The majority of Oklahoma’s Legislative Black Caucus convened for a press conference in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood on Friday, following President Donald Trump’s announcement of a campaign rally in Tulsa next week on Juneteenth.
UPDATE: Late Friday night, Trump announced he was moving the rally to the following day, Saturday, June 14.
Caucus chair Regina Goodwin, Democratic state representative from Tulsa, struck a defiant tone, saying members would not allow the presence of Trump or his supporters to get under their skin.
"So don't be hoodwinked. Don't be bamboozled. Don't be flim-flammed. Don't be tricked by those that's saying they're doing all they can for you," Goodwin said. "We know better. We're not going to be distracted. We're not going to be deterred. We're going to be determined."
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing recommendations, Goodwin encouraged Oklahomans not to protest Trump’s visit but, instead, to celebrate Juneteenth by filling out an absentee ballot to vote in the election on June 30.
In response to a reporter’s question about a statement from Oklahoma’s senior U.S. Senator, Republican Jim Inhofe, that Trump’s visit is a honor, and that the President may try to speak about healing and unity, Goodwin quipped, “I would not ask an arsonist to put out a fire.”.
Trump’s announcement capped off a tumultuous week in Tulsa. In a national interview, Mayor GT Bynum said 2016’s killing of Terence Crutcher by a white Tulsa Police officer was not related to race, in his opinion.
Then, a high ranking police officer came under fire for comments on a talk radio show suggesting that, based on research, law enforcement is actually shooting Black Americans “less than we probably ought to be.”
The Tulsa Police Department also drew national scrutiny for police body-camera footage of the arrest of a Black teenager for jaywalking in north Tulsa.