A Black man was fired for simply expressing his demand to live. The incident has gone viral on Twitter.
On June 9, Denzel Skinner, who is African American, lost his job at Taco Bell because he was wearing a mask that read "Black Lives Matter." His manager claimed that the mask was political, and therefore, could not be worn at the franchise. The former employee uploaded a live video to Facebook following his termination, venting out his frustration and anger. When a Black man asks for his life to matter, it is apparently "political." Eventually, his Facebook video was posted to Twitter, where it went viral. Rapper and comedian Elijah Daniel called out the fast-food company for their hypocritical practices.
By the way, this man’s name is Denzel Skinner, his mask did not violate their policy, and he was fired from the Taco Bell in Youngstown, OH.— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 18, 2020
His original post: https://t.co/xLc4scNLdC?
In the video in question, Skinner is seen arguing with his manager, who is off-screen. His manager claims that masks with “political” messaging were against company policy. "You just arguing with me because I got a Black Lives Matter on,” Skinner retorts. “You just told me I had to go home because-" Cutting him off, his manager states, "You told me you weren’t gonna take it off." The employee vehemently refuses, claiming that was fighting for what was right. He explains that a third-party had informed him that he could wear whatever kind of mask was available, but the manager disagrees.
Taco Bell manager firing an employee for supporting BLM :/ #RIPTacoBell pic.twitter.com/pFd6Wn4u2f— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 18, 2020
"She said it had to be plain," the manager says. "You can’t bring politics into the building." Skinner simply asks how his choice of mask was political when this was simply what he was standing for; there were no parties or government officials mentioned on the mask. When Daniel spotted the video, he knew something had to be done. Therefore, he shared the clip and tagged Taco Bell. "Comments?" He asked in his tweet. Later on, the comedian also found screenshots displaying announcements from Taco Bell management with regard to the policy on masks. There was no mention of the appearance of or messaging printed on masks.
Proof his mask was not against policy, since MAGA idiots can not read my previous tweet. pic.twitter.com/yzZWNTBj1O— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 18, 2020
At present, the manager has continued to argue that the mask was political. Meanwhile, Skinner remains fired. He has since set up a GoFundMe account in order to help him tide over this period until he is able to find another job. He wrote on his fundraiser page, "I was fired for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask... I am asking for donations to help me pay bills and provide for my family... Anything will definitely help and I really appreciate it." The former Taco Bell employee has been able to manage just over $1,500 of his $7,000 as of early morning Friday.
Denzel’s official GoFundMe & Cashapp: https://t.co/B26vYXEhE2 pic.twitter.com/6yqH7ZQatF— elijah daniel (@elijahdaniel) June 19, 2020
On Twitter, folks got into keyboard arguments, with many claiming that Skinner had done no wrong. One asked, "I LOVE how people say basic human rights are politics. Do they still think of us as 3/5s of a human?" Another affirmed, "IT IS NOT POLITICAL TO WANT PEOPLE TO LIVE." One user, trying to point out Taco Bell's hypocrisy, shared a tweet that the company had posted when the Black Lives Matter protests first erupted across the country. Nonetheless, there were several people who took the side of corporate America, claiming that the employee should have simply followed orders. We must ask ourselves, however, if a Black man begging for his right to live is political at all.
And for anyone saying it’s political...he is a black man wearing a black lives matter mask. He is talking about his own life, call it political if you want. I’ll call it a proclamation— Chicago Event Pro (@EventProChicago) June 18, 2020