Trump picks Tulsa for return of signature campaign rallies

Trump made the announcement as he met with a handful of African American supporters Wednesday afternoon for a roundtable discussion.

Trump’s signature rallies often draw tens of thousands of people but have been on hiatus since March 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed more than 110,000 people in the U.S.

“A beautiful new venue, brand new. We’re looking forward to it,” Trump said during a White House event. “They’ve done a great job with COVID, as you know, the state of Oklahoma.”

The rally will take place on Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Tulsa has its own troubling history on race. Its once-thriving African American business community was decimated in 1921, when a racist white mob killed hundreds of black residents.

Black residents attempted to rebuild in the decades that followed, only to see their work erased during urban renewal of the 1960s.

Trump’s campaign has been eager to resume rallies as it tries to move past the pandemic, even as cases continue to rise in some parts of the country.

He has focused most of his rallies this year on battleground states, although Oklahoma is reliably Republican.

Trump carried Oklahoma by more than 36 percentage points in 2016, more than doubling the vote the total of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Oklahoma was among the earliest states to begin loosening coronavirus restrictions, with salons, spas and barbershops reopening in late April.

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