Donald Trump will hold be holding his first campaign rally since he stopped coronavirus pressers on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This city is the site of the infamous Tulsa race massacre in which a mob of white people attacked an entire district that had become known as Black Wall Street—the wealthiest Black community in the U.S. at the time.

During the 1921 riot, up to 300 people were killed and 800 more were hospitalized, most of them Black. Around 10,000 Black residents were left homeless due to mass burning and looting of buildings in the area. The neighborhood was devastated and never recovered. Adding insult to injury, this massacre was largely left out of white-written U.S. history books.

Juneteenth is, of course, the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, freeing slaves in the U.S. With both of these factors combined, people are having a hard time believing that the choice of date and location on Trump’s part is a coincidence.

“This isn’t just a wink to white supremacists—he’s throwing them a welcome home party,” Senator Kamala Harris tweeted.

Jewish author and screenwriter Bess Kalb compared it to “holding a rally at the gates of Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

This rally is especially unwelcome as protests continue across the nation demanding real, effective action be taken to end police brutality against Black communities and other communities of color after former police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Some have condemned these protests as “riots,” but none have come close to the level of violence suffered by the Black people of Tulsa in 1921.

“I’m speechless,” said historian CeLillianne Green on the date and location of the upcoming rally. “That day is the day those people in Texas found out they were free. The juxtaposition of the massacre of black people and Juneteenth, the delayed notice you are free, is outrageous. Juneteenth symbolized our freedom.”

People all across the country and beyond have condemned the new Trump rally without mincing words.

 

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*First Published: June 11, 2020, 1:18 pm