There were many seats available at 45th President Donald J. Trumps June 20, 2020 Tulsa campaign rally. Many news outlets reporting that the low numbers of 19,200 that showed up to the BOK Center rather than the over one million ticket request his campaign team expected was due to covid 19 concerns, protest and tik tok teens requesting tickets. After reading article after article of proposed reasons the rally failed to meet its expected attendance rate, I'm adamant that the facts be set straight.
As I recall many black people on social media sharing a viral post that laid out the perfect plan to show solidarity after it was announced that the original rally date would fall on the Juneteenth holiday in Tulsa,Oklahoma a city whose thriving black community was completely destroyed 99 years ago, in what is known as the Tulsa race massacre also known as the Tulsa riots. I shared the viral post in several social media groups and some people were skeptical if our efforts would work. Siting that campaign managers would scramble to get seat fillers to fill the empty stadium, since the doors opened two hours prior to the event. Others assumed that they were purchasing tickets and didn't want to financially support Trumps campaign, upon learning the tickets were free, many participated in submitting ticket request they never planned on filling. Like me, their probably receiving those text messages from 880-22 that keep "supporters" up to date on the Trump campaign. At 7:22 pm cst yesterday a message was sent out on behalf of Trump that read "I'm about to take the stage for my HUGE ( and yes huge was in all caps, smh) rally. I didn't watch the rally, however, I did get a glimpse of various news outlets coverage, some attempting to hide the emptiness of the stadium, some making sure to show the empty seats.
To add insult to injury America's president in braggadocious ignorance claimed that he'd made Juneteenth very famous, on the same day many African American's participated in Juneteenth celebrations throughout the country. Being a native Texan, I knew that was the furthest from the truth, however didn't find myself appalled by the stupidity that came out of Trumps mouth because, that's normalcy. When has he not spewed ignorance, offensive inaccuracies and fallacies during his presidency.
The unfilled seats at Trumps rally was a reminder of what happens when we all come together. It was reminiscent of Dikembe Mutombo's famous phrase "not in my house". And rightfully so, we are in the middle of a critical time in american history as it pertains to race relations across america. Specifically, the systemic racism that, disenfranchises,
haunts, and even kills black americans. Many black american's are no longer willing to tolerate disrespect on any level. Even if that disrespect comes from the President of the United States. I don't want to lose sight of the bigger picture of the challenges we as African Americans continue to face in America, but highlighting this moment of collective solidarity, to me is important. Many news media outlets, as well as the Trump campaign may never publicly acknowledge the real reason for the empty seats. However, as a collective the black community is saying to those who are against equality, justice,recompense and the freedoms that African American's are continually fighting for in 2020, have several seats.