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'You Should Swing From A Tree': Kansas City Mayor Shares Racist Death Threat He Received After Issuing Mask Order
Mayor Quinton Lucas's order, which went into effect Monday, requires Kansas City residents to wear a mask when in public spaces.
The mayor of Kansas City, Missouri has received a death threat and racist text messages after issuing an order requiring residents to wear a mask while out in public, he shared on social media.
Mayor Quinton Lucas took to Twitter on Monday to share the vitriol he received from a stranger. He also took time to debunk rumors that have been spread about him.
In one post, Lucas, who is Black, showed screenshots of a series of text messages he received from an unnamed person who called him a racial slur and said that he should "swing from a tree."
“Add to this the racial slur and subtle death threat I received yesterday about requiring masks, and it’s like, y’all... let’s do better,” Lucas wrote alongside the photo after calling out people for sharing doctored photos of him.
The order, which went into effect Monday, requires residents to wear a mask or equivalent facial covering when they are in shared public spaces, The Kansas City Star reported. The rule will be in effect for two weeks, but children under the age of two and individuals with certain disabilities or breathing problems will be exempt.
Residents are also not required to wear masks while eating and drinking, so long as they are practicing social distancing. Additionally, business owners have been instructed to refuse service to anyone not adhering to mask guidelines.
The ruling comes after the Kansas City metro area saw a record increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in a single day — more than 200 — on Thursday, according to The Star. During Friday’s press conference, the mayor described the order as being needed for “keeping people safe and hopefully saving lives.”
In a screenshot of the vitriolic message Lucas received, the anonymous sender accused Lucas of failing to wear a mask while “[walking] with RIOTERS” and complained that he allegedly does not “[respond] to whites.” He went on to suggest that the mayor should be lynched.
“You should swing from a tree, I’m not threatening it, but would love to see it,” the message read.
Lucas called the message a “downside to giving your cell number to everyone.” In another tweet responding to a reporter asking how often he receives those types of messages, the mayor stated that such racist attacks are rare.
“Negative has increased dramatically since COVID began and has continued through protest movement and now is pretty regular from different extremes,” he explained. “Actual racial slurs and threats are infrequent. General antisocial commentary is typical now. I figure it’ll continue for a while.”
Prior to sharing the death threat, Lucas called out altered photos of himself that had been posted on social media. One image showed him posing with another man and holding up a shirt that allegedly read “F--k the police,” while the man next to him held a shirt reading “Black Lives Matter.”
In the unedited photo that Lucas shared alongside the doctored pic for clarification, the mayor and the other person were actually holding up T-shirts advertising a local radio station Lucas had been visiting.
Lucas has stood by the mask order on social media, explaining in a tweet that the mask rule applies to “indoor establishments where you’re not keeping six feet of social distance.”
“Not that hard of a rule to roll with,” Lucas continued. “We just want to keep you and all around you safe.”