Trump reschedules his comeback-MAGA rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth

Donald Trump DELAYS his MAGA comeback rally in Tulsa from Juneteenth to June 20 out of ‘respect’ following huge backlash over his decision to host first post-COVID campaign event at site of 1921 race massacre

  • Trump said on Friday that he would push back the date of the rally one day
  • He had faced backlash for scheduling the event on Juneteenth in Tulsa
  • June 19 is commemorated as the day the last US slaves learned of their freedom
  • Tulsa was the site of the nation’s deadliest race riots in 1921
  • Trump said his black friends and supporters had advised him to change the date 

President Donald Trump has said that he will delay until June 20 his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that had been planned for June 19, the holiday known as Juneteenth.

Trump had faced massive backlash from his critics over the timing and location of the rally, originally planned for a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in America, in a city where an infamous race massacre took place. 

‘We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday,’ Trump tweeted on Friday night. 

‘Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,’ he continued. 

‘I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests. We have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!’ Trump said. 

President Donald Trump has said that he will reschedule his rally that had been planned for June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Earlier in the day, Fox News aired an interview in which Trump defended holding his first campaign rally since the COVID-19 shutdowns on Juneteenth in Tulsa. 

‘Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration,’ the president told host Harris Faulkner. ‘In the history of politics, I think I can say there’s never been any group or any person that’s had rallies like I do.’ 

Faulkner, who is black, had asked Trump if he had selected the date and the location ‘on purpose,’ as both have meaning to black Americans – while Oklahoma isn’t a swing state. 

The date is significant because it’s Juneteenth, which marks the day the last slaves were informed of their freedom thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The city is significant because Tulsa was where one of the most violent racial episodes in U.S. history occurred 99 years ago. 

To Faulkner’s question Trump answered, ‘No, but I know exactly what you’re going to say.’ 

‘Well, I’m just asking. I’ve not got anything to say,’ Faulkner replied. 

People searching through rubble after the Tulsa Race Massacre, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1921

During the riot, 35 city blocks were completely destroyed and 10,000 were left homeless

A number of black leaders had chewed into Trump for the rally’s date and locale. 

‘This isn’t just a wink to white supremacists – he’s throwing them a welcome home party,’ Sen. Kamala Harris said in reaction to the rally plans, according to the Associated Press. Harris, a California Democrat, is a vice presidential contender. 

Sherry Gamble Smith, the president of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, named after the Greenwood neighborhood that was attacked, said, ‘Tulsa is outraged.’ 

‘To choose the date, to come to Tulsa, is totally disrespectful and a slap in the face to ever happen,’ Gamble Smith told the AP. She suggested at the least the Trump campaign should ‘change it to Saturday the 20th.’ 

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, white residents attacked and killed black residents in the Greenwood district of Tulsa that was referred to at the time as ‘Black Wall Street.’ 

The attack, carried out on the ground and from private aircraft, destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the district, which at that time was the wealthiest black community in the US. 

The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 36 dead although some estimates stretch to 300.  

Younger audiences learned this piece of horrific American history last year when it was depicted on the HBO show ‘Watchmen.’ 

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery. Although slavery was already abolished more than two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation, it continued in some areas.

Nike, NFL and Twitter will honor Juneteenth this year 

Nike, the NFL, Twitter and other groups and companies will honor Juneteenth this year by giving employees the day off, after the holiday gained prominence amid George Floyd protests.

The holiday set for each June 19 marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Texas with the message that the Civil War was over and slavery ended.

President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect at the start of 1863.

The arrival of Union troops in Texas provided needed strength to overcome resistance there to freeing slaves.

Texans began celebrating the day a year later with parades and parties. It´s not a federal holiday, but most states observe it in some way, except three: Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to a list compiled by the Congressional Research Service.

Businesses have been forced to re-examine their policies after pressure from employees and ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed black man´s neck for several minutes, even after he pleaded for air.

Some businesses have professed support for the Black Lives Matter movement or pledged to donate money to organizations. Others have promised to hire more black workers or make other policy changes.

This week, Nike CEO John Donahoe told workers they would get Juneteenth off starting this year as a way to celebrate black culture and history.

‘Our expectation is that each of us use this time to continue to educate ourselves and challenge our perspectives and learn,’ Donahoe wrote in a memo. ‘I know that is what I intend to do.’

NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell, who last week said that the league was wrong to not listen to football players who have protested police brutality on the field since 2016, wrote in a note Friday that its offices would be closed June 19.

‘The power of this historical feat in our country´s blemished history is felt each year,’ Goodell wrote in a memo. ‘But there is no question that the magnitude of this event weighs even more heavily today in the current climate.’

After getting feedback from black employees, The New York Times said it would give employees an additional day off and encouraged them to use it on June 19.

Earlier this week, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that U.S. employees would have Juneteenth off ‘forevermore’ as a day for ‘celebration, education, and connection.’ Dorsey said employees at Square, the mobile payments services company he also runs, would get the day off, too.

THE 1921 TULSA RACE RIOT: AN ATTACK ON GREENWOOD

After World War I, Tulsa was recognized for its affluent African-American community known as the Greenwood District. 

The community was often referred to as the ‘Black Wall Street’ because of its thriving businesses and residential area.  

But in June 1921, the community was nearly destroyed during the Tulsa Race Riot. 

The events leading up to the riot began on May 30, 1921, when a young black man named Dick Rowland was riding in the elevator with a woman named Sarah Page. 

The details of what followed vary from person to person and it’s unclear what actually happened. 

During the Tulsa Riot, 35 city blocks were completely destroyed and more than 800 people were treated for injuries. Historians believe as many as 300 people may have died in the riot

Rowland was arrested the next day by Tulsa police.

Subsequently, a report in the Tulsa Tribune dated May 31, 1921, started a confrontation between black and white armed men at the courthouse.

Shots were fired and the African-Americans retreated to the Greenwood District.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 1921, Greenwood was looted and burned by white rioters.

Governor Robertson declared martial law, and National Guard troops were called in to Tulsa. 

During the riot, 35 city blocks were completely destroyed and more than 800 people were treated for injuries.

Historians believe as many as 300 people may have died in the riot.

In 2001, the Race Riot Commission was organized to review the details of the deadly riot. 

 Source: Tulsa History.org

The Trump rally could attract more ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, which have had public health officials concerned could contribute to the coronavirus spread. 

For his own crowd, the president’s campaign has asked rally-goers to agree not to sue the campaign and other entities if they contract COVID-19.  

‘By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,’ a ticketing form on the campaign website read. 

It goes on to say that by attending the June 19 rally ‘you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President … liable for any illness or injury.’ 

By obtaining tickets through the form, rally attendees are also not able to sue the Bank of Oklahoma Center, the venue for the rally, ASM Global, which is the venue’s management company and ‘any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers,’ the disclaimer said.  

The Trump campaign has not announced any social distancing plans, though spokesman Tim Murtaugh told DailyMail.com, ‘There will be health precautions.’  

During his sit-down with Faulkner during a trip Thursday to Texas, Trump simply highlighted the potential size of the crowd. 

‘I go and I just say, give me the biggest stadium and we fill it up every time,’ the president said. 

‘We’ve never had a vacancy,’ he boasted.

Donald Trump claims he’s done more for the black community ‘than any other president’ saying Abraham Lincoln ‘did good although it’s always questionable’ 

Trump said that he’s done more for the American black community than any president, though he suggested Abraham Lincoln’s slave-freeing status made that president unrankable.  

‘I think I’ve done more for the black community than any other president,’ Trump told Fox News Channel’s Harris Faulkner in an interview that aired Friday. ‘And let’s take a pass on Abraham Lincoln, because he did good although it’s always qustionable, you know, in other words, the end result.’ 

It was unclear, exactly, what result Trump was talking about, though Faulkner, who is black, responded, ‘Well, we are free, Mr. President. He did pretty well.’ 

‘We are free,’ Trump said back. ‘Well, you understand what I mean? You know, I got to take a pass on an Honest Abe, as we call it.’   

Faulkner then probed Trump on how he’s ‘done more than anybody.’ 

President Trump said in an interview that aired Friday that he’d ‘done more for the black community than any other president’ 

President Trump (left) then added Abraham Lincoln ‘did good although it’s always qustionable’ mentioning an ‘end result.’ Fox News Channel’s Harris Faulkner responded with, ‘Well, we are free, Mr. President’ 

The president pointed to the bipartisan criminal justice bill he signed. 

‘And I got five or six Republicans Senators who had no interest in getting it done,’ Trump reminded Faulkner. 

The president also pointed to getting prolonged funding for historically black colleges and universities.    

He also mentioned so-called ‘Opportunity Zones’ and prison reform.   

The president had made similar comments about Lincoln previously. 

On June 2, when the nation was in the throngs of the protests over George Floyd’s death, he tweeted that he came in second place after Lincoln in helping black Americans.    

‘My Admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln,’ the president tweeted. ‘Passed Opportunity Zones with Sen. Tim Scott, guaranteed funding for HBCU’s, School Choice, passed Criminal Justice Reform, lowest Black unemployment, poverty, and crime rates in history …  …AND THE BEST IS YET TO COME!’  

 

Earlier this month, while the country was in the throngs of the protests over the death of George Floyd, President Trump said he was the second best president after Abraham Lincoln for the black community  

Trump also compared himself to Lincoln when he was sitting under the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial for a Fox News Channel town hall with Brett Baier and Martha MacCallum in May. 

‘Look, I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen. The closest would be that gentleman right up there,’ Trump said. 

He pointed at the huge statue of Lincoln that was several feet away. 

‘I believe I am treated worse,’ he said. 

Despite all the chatter about Lincoln, the president of the United States who carried the Union through the Civil War, Trump this week also refused to consider renaming military bases that are still named after Confederate figures. 

He argued that they were part of the country’s ‘heritage,’ while White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said a name change would be an insult to all the Americans who served and died abroad who left those bases.  

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