President Donald Trump said he plans to resume his campaign rallies beginning in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19, followed by events in unspecified cities in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.
Trump’s campaign halted his signature rallies in March after Americans adopted social-distancing practices to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Trump said earlier this week he would resume the rallies as soon as next week.
He ticked off locations for future rallies in remarks to reporters during a meeting with black supporters and media figures at the White House on Wednesday. He later said the Tulsa rally would be June 19.
His choice of a date and location for the rally is freighted with racial undertones, particularly in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last month and the nationwide protests that have followed.
The rally will fall on the same day as Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery. The date is not recognized as a federal holiday and is largely celebrated within the U.S. African American community.
And the location, Tulsa, is also fraught: The city is the site of one of the worst massacres of black people by whites in the U.S.,the 1921 attack on the neighborhood of Greenwood, once known as “Black Wall Street.”
Trump’s rallies attract thousands of his supporters, are often carried live on cable news networks and provide his campaign a wealth of data for get-out-the-vote efforts. Trump holds most of his rallies in states that are regarded as competitive in November’s election.
Oklahoma is considered safely in the president’s column, but the state has reported less than 7,500 cases of the disease — among the fewest in the country — and 356 deaths.
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