If there’s one thing that the coronavirus has exposed, it’s the racist reactions coming from Americans who feel that their civil liberties are being infringed upon by certain social guidelines. That truth was on stunning display Monday in Kansas City, Missouri, after the mayor there revealed a series of racist text messages he received after issuing an order for everybody within city limits to wear a mask or face covering while out in public.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, who is Black, tweeted screenshots of the correspondence from an apparent constituent who not only called him the N-word but also said he “should swing from a tree.” The person who sent it seemed to be fooled by some amateur photoshopping work that falsely purported to show Lucas promoting anti-police sentiment which, coupled with the order about wearing masks in public, resulted in a “racial slur and subtle death threat” in a text message to the mayor, Lucas tweeted on Monday.
Lucas accompanied the tweet with two photos of him smiling while standing next to another Black man at a local radio station. The first photo showed Lucas and the other man holding up t-shirts with the radio station’s name on them. That was side-by-side with the same image that was photoshopped to show Lucas holding a t-shirt that said “F*ck The Police” and the other man displaying a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt.
The text messages Lucas got said the mayor had “disrespected” the white cops and that he was going “to post these messages so everyone can see you don’t respond to whites.” After asking about any consequences for not wearing masks in public, the person who sent the texts leaned in on his racism.
“You are such a piece of sh*t n*gger!” the text message said before adding later on for emphasis: “You should swing from a tree.”
See Lucas’ tweet below.
The exchange was reminiscent of a racist text message that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms received after she delayed the re-opening of Atlanta over concerns about COVID-19. The brief text message sent in April said, “N*gger, just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 has sickened more than 2.6 Americans and killed more than 128,000.
Lucas is no stranger to racism. It was only in March when he was turned away from casting ballots in Missouri’s primary election in an instance of alleged racist voter suppression. He tweeted at the time that a pool worker told him he “wasn’t in the system.”
He later tweeted that day that his experience at the polls as “not okay.”
Lucas’ order for mandatory face masks worn in public came as some states were seeing a surge in coronavirus cases in an indication that the public health battle being waged by America was not close to ending anytime soon.