Biden conflates Juneteenth celebration with Tulsa massacre in bid to hit Trump
Joe Biden got his facts garbled again on Thursday, apparently mistaking the day marking the emancipation of American slaves with what’s considered one of the worst massacres of African-Americans in US history.
“He’s going down to Texas on Juneteenth, right? The first major massacre, literally speaking, of ‘Black Wall Street,’ right? Years ago,” the gaffe-prone veep said, referring to President Trump during a roundtable with community members on how to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump campaign jumped on the blunder, tweeting out a 10-second clip of the statement Biden made at the event at the Empire Center, once home to Dick Clark’s famed “American Bandstand” TV show.
“Joe Biden doesn’t know what Juneteenth is. 1. President Trump is going to Texas today, not June 19. 2. Juneteenth is about emancipation. 3. The massacre was in Oklahoma,” the “Trump War Room” tweeted.
Trump will resume holding campaign rallies on June 19 in Tulsa, but was in Texas on Thursday for a sitdown with evangelical leaders and visit to a Dallas megachurch where he joined Attorney General Bill Barr and HUD Secretary Ben Carson to talk police reform in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, marks the day when news that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, the last slave state to receive the news.
Juneteenth is celebrated across the US, though Tulsa’s Fox affiliate reported that the city postponed this year’s official celebration because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed roughly 113,000 Americans in just three months.
The Black Wall Street Massacre — aka the Tulsa Race Massacre — was one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history.
Between May 31 and June 1, 1921, mobs of racist whites attacked, set fire to and and ultimately destroyed the Greenwood District, which was then one of the wealthiest black communities in the US, and part of which was known as Black Wall Street.
The attack, from the ground and air, killed between 150 and 300 people, according to a 2001 study, and was sparked when a black shoeshiner allegedly attacked a white elevator operator.
Though Biden got his facts wrong, Trump’s decision to hold a Juneteenth rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the wake of George Floyd’s killing has sparked condemnation, including from the Congressional Black Caucus and Biden’s campaign, NBC News reported.
“How racist is Donald Trump: He’s so racist that he plans on having one of his first campaign rallies on June 19th in Tulsa, OK,” tweeted Biden’s director for strategic communications, Kamau Marshall, who is black.
But the White House defended the decision.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany was asked whether it’s appropriate to hold a rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth.
The black community is “near and dear” to the president’s heart, McEnany said, calling Juneteenth a “meaningful day” for Trump.
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