Campaign Rally in Tulsa, Rally or Racist Pageant?

In another racist outrage, Trump dared to schedule his first campaign rally of the season for June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. June 19, known as Juneteenth, is the traditional date for celebrating the end of chattel slavery of African people in the United States. He got so much criticism that he changed it to the next day. Still, what is the coded meaning of him holding this campaign rally in Tulsa?

Tulsa is the site of a riot by racist whites that destroyed a Black community in 1921. The police had arrested a Black teenager for allegedly attempting to rape a white teenage girl. There was little evidence, but a mob threatened to lynch the young man. When they couldn’t take him from the jail, they turned on the Black community. Many Black people fought back, and many were armed in self-defense. But a mob of thousands of racists invaded the Black community, burned and looted Black businesses and homes, locked up many people in detention centers, and even dropped fire bombs from airplanes! Hundreds of people died in the massacre and a community was destroyed. This cannot be forgotten!

Trump said of his planned campaign rally there, “Think about it as a celebration!” Really? With the nation today focused on racist violence, there is no doubt of the symbolism: he is celebrating a racist massacre! Not only has he personally ordered violence against anti-racist protesters in Washington, D.C., by ignoring the past of Tulsa at this moment, as he pretends to do, not denouncing the local history of racism, there can be no doubt that he is celebrating how great his racist nation is. He is blatantly supporting racist violence, by his “celebration.”

featured image credit: ABC News