Some Trump supporters have been camping in line for days, but today is the big day and now the streets of Tulsa are filled with excited Americans who want to see Trump re-elected–as well as many who hope that Trump will leave office. Tulsa officials expect that as many as 100,000 people will descend upon the city’s downtown area.
Tulsa has a long history of racial tensions, including a 1921 massacre where many black citizens were murdered as a mob razed a prosperous black neighborhood. This past week, Black Lives Matter demonstrations have coincided with commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the 1921 massacre and the annual Juneteenth celebrations, which mark the end of legal slavery in the United States. Today, hundreds of thousand of pro-Trump enthusiasts have been added to the mix, and this is a cause for concern.
Trump has already warned that any protesters will be dealt with harshly, which lends itself to the rhetoric that the mostly white Trump supporters have something to fear from black Americans. Apparently, Tulsa police are re-assuring Trump supporters that they will be protected from protesters. It is important to note that millions of Black Lives Matters supporters have been demonstrating peacefully around the world.
Renee Lamoreaux, a retiree and Trump supporter from Tulsa, said Friday that police officers had briefed ralliers, saying the event would basically be in a “big cage,” and the rest of the world would be outside. She said she felt reassured.CTV News
Tulsa police appear to be going out of their way to ensure the Trump rally will be safe from Black Lives Matter protesters. Already today, a Tulsa resident who claims she has a ticket to the rally was arrested and dragged away in handcuffs. The claim is that she was arrested for trespassing, but the more obvious crime seems to be that she was wearing an “I can’t breathe” tshirt.
Tulsa residents are worried and disappointed that Trump chose their city, on this particular weekend, when he is fully aware that his movement has attracted white nationalists and various white supremacist organizations. These organizations actively work to suppress the civil rights of black Americans and to incite negative racist attitudes..
“I can’t help but look at it as anything other than an act of terrorism,” she said. “He knows that whether he believes he is racist or not, he knows that members of the KKK and other alt-right organizations are following him and that they will see what he is doing as a rally cry.”Anissia West
If you are in Tulsa, please stay safe. Walk away from provocateurs as they are sure to be out in force. Keep as far away from the police, national guard, and any angry Trump supporters as possible. Leave the area if things start to get heated. Don’t stick around after the rally ends. Wear a mask. Shelter one another.
The whole world is watching. We see you and we hear you. Black Lives Matter.