Tulsa was the site of one of the most brutal race massacres in United States’ history, where in 1921 white mobs burned a prosperous black community in the city.
When asked by Fox News’ Harris Faulkner in an interview aired this week if the rally was intentionally scheduled for Juneteenth, Trump retorted “uh, no.”
“Think about it as a celebration,” Trump said. “Don’t think about it as an inconvenience.”
Trump’s record on race has come under intense scrutiny as protests sparked in dozens of cities following the death of a black Minnesota man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer. Trump earlier this month threatened military force to quell protesters, declaring himself the president of “law and order”.
When confronted with his response to the protests, Trump has insisted that his record on race is the best of any president since Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Trump also plans to hold rallies in Florida, Texas and Arizona. The president’s signature rallies — with dense crowds of cheering fans — were suspended in March to accommodate social distancing measures in response to coronavirus.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale earlier Friday hyped the Tulsa rally as the “hottest ticket ever!” Trump tweeted that the campaign had received requests for over 200,000 tickets. The population of Tulsa is estimated at just over 400,000.