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Trump reschedules Tulsa Juneteenth rally ‘out of respect for this Holiday’


President Donald Trump gestures as he leaves the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, to attend a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wis. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump received much backlash for planning his next campaign rally on what is considered sacred ground and a sacred day to Black America.

Trump announced on Wednesday that he would hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19th, the Juneteenth holiday observing the end of slavery in America. On Friday, June 12, the president announced that he rescheduled the rally one day later after being contacted by Black friends and constituents.

“Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday,” the president tweeted, “and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents.”

 

Prior to sending his late-Friday tweet, the President told Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner that he did not choose Juneteenth because of its significance to Black Americans.

READ MORE: What is Juneteenth?

“It’s going to be really a celebration and it’s an interesting date, it wasn’t done for that reason,” Trump explained, “but it’s an interesting date, but it’s a celebration.”

The initial decision to hold what 45 called a “#MAGA rally” was criticized because it fell on Juneteenth. Given the President’s rhetoric about race during his administration, especially amid the unrest sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, many felt this to be in poor taste.

Black Wall Street theGrio.com
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Smoke billowing over Tulsa, Oklahoma during 1921 race riots.
Library of Congress

It was also received poorly due to the location. Tulsa, Oklahoma is the site of the worst race massacre in American history. The city’s Black neighborhood of Greenwood, famously known as Black Wall Street, was burned to the ground by a white mob during the Tulsa Race Riots in 1921.

The race riot was reenacted on the HBO series WatchmenOther projects from NBA stars Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and filmmaker Dream Hampton focused on Black Wall Street have been announced in recent days.

READ MORE: NFL to celebrate Juneteenth as official league holiday

More than one thousand homes and businesses were believed to be destroyed and as many as 300 people to be killed.

Many felt this was an intentional decision.

Sen. Kamala Harris called it a “welcome home party” for white supremacists, CNN reported.

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#Onthisday in 1865, enslaved African Americans were notified of their freedom by Union troops in Galveston, TX—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Known as #Juneteenth, this day is widely celebrated as the end of chattel slavery in the U.S. Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Though it has long been celebrated among the African American community, it is a history that has been marginalized and still remains largely unknown to the wider public. The legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of deep hope and urgent organizing in uncertain times. This Museum is a community space where that spirit can continue to live on – where histories like this one can surface, and new stories with equal urgency can be told. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory 📸: Grace Murray Stephenson and family, Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas, Courtesy Austin History Center.

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