Oklahoma’s JC Watts reveals how Trump could’ve prevented embarrassments like a Juneteenth Tulsa rally
Former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Thursday, The New York Times quoted former Sooners quarterback and Rep. J. C. Watts (R-OK), the first Black Republican to be elected south of the Mason-Dixon line since the Reconstruction era, who argued that President Donald Trump is suffering politically for lack of elevating Black people to positions of decision making and advice in his campaign.

In particular, Watts argued, Trump's initial decision to hold his Tulsa rally on Juneteenth — which he revised after widespread criticism — need never have happened.

“They’re stinging from it, they’re reeling from it,” said Watts, referring to the community in Oklahoma. “Juneteenth was on the schedule before any rally was. People are reeling from it.”

He added that he now questions “if there’s any African-Americans in the White House that’s high enough that has a seat at the table," and said, “It would have been helpful for one of them to say to him, ‘Mr. President, Juneteenth is to the black community what the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln.’”

Even though Trump moved the date of the rally, it remains on the site of the 1921 Tulsa race riot, which massacred and destroyed a community that had been known as "Black Wall Street." He has expressed no remorse for his original mistake, suggesting it was a good thing because "I made Juneteenth very famous."