On "Juneteenth," of all days, the day commemorating the end of slavery, Trump wanted to mobilize his supporters to Tulsa. That earned him a shitstorm.
Houses burned in Tulsa on June 1, 1921, as a white lynch mob went murdering through a black neighborhood Photo: reuters/Library of Congress
After massive criticism, U.S. President Donald Trump is postponing his first campaign event in more than three months. The rally in Tulsa (Oklahoma) will now take place next Saturday instead of the day before as planned, Trump announced on Twitter. The timing and location for Trump’s rally had come under criticism against the backdrop of protests against racism and police violence in the U.S. following the death of African-American George Floyd.
Juneteenth" will be celebrated in the USA next Friday, the day commemorating the end of slavery. Tulsa was also the scene of a massacre by a white mob against the black population in 1921. Historians rate this as the worst clash between whites and blacks in the U.S. after the end of the Civil War. Hundreds of people were killed.
There had been widespread criticism of the choice of date and location for the rally. For example, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris accused Republican Trump of encouraging right-wing radicals. Trump announced Saturday night that "many of my African-American friends and supporters" had suggested changing the date out of respect for "Juneteenth." He said the postponement was in response to that.
Trump wrote that more than 200,000 supporters had already applied for tickets to the Tulsa event. "I look forward to seeing everybody in Oklahoma!" Trump had rejected accusations in an interview broadcast Friday that he deliberately chose the date. The president – who is seeking a second term in November’s election – told the Fox News network, "My rally is a celebration."
Trump team assumes no liability for infections
The death of George Floyd has sparked protests and debate in the U.S. over racism and police violence. Trump has repeatedly condemned Floyd’s death and stressed the right to peaceful demonstrations. However, he has been accused of not taking a clear stand against racism and not showing enough understanding of the anger over discrimination and injustice in the country.
Floyd had been killed on May 25 in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A white officer had his knee pressed into the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes – despite Floyd’s pleas to let him breathe. Investigators then charged the officer with second-degree murder, among other charges. Three other officers involved in the operation were also charged.
Trump had last held a campaign event March 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. After that, the Corona crisis had made rallies impossible. The pandemic is not yet over in the United States. There are new outbreaks in some U.S. states, with numbers of infections rising sharply in some cases. Trump’s campaign team points out that no liability is assumed for illnesses resulting from attending rallies.