President Donald Trump’s campaign defended Thursday their decision to hold a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19.
June 19 is “Juneteenth,” the commemoration of the date slavery ended in the United States.
“As the Party of Lincoln, Republicans are proud of what Juneteenth represents and the Emancipation Proclamation,” campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote on Twitter. “Donald Trump has a solid record of success for Black Americans.”
Parscale responded to criticism from Democrats and the corporate media who argued the date of the Juneteenth rally was insensitive or even a subtle message to white supremacists. Tulsa is also the location of the 1921 Race Massacre.
“This isn’t just a wink to White Supremacists — he’s throwing them a welcome home party,” Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter.
This isn't just a wink to white supremacists—he's throwing them a welcome home party. https://t.co/lUXpnUoFQU
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 11, 2020
But the White House and the Trump campaign said Juneteenth was an important day to the party.
“The African American community is very near and dear to his heart,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said to reporters, adding that, “it’s a meaningful day to him and its a day where he wants to share some of the progress that’s being made.”
Parscale said former Vice President Joe Biden was the one who had to answer questions about racial division.
“It’s Joe Biden who has the horrible record of racial division and condescension,” he wrote. “Facts matter.”
As the Party of Lincoln, Republicans are proud of what Juneteenth represents and the Emancipation Proclamation.@realDonaldTrump has a solid record of success for Black Americans.
It’s @JoeBiden who has the horrible record of racial division and condescension.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 11, 2020
The Trump campaign also released a statement from Senior Advisor Katrina Pierson.
“President Trump has built a record of success for Black Americans, including unprecedented low unemployment prior to the global pandemic, all-time high funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and criminal justice reform, she wrote. “Joe Biden spent last Juneteenth raising money at a private fundraiser and defending comments he made celebrating his work with segregationist senators.”