President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he will resume his campaign rallies next Friday, June 19, in Tulsa.
“We’re going to start our rallies back up now,” Trump told reporters. “We’ve had a tremendous run at rallies. … It’s been an amazing thing to behold.”
Trump didn’t mention that his first rally amid the coronavirus pandemic will be held on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery. As millions protest racial injustice across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, he also didn’t mention that Tulsa is the site “the worst single incident of racial violence in U.S. history,” according to the Washington Post.
Kamau M. Marshall, director of strategic communications for Democrat Joe Biden, wrote: “How racist is Donald Trump: He’s so racist that he plans on having one of his first campaign rallies on June 19th in Tulsa, OK. If you don’t know — Do some research on #Juneteenth and the racial violence that took place in Oklahoma known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921.”
Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson defended the timing of the rally in a statement.
“As part of the party of Lincoln, Republicans are proud of the history of Juneteenth, which is the anniversary of the last reading of the Emancipation Proclamation,” Pierson wrote.
The president’s announcement of the rally came on the same day that he rejected a push to remove Confederate names from military bases.
Trump’s decision to resume rallies amid the ongoing pandemic also raises major pubic health concerns. According to USA Today, campaign officials declined to discuss any possible safety measures.
“I think he’s going to wind up with more of his core base voters getting COVID-19 and dying,” said Liz Mair, an anti-Trump Republican strategist. “Which is a bad way to win an election.”