jones.
Part 8: Jackson’s Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
Part 9: Seattle’s Jenny Durkan.
Part 10: Minneapolis’s Jacob Frey.
Part 11: Charlottesville’s Nikuyah Walker.
Part 12: Portland’s Ted Wheeler.
Part 14: NYC’s Bill de Blasio.