President Donald Trump recently announced his signature campaign rallies would be returning after widespread coronavirus-related shutdowns limited large gatherings in recent months. The first date was set to be on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Following considerable pushback from critics and on the advice of those in his inner circle, Trump has decided to change that date due to its significance within the African-American community, according to USA Today.
June 19th was declared Emancipation Day in honor of the day slavery was abolished in Texas. It has since become known as Juneteenth and holds a place of significance among many black Americans.
“Friends and supporters have reached out”
The location of Trump’s rally was also deemed problematic by many critics who cited the horrific acts of violence perpetrated against blacks in Tulsa over a two-day period in 1921.
Following the allegations of assault from a white woman at the hands of Dick Rowland, a young black man, whites in the community began targeting Oklahoma’s wealthiest black neighborhoods.
Armed attackers — including some in private planes — engaged in widespread violence that covered 35 square blocks. The estimated death toll ranges from dozens to hundreds.
It remains unclear what, if anything, prompted Trump to choose this date and city for his return to the campaign trail, but he responded to concerns with a tweet confirming the change.
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. Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2020
“Excited to host the President”
Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, issued a statement on Friday praising Trump’s decision.
“I am thankful President Trump recognizes the significance of June 19 and has chosen to move his campaign rally out of respect to Oklahomans and the important Juneteenth celebrations,” he wrote.
Stitt went on to say that he is “excited to host the President” as his state continues to celebrate “restarting our economy and getting Oklahomans back to work.”
While the decision to schedule a rally on Juneteenth was widely denounced, it appears the administration has made the smart move by acknowledging the issue and changing the date. This display of understanding runs contrary to the narrative many of the president’s critics keep trying to promote.