One day before his controversial campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Donald Trump was already getting agitated. Trump, 74, took to Twitter to threaten anyone thinking about protesting outside the June 20 event with implied violence. “Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis,” the president wrote on June 19. “It will be a much different scene!”
Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
Trump’s threat comes the day his Tulsa rally was supposed to be held — Juneteenth. The White House pushed back the event after massive national outcry regarding their tone deafness. The holiday marks the day slaves were officially emancipated in the United States; Tulsa is the site of the single worst incident of racial violence in American history, when a mob of white residents massacred a black neighborhood in 1921, leaving an estimated 300 people dead.
Today, protesters are rallying across the country for justice against police brutality, racial inequality — and Trump. He’s threatened violence against the protesters who first took to the streets in Minneapolis in late May, where George Floyd was killed at the hands of police. The protests spread to all 50 states, and Trump announced on Twitter that he may send the National Guard to fight the “thugs.”
The president’s tweets were flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.” He had written, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Trump also weighed invoking the Insurrection Act, which allows the president to deploy the US military against its own citizens. Activist Kimberly Jones, whose passionate speech about racial inequality got national attention, told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview that she feels Trump should apologize for the timing of his Tulsa rally. She’s not holding her breath about it, though.
“There should have been a profuse apology,” Kimberly told us. “There should have been an announcement of wanting to better educate themselves about what happened here to his Black citizens, but we’re not going to get that. So, at that point, after he did it, there was nothing he could have done that would have pleased me.” She believes that the timing of his rally — on Juneteenth in Tulsa — was deliberate. “There’s no way you could combine those two moments together and not be aware of what that would mean to people. [If he was unaware] then that’s even sadder.”