White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday that President Trump will resume rallies on Juneteenth, a holiday marking the emancipation of slaves, in Tulsa, a city with a history of a deadly racial massacre in order to “share some of the progress that has been made” for the African American community.
Asked what Juneteenth means to the President, she said, “The African American community is very near and dear to his heart. At these rallies he often shares the great work he has done for minority communities,” citing criminal justice reform and HBCU funding.
She continued, “He’s working on rectifying injustices… So it’s a meaningful day to him and it’s a day where wants to share some of the progress that’s been made as we look forward and more that needs to be done.”
Past controversies: As President, Trump has faced blistering criticism over his public and private statements, like in 2017, when he blamed "both sides" after violence sparked by a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also privately referred to some African nations as "s***hole countries" and lambasted the protests led overwhelmingly by black NFL players.
Last year, the US House of Representatives voted to condemn the President's comments when he told four congresswomen of color to "go back" to where they came from. And before taking office, he stoked racial tensions – taking out a full page ad calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five and being one of the leading voices for the birther movement.