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Four Oklahomans Share Thoughts About Tulsa Events This Weekend

Jessica Dickerson
President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally Saturday night at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

A mixture of emotion ranging from delight and celebration to fear and anger are converging in downtown Tulsa this weekend. Here are just a few of the people who plan to attend or support the first campaign rally for President Donald Trump in four months, celebrations for Juneteenth and protests.  

Lisa Christiansen (Tahlequah, Okla.) 

Lisa Christiansen initially said she planned to attend President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa on June 20th. Since then, she has updated us that she will not be attending the rally. 

"I have made that decision because I realize that it is up to me to be responsible," Christiansen said.  "I mean, if I want to see a better change in the world, then I need to be able to also be a part of the solution and set new standards." 

Lisa told us she is choosing not to go to the rally to protect the people around her who are in COVID-19 vulnerable populations. She originally told us that if she were going to the rally she planned to wear and mask, carry hand sanitizer and social distance. 

"It is up to me to make sure they're safe," Christiansen said. 

Preston Witt (Tulsa, Okla.)

Preston Witt is a Tulsa Artist fellow and writer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has several plans to attend multiple protests and Juneteenth celebrations in this weekend. 

“So I’m going to attend a peaceful rally against hate. I’m also going to attend some Juneteenth protests, and then on Saturday - I’m actually going to go to the Trump rally, if I can get inside, in order to protest I’m definitely concerned about that. I’m going to be wearing a mask - an N-95 mask. I’m going to be careful as I possibly can. I’m scared about the coronavirus and I’ve been really struggling with it ethically. I don’t want to be participating in a super-spreader event. So I’ve  decided, if I do end up going into the stadium, I’m going to have to come home and quarantine for 14 days. 

Melissa from (Ardmore, Okla.)

Melissa, who chose to keep her last name private "due to respect and safety of family members or my employer due to company policy regarding political events."

"This weekend I'll be attending an event of a lifetime. I'll be at the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I'm very excited to be joining thousands of others supporting president Trump and Vice President Pence at this rally," Melissa said. "I really don't have any concerns about going to Tulsa for this rally. I know God is always with me and I believe that President Trimp has the best interest of all Americans in his mind at all times. It's just going to be awesome to be with people from all over to support our president. I mean, this is the first rally since the virus shut everything down. This is just amazing." 

Jennifer Thomas (Tulsa, Okla.) 

Jenn Thomas, who is a resident of Tulsa, decided to put her Juneteenth plans on hold. Thomas said she plans to travel to Atlanta to be in the heart of what's happening there, after the killing of Rayshard Brooks. 

"Having a voice right now and being able to reach out, I guess, by voice is probably the only thing I feel like I have at the moment," Thomas said. "I’ve stepped back from my Juneteenth demonstration until later this month because I don’t want it clouded in, what I’m sure to be, is a lot of hate that’s coming to Tulsa with 45’s rally.Honestly I’m not even gonna lie, I feel a little guilty celebrating because I know that there are now several more children, mothers, fathers, brothers, wives, girlfriends, fiances who can’t celebrate with their loved ones because they’ve been gunned down in the past month, weeks, days, years, hours… I don’t know. I hope some good will come from this weekend. I’m very skeptical of it and I hope that everyone is safe and that we have no tragedies."

KOSU's Kateleigh Mills, Focus: Black Oklahoma's Kristi Eaton and America Amplified's Andrea Tudhope produced this story as part of the America Amplified initiative, using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. KOSU is part of the America Amplified network.

Kateleigh Mills was the Special Projects reporter for KOSU from 2019 to 2024.
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