Donald Trump isn’t usually one to cave to the so-called “culture wars,” but that’s exactly what he did after his decision to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Juneteenth was met with heavy backlash.
In response to an uproar that started earlier this week over the president’s scheduling of a MAGA rally in the same city of the Black Wall Street massacre on Juneteenth (Friday, June 19), he’s retreating by rescheduling the event for a later date.
“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 wrote on Twitter late Friday (June 12). “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 concluded: “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests.”
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. But Trump’s decision to hold the rally in the city that is the site of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in America’s history — the 1921 massacre where hundreds of Black people were attacked by a white mob — was deemed doubly disrespectful. The mob looted and burned homes of Black people and also looted and destroyed a then-affluent and Black-owned chain of businesses in the area known as Black Wall Street.
Trump has continually refused to put forth any meaningful discussion about systemic racism in America, even after protests sparked nationwide following the shocking killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police on May 25.
During the weeks after Floyd’s death, Trump has demanded that governors across the U.S. “dominate” protesters in the streets with military force if necessary.
His message has been based on the need for "law and order" and his bizarre assertion in Dallas earlier this week that the problems of bigotry and prejudice in America can be resolved "quickly" and "very easily."
Trump has also faced backlash for holding rallies at all, considering cases of the coronavirus that continue to spike nationwide. His campaign has reportedly gone as far as to require those who attend his upcoming rallies to not sue his campaign if they contract the virus during the events.