Donald Trump responded to criticism of holding a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Juneteenth by announcing that he is moving the event back by a day.
The Trump campaign had come under fire after announcing this week that the first in-person rally in months would be held on June 19 in Tulsa. Critics pointed out that the day marks Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation. They found it inappropriate for the rally to be held in Tulsa, a city that saw what is considered the worst act of racial violence in American history, when white mobs killed hundreds of black residents in 1921 and burned down black neighborhoods.
Trump took to Twitter late on Friday to announced that he had heard the concerns and chose a new date for the rally.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. 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, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents.”
Trump had been criticized for days following the announcement of the rally. Many had called out Trump for the timing, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, who said on Twitter that the date “isn’t just a wink to white supremacists–he’s throwing them a welcome home party.”
Trump’s campaign appeared to initially defend the decision to hold the Tulsa rally on Juneteenth and stood by that for days. As CBS News reported, senior Trump adviser Katrina Pierson released a statement saying that Republicans are proud of the history of Juneteenth and noting that other politicians have held events on this day, pointing out that Joe Biden held a fundraiser on the date last year.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale had taken to Twitter shortly before Trump’s announcement to brag that 300,000 people had already registered for tickets to the event, the first rally for Trump since coronavirus lockdown measures went into effect in March. Those signing up for the event on the Trump campaign website were shown a disclaimer noting that they run the risk of contracting coronavirus by attending, and saying they would attend at their own risk and agreed not to sue the Trump campaign if they contract the virus there.