President Klan Robe Will Honor The Blacks With White Supremacist Rally In Tulsa On Juneteenth
Donald Trump is returning to the campaign trail next week with one of his hood-optional Klan rallies. Joe Biden is screaming on Trump's ass in the polls, and the soon-to-be former president thinks he can turn everything around by addressing a crowd of people who were going to vote for him anyway. This dummy convention isn't even in a contested swing state, but rather in Oklahoma, which he won handily in 2016.
Oklahoma has about 50 percent more coronavirus cases than Oregon and twice as many deaths. Their populations are roughly the same, but Oklahoma moved into Phase Three of its reopening on June 1. Parents can drop their kids off at summer camps and skip happily away. Workplaces can return to full staffing levels. It's as if COVID-19 never happened, so that's a comforting state of denial for Trump to visit. He practically lives there already.
Rally attendees won't have to social distance or wear masks, either, because Trump wants to perform before a packed house and would prefer no reminders of the 113,097 reported deaths (so far, confirmed) from the plague he set loose on all our houses with his incompetence.
However, what bothers me most about his super-spreader event is the location and date: It's in Tulsa on June 19, or Juneteenth, the anniversary of when black people were (kinda) freed from slavery.
Tulsa is the site of a major terrorist attack on US soil, but because the terrorists were white and the victims black, most Americans only learned about the 1921 massacre when it was dramatized on HBO's "Watchmen." White mobs laid waste to the Greenwood district, at the time a black community so well-off it was known as "Black Wall Street." Property damage was estimated at $32 million in today's money. About 10,000 black residents were left homeless. The mobs destroyed more than 35 square blocks and murdered as many as 300 people. Survivors described seeing bodies dumped into mass graves. This all started because a black man tripped while entering an elevator and touched a white woman's arm or stepped on her foot. Either way, he was probably Antifa.
On May 31, 1921 the Tulsa Race Massacre took place, which has been called the single worst incident of racial viole… https://t.co/W1xFhqcz3y— Sister Night Says...Period. (@Sister Night Says...Period.)1590962460.0
Martial law was declared, and troops “rounded up black women and children and detained them for days." Almost a century later, Trump keeps threatening to invade blue states and impose his own version of “law and order." Black people have reason to fear. We've seen this before.
Olivia Hooker was one of the last survivors of the massacre. In 2018, she could still clearly describe a scene from a horror movie. She was six at the time.
Her mother hid her and three of her siblings under their dining room table. "She said, 'Keep quiet, and they won't know you are under here.' "
From beneath the oak table, she and her siblings watched in horror.
"They took everything they thought was valuable. They smashed everything they couldn't take," Hooker said. "My mother had these [Enrico] Caruso records she loved. They smashed the Caruso records."
The thugs smashed the records because the “cruelty was the point."
This seems like quite a coincidence, and while Trump probably doesn't know what the fuck a "Juneteenth" is, there are certain people in his administration who almost certainly do.
Two safe assumptions here: 1. Trump likely has no clue what the significance of Juneteenth and Tulsa are. 2. But St… https://t.co/4z4PKYSL47— S.E. Cupp (@S.E. Cupp)1591839300.0
Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County Fair near Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he set the stage for his titular “revolution."
I believe in state's rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we've distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I'm looking for, I'm going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.
He spoke these words just seven miles from where civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were abducted and murdered in 1964 because they were registering black people to vote. The systematic disenfranchisement of black voters in Southern states would require the full force of the federal government to stop.
If Reagan's words were a dog whistle to the former Confederacy, Trump's upcoming rally is a pack of fucking coyotes. The president won't address America's racist history (and present) in any serious way, even as he stands amid our buried dead. He'll just make his less than subtle appeals to every common Derek Chauvin or Amy Cooper.
This is why I'll vote for Joe Biden in November with a joy I've not felt since Trump first infected the White House.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).