And Then He Sued Me...
As if Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms hasn't had enough tsuris in her first term as mayor of Atlanta, now Georgia's Republican governor Brian "Defender of the White Majority" Kemp is suing her for requiring folks in Atlanta to wear face masks.
The conflict was precipitated by none other than Donald Trump, who touched down in Atlanta on Wednesday. Atlanta requires face masks. Trump was not wearing a mask.
Bottoms told CNN that Trump "did violate the law" by refusing to wear a mask at the city-operated Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
Within hours, Kemp signed an order forbidding municipal authorities to require face masks. Bottoms refused to rescind face mask orders.
A day later, Kemp sued Bottoms and other city officials.
For what? Trying to stop people from dying?
Keisha Lance Bottoms real sin was implicitly criticizing Donald Trump, needless to say. Kemp seized the opportunity to prove his loyalty.
Of course, Bottoms is being considered as a vice presidential candidate by Democratic nominee Joe Biden. So Kemp got a twofer.
Bottoms didn't back down. After the suit was filed, she affirmed her belief that the city has a right to require masks on its own property--like the airport. She noted that Kemp had not challenged the city's rule until Trump's visit. And she tweeted:
Kemp's ban on mandating masks, which affects at least 15 local governments, came on the same day that Georgia set a new daily record with with almost 2,800 people hospitalized with COVID-19.
Historical note: Kemp is the man who refused to resign as Georgia's secretary of state while running for governor, which meant he was overseeing the election. He narrowly beat lawyer and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams.
Before, during, and after the election, there were numerous complaints of voter suppression.
"The Supreme Court all but guaranteed that nearly 1 million Floridians will be unable to vote in the 2020 election because of unpaid court debts in a shattering order handed down on Thursday. Its decision will throw Florida’s voter registration into chaos, placing a huge number of would-be voters in legal limbo and even opening them up to prosecution for casting a ballot. The justices have effectively permitted Florida Republicans to impose a poll tax in November."
While Republican governors in the virus-ridden states of Florida, Arizona, and Texas are all refusing to require masks in obvious attempts to curry favor with the president, Kemp has distinguished himself. In his attempt to toady to Trump, he is not only failing to protect the people he has pledged to serve, but attempting to stop others from doing so.
As Mikal Gilmore described in these pages, what's happening in America now goes beyond someone pitching a fit at Costco. People are exhibiting a "desire not only to offend the people who are trying to do the right thing but to jeopardize or terrorize them. An increasing number of health officials have been resigning lately because of threats on their lives. People whose work is to save lives are afraid for their own lives."
For many of us, it's a frightening situation. But Brian Kemp may have picked the wrong person to bully.
"I am not afraid of the city being sued, and I will put our policies up against anyone's — any day of the week," Bottoms told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
-- The Editors
Sue Me Sue You Blues ::: George Harrison
Oh, Atlanta! ::: Little Feat
Georgia Skin Game ::: Bukka White
Georgia On My Mind ::: Ray Charles
A Rainy Night In Georgia ::: Tony Joe White
Atlanta Blues ::: Louis Armstrong
Atlanta Bound ::: Gene Autry
Atlanta Strut ::: Blind Willie McTell
The Crystals :: And Then He Kissed Me