There is nothing more that Trump loves than holding rallies and one can see why. A narcissist loves to be the center of attention of an adoring crowd who cheer his inanities and treat his schoolyard taunts and insults as if they were witticisms worthy of an Oscar Wilde. The restriction on large gatherings must have chafed him considerably and while he tried to hijack the daily pandemic briefing as a substitute for rallies, that was clearly not enough. So it is no surprise that he planning to hold rallies again.
What has caused some comment is that the people planning to attend the event have to sign a waiver saying that they will not sue if they subsequently acquire any virus-related illnesses. What has caused even more comment is his choice of venue (Tulsa, OK) and date (June 19th) for the first one.
The announcement, which comes amid sweeping protests against racism and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, also raised eyebrows for its date – a day known as Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery – as well as its location in Tulsa, a city with a troubling history of racial violence.
Tulsa’s 1921 race massacre saw the destruction of black businesses and residences at the hands of angry, white mobs, and has been described as “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.”
It is clear that Trump chose this city and this date to make a speech calling for the end of systemic racism in the US, to apologize for the 1912 riots, and vow to make amends for slavery and its aftermath so that we can begin the process of unifying the nation and achieving real equality and justice.
Ha, ha! Just kidding! Trump will do nothing of the sort. He has reportedly asked his aide Stephen Miller, a notorious xenophobe, to draft his speech. Trump will do his usual rabble-rousing thing. It will be a law-and-order speech on steroids, praising the police and the military for their heavy-handed tactics, accusing Antifa of being behind the protests, and accusing the Democrats of supporting violence and anarchy, and in general feeding racist red-meat to his followers. That is who he is.