FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump will hold his first rally since March in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19, prompting some “raised eyebrows” for the planned event’s correlation with Juneteenth – a historical commemoration of the end of slavery – and for a lack of plans to enforce social distancing guidelines or require face masks during the rally.

Critics have also condemned the decision to hold the rally in the city of Tulsa, the site of a racially motivated massacre in 1921 that killed hundreds of black residents and destroyed a thriving business district sometimes referred to as Black Wall Street. U.S. California Sen. Kamala Harris, blasted the decision on Twitter, saying, “This isn’t just a wink to white supremacists—he’s throwing them a welcome home party.” Trump’s campaign advisor defended the site selection, saying that the Republicans at the time were “a part of the party of Lincoln” and continue to be “proud of the history of Juneteenth.”

The rally will be Trump’s first since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with plans for additional rallies in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. Political analysts say the current president has considerable work to do to recover a dwindling approval rating following the death toll of the pandemic, coupled with an economic fallout and national outrage and protests spurred by the killing of George Floyd.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Protesters weigh in on Trump rally coming to Tulsa – KTUL Tulsa – 6/10/2020
“At a time like this I think Trump coming to Tulsa it can either, it could go two ways. I think he can be positive or I think it could be really negative and just knowing the comments that he makes and how he speaks to people, I just don’t see it being very positive, especially not for our community,” said Lauren Bethly.

Trump Says F–k It, Starts Planning New Mega-rallies – Vanity Fair – 6/9/2020
Trump aides reportedly see recent protests as a way back into traditional campaigning, which until now has been upended by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. But the urgency of recent protests, in which Americans are actively choosing to make their voices heard despite the risks, is something Trump and his team believe “will make it harder for critics to single him out” for holding large gatherings. There’s one slight difference: instead of encouraging voters to condemn systemic racism, he’s encouraging his own hero worship.

Trump campaign adviser on resurgence of MAGA rallies, they will be ‘suitably safe’ despite COVID-19 concerns – Fox News – 6/10/2020
Trump’s campaign and the GOP have received pushback from other officials on another potential mass gathering event: the Republican National Convention (RNC). It will no longer be held in Charlotte, N.C., after the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, said a “full-scale” event was not going to work under the strain of virus health concerns.

‘He has to get back to his life’: Trump looks past crises to resume his routine – Politico – 6/11/2020
For the first time since before the coronavirus gripped the United States and protesters took to the streets, Trump is lining up in-person fundraisers, trips to his luxury resort in New Jersey and campaign rallies. It’s a sign of the president’s approach to a series of historic crises that lack easy solutions and the longstanding comfort he draws from being bathed in adoration by rally-goers, donors and the rest of his base.

INFLUENCER CONTRIBUTION

Kamau M. Marshall on Twitter, 6/10/2020: How racist is Donald Trump: He’s so racist that he plans on having one of his first campaign rallies on June 19th in Tulsa, OK. If you don’t know — Do some research on #Juneteenth and the racial violence that took place in Oklahoma known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921.

ALL LIVES MATTER on Twitter, 6/11/2020: Make no mistake. Socialist Democrat POS, like Dan Rather & others like him, would find & pick apart ANY venue or date, Trump would have set up a rally at. Its what they do. They are bitter, angry & full of hate & we have to get out in force, Nov.3 & beat all of these motherfu**rs

ESSENCE on Twitter, 6/11/2020: “The most racist President of my lifetime knows exactly what message he’s sending when he goes there on Juneteenth,” says @KamalaHarris

Evan McMurry on Twitter, 6/11/2020: Pres. Trump is 14 points underwater. At the height of the rally-around-the-flag effect at the onset of the pandemic in the U.S., he was at -3.9, his best number since inauguration.

The Punisher on Twitter, 6/11/2020: Mark my words “The next Trump rally will be EPIC!”

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