Quinton Lucas, the Black mayor of Kansas City, has shared that he was told to “swing from a tree,” after announcing that masks would be required in the Missouri city. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the city is mandating the use of masks or face coverings in public, as of June 28, when six feet of separation isn’t possible.
On Twitter, Lucas shared screenshots of text messages he’d received, that included a racial slur, after making the announcement. “You walked with RIOTERS not wearing a mask idiot,” read a text from the screenshot Lucas shared. “You should swing from a tree, I’m not threatening it, but would love to see it.”
The mayor has played an active role in recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and joined those protesting the death of George Floyd. In early June, he walked side by side with protesters chanting, “No justice, no peace,” and kneeled with a crowd for a moment of silence.
Lucas did not share the name or number of the person who sent the text, and instead responded with a simple request via a tweet: “Let’s do better.”
The mayor also warned social media users that a widely circulated image appearing to show him holding up a shirt that reads “F-ck the Police” is fake. “To the many texting me aghast of fake photos circulating, I recommend you not believe everything a muckraker sends your way … and use some judgment,” he wrote on Twitter.
Amid nationwide spikes in coronavirus cases, masks have become increasingly politicized. However, as experts continue to recommend using face coverings to curb the spread of the virus, cities and businesses across the country have implemented guidelines that require people to wear masks.
“Wearing a mask or face covering can be uncomfortable, but this is a necessary step to ensure we can save lives and keep our economy open,” Lucas tweeted. “We wear masks to protect our loved ones, those around us, and their loved ones.” The mask mandate in Kansas City will remain in effect until at least July 12.