When Donald Trump announced that he would hold a rally in Tulsa, Okla. on June 19, the backlash was swift.
Not only did the impeached president, who has defended white supremacists, seem to completely disregard the importance of African-American’s Independence Day, the rally’s location is also in the city where the notorious Tulsa Race Massacre occurred 99 years ago.
Trump has since moved the event date “out of respect,” with Sen. Tim Scott, the Senate’s lone Black Republican, saying that the president did not understand the importance of Juneteenth.
“I’m thankful that he moved it,” Scott said on Face The Nation on Sunday. “The president moving the date by a day once he was informed on what Juneteenth was, that was a good decision on his part.”
When asked to clarify if he thought no one involved in Trump’s campaign or administration knew about the significance of the two important Black history events, Scott demurred that without “a historical check,” those dots would not be connected.
“My understanding is he moved the date once he understood Juneteenth,” Scott said. “I’m not sure that the planners on his inner-circle team thought about June 19th, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and race riots. Unless you’re doing a historical check, you probably don’t get those dots connected.”
However, the senator also took that moment to highlight the importance of diversity on staff.
“My staff in Washington is an incredibly diverse staff, and diversity on our staff helps us avoid some of the pitfalls,” he said, noting that some of his former staffers now work with the present to help “to inform and educate the president.”