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Opinions split on president's Tulsa rally

Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 08:31:14-04

TULSA, Okla. — President Donald Trump has decided to have his first campaign rally in Tulsa after taking a break from campaigning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a decision that has some celebrating and others upset.

READ MORE: President Trump to hold Tulsa rally at BOK Center next week

The point of contingency that has opinions split on the event is the date the president has chosen to have his first rally since March 2.

The rally will be held on Friday, June 19.

Every year on this date African-Americans celebrate the holiday Juneteenth, the day African-Americans were freed from slavery in 1865.

"It's a total slap in the face and show of insensitivity to not only what’s going on locally but what’s going on nationally,” said Tulsa County District 1 Representative Vanessa Hall Harper. “I’m concerned about things going very bad very quickly."

Many are looking forward to the rally and say the date of the event could be a way for the president to bring people together.

“I don’t think it’s disrespectful," Bob Jack, the chairman of the Tulsa County Republican Party. "I think depending on how the president handles it could be very respectful and he could highlight it and emphasize the fact of it."

However, some don't feel the same way.

"To pick that day, in a time like this, in a place like this is tone-deaf," said Pastor Robert Turner of the Vernon Chapel AME Church. "It's really a slap in the face."

The annual Juneteenth celebration remains canceled due to safety concerns, but Pastor Turner said there are plans to host a peaceful day of remembrance and conversations about change in the Historic Greenwood District.

While there are strong differing opinions on the rally’s date, everyone is hopeful it will be a peaceful day.

"We have to just assume that there are maybe some people who may be violent, but we just won't support that," Jack said. "No one will support that on either side of the aisle."

“In this city, we have seen what can happen," Pastor Turner said. "I pray to God it does not get to that, does not repeat itself on the smallest level on Juneteenth.”

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