Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is letting some businesses reopen in his state on Friday (April 24) despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But one business owner who won’t be opening his doors is Killer Mike.
The Run The Jewels MC, who owns The Swag Shop with his wife Shay Render, told TMZ his Atlanta area barbershops will remain closed. Mike said he’s unwilling to jeopardize the health of his barbers and customers.
“Our first concern is the safety of our employees and the safety of our customers,” he explained. “And we have an incentive to open, we could use that incentive, and we definitely wanna make money. [But] at this time, as a business, we aren’t comfortable opening. We’re gonna wait a while before we reopen.”
Mike’s decision echoes the sentiments of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms, who voiced her concerns with Governor Kemp’s plan to reopen Georgia in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“My mom owned a hair salon for over 25 years, so I understand the economic pull of this,” she said. “This would have been devastating to my family for her to have to shut down her business for weeks on end. But you have to live to be able to fight another day … If we’re not alive on the other side, then there won’t be a recovery to be had … I don’t know how you get a haircut and keep a safe distance from someone cutting your bangs?”
While speaking to TMZ, Mike also addressed COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on black Americans and emphasized his reasoning for waiting it out “like the old people in the south say.”
“As a citizen in the community where people look like me, I’m choosing to stay closed because I don’t want to endanger [anybody],” he noted. “And a lot of times, politicians have different views of things. I think governors and mayors should all get on the phone together because as your constituents, we need you to do that.”
The Dungeon Family member closed out the interview with a message to his fellow Americans, stressing the importance of individual responsibility.
Listen to everything Mike had to say above.