U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response event at a ventilator plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, May 21, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump on Friday night tweeted that he is rescheduling a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally that was to take place on Juneteenth, which is the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Trump wrote that the rally would be moved a day, to June 20. Juneteenth is June 19.
“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,” the president wrote in part.
Critics had called the plan to hold the rally on Juneteenth disrespectful and racist.
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the decision to hold a rally there on June 19 “is disrespectful to the lives and community that was lost during the Tulsa race riot.”
The city was the site of one of the deadliest race riots in American history, in 1921.
White rioters looted and destroyed Tulsa’s Greenwood District, known for its affluent Black community, according to the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum.
Historians now believe that as many as 300 people died, according to the museum.
Trump’s rally was announced amid widespread condemnations of racism and calls for police reform following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes on May 25.