As President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma draws near, the media’s obsessive harping about the rally being “unsafe” intensifies, and their head-spinning hypocrisy over the protests becomes even more obnoxious. On Andrea Mitchell Reports Friday afternoon, liberal journalists used the Juneteenth anniversary to worry the rally was specifically putting black lives in danger.
Host Andrea Mitchell touted a lawsuit intending to stop the rally just one day away, before turning to correspondent Morgan Radford, who was reporting from Tulsa. Radford spoke about the Tulsa race massacre that occurred in 1921, saying that black businesses and residents still haven’t recovered from that horrible tragedy that happened 99 years ago. After comparing the poverty rates for “black Tulsa” and “white Tulsa,” Radford suggested Trump didn’t care he was putting black Tulsa residents' lives in danger:
But many of the business owners we talked to said they feel like the President's visit is essentially a slap in the face, they wish he would focus more on keeping these residents healthy, keeping their economy vibrant and making sure everyone knows their lives are important.
Of course, MSNBC finds a Trump rally uniquely dangerous to black lives, but not the numerous political protests that occurred in Tulsa over the death of George Floyd in early June.
Mitchell continued the one-sided reporting by claiming that Trump didn’t care about keeping people safe:
“Let's talk about what President Trump is doing, because he's brushing off any concerns about that rally, about the safety of the rally,” she said adding that Trump was “threatening peaceful protesters” in a tweet that was clearly a warning to violent protesters.
Correspondent Kristen Welker brought it back to race and Juneteenth, saying Trump wasn’t being respectful enough by moving his rally one day because it really was an entire weekend celebration: “So for them, delaying it by one day is not enough,” she griped, adding that there was “a lot of concern” about COVID spreading.
PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor also worried that this rally was putting black lives in danger:
[A]s he pushes forward with this rally, a lot of people are pointing to the fact that not only is this going to be likely something that puts maybe people's health at risk, when you look at Oklahoma and all that's going on there, but it's also there are going to be black and brown workers that will have to go and work that arena.
Read the transcript, below:
Andrea Mitchell Reports
ANDREA MITCHELL: Morgan, lines already forming for the Trump rally. We know there is a court hearing scheduled in the Supreme Court in Oklahoma as to whether that rally can even take place. What's the latest developments there?
MORGAN RADFORD: Yeah, that's right, Andrea, but all of what you just said is getting a lot of reaction where I'm standing right now in Greenwood which is the historic black district here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You can probably see there's some people here that are already lining up behind me today for their Juneteenth celebration which because of all the things you just mentioned, it's getting a big reaction, especially coming on the heels of that Tulsa massacre. They're honoring the Tulsa massacre that happened in 1921, which means for two days you had white looters who were coming to this area where I'm standing now which is a part of black life. They looted this city, they looted this area, they killed 300 people, left 800 people wounded, and 8,000 people in this area homeless. What's fascinating, Andrea, is the effect that that had on black businesses and the economy today. Today, you're seeing an unemployment rate that is completely disparate, two times the unemployment rate for black Tulsa compared to white Tulsa. And when it comes to poverty, 34% poverty rate for black residents compared to just 13% poverty for white residents. This is the area, that was the heart of black life. Right now you can even see signs that give homage to Black Wall Street, that’s what it was back in the day. More than 30 blocks of black businesses, hotels, grocery stores, movie theaters. This is where they've come to celebrate today. But many of the business owners we talked to said they feel like the President's visit is essentially a slap in the face, they wish he would focus more on keeping these residents healthy, keeping their economy vibrant and making sure everyone knows their lives are important, Andrea.
MITCHELL: And Kristen Welker, let's talk about what President Trump is doing, because he's brushing off any concerns about that rally, about the safety of the rally, and as well as, we were just pointing out, seems to be threatening protesters, peaceful protesters, linking them to what he calls agitators and looters and low lives.
KRISTEN WELKER: Really a remarkable tweet from President Trump earlier, Andrea, he seemed to threaten protesters and lump them in with looters and, quote, lowlifes. I was able to ask his communications director of his campaign, Mark Lauder about that, Lauder downplayed the tweet, saying the President is urging protesters to do so peacefully. Bottom line, Andrea, the President has come under a lot of scrutiny for his handling of the nationwide protests for that crackdown which allowed him to cross Lafayette Square so he could stand in front of St. John's Church for that photo op. And there has been a lot of criticism that he has not been respectful of people's right to protest. So that is one thing that will loom large over his visit tomorrow to Tulsa, Oklahoma. And of course it will come one day after Juneteenth. I've been talking to a number of local leaders in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who say, look, it's not just the day of Juneteenth, that they commemorate that day, yes, today, but also throughout the weekend. And we know there are protests planned, as Morgan was just talking about, throughout the weekend. So for them, delaying it by one day is not enough. And then of course the concerns about COVID, the campaign still determined to move forward with holding that rally. They'll be handing out masks but not requiring people to wear them, so a lot of concerns about potential health risks there, Andrea.
MITCHELL: Yamiche, you have a unique perspective on all this, having seen a trajectory of black lives matter protest movements starting in Ferguson, when we first met virtually, because you were covering for USA Today and were appearing on this program. As you watch this and feel it, how has it affected you?
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Andrea, I think the way that it's affected me as a reporter is it's really given me a sense of just how important talking about diversity, talking about racial issues that continue to plague America, talking about how the founding of America has really complicated the promises this country was built on, life, liberty, and treating men and women equally. So I think what I've seen is a movement that began with the death of Trayvon Martin, that really burst into the streets when it came to the death of Michael Brown and the protests in Ferguson. And that I think at really one point made people feel like there was going to be a change. Obama was in the White house, you saw protesters brought to the White House. I think there was a lot of backlash to that, and I think that's how a lot of people would think that we got President Trump, as someone who was talking about law and order, talking about criticizing black lives matter. That's why this President at this point, is complicated when it comes to how he's going to respond to Black Lives Matter and this movement and this moment that we're all living through, because as he pushes forward with this rally, a lot of people are pointing to the fact that not only is this going to be likely something that puts maybe people's health at risk, when you look at Oklahoma and all that's going on there, but it's also there are going to be black and brown workers that will have to go and work that arena. President Trump, as he continues to try to say he wants to be an ally to peaceful protesters, he continues to say stuff like that blacks are loved by the make America great crowd, really in some ways making it seem like African-Americans are outside the group that he sees as critical to his election.