To choose the date, to come to Tulsa, is totally disrespectful and a slap in the face to even happen
That’s Sherry Gamble Smith, the president of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, on Donald Trump’s decision to kick-start his re-election campaign with a rally in the Oklahoma city on 19 June. It was the scene of one of the worst ever racial atrocities in US history, and Trump will hold his rally on the Juneteenth anniversary of the final emancipation of enslaved people in the country.
Critics accused the president of “racially motivated trolling” and timing akin to “blasphemy”.
You can read a full report here: Critics decry Trump election rally in city of Tulsa race massacre on Juneteenth
British PM says George Floyd protests ‘hijacked by extremists’
In London, Boris Johnson the British prime minister has sent a series of tweets this morning saying that Black Lives Matter protests in the UK have been “hijacked by extremists intent on violence”.
Johnson said “We all understand the legitimate feelings of outrage at what happened in Minnesota and the legitimate desire to protest against discrimination” but added that attacks on police in the UK last weekend during protests had been “intolerable” and “abhorrent”.
He also condemned the removal of statues, saying:
We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations. They had different perspectives, different understandings of right and wrong. But those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults. To tear them down would be to lie about our history, and impoverish the education of generations to come.
One of the statues of a slave-owner removed in London had only been placed in its present location in 1997.
Demonstrations planned for central London on Saturday have been cancelled for fear that there will be clashes with far-right activists.
Read it in full: Boris Johnson says removing statues is ‘to lie about our history’
Getting Republicans on board for widespread police reform is going to be crucial for turning the energy of the Black Lives Matter movement into real change.
This morning CNN have a profile piece on one of the Republicans who could be a key part of that fight – South Carolina senator Tim Scott.
It felt like sometimes the good Lord puts you where you need to be before you knew you had to be there. This is an opportunity for me to do what it is I am called to do. I have said it several times before. God made me black on purpose. Perhaps a part of the purpose is where I am right now.
Scott is expected to unveil his policing proposal next week, building on legislation he started working on in 2015 after the murder of Walter Scott. The act in his would create a national database of police use-of-force incidents that resulted in death.
Axios are being a little bit coy about just what is in it, but a source has given them advance access to the long-awaited book by former national security adviser John Bolton.
They say it will “offer multiple revelations about President Trump’s conduct in office, with direct quotes by the president and senior officials”.
There is the suggestion that the book will contain more details of Donald Trump’s words over Ukraine, and that Bolton will contend there was “Trump misconduct with other countries”.
It seems difficult to believe, with the way the world has changed with coronavirus and the global outpouring of anger and grief over the killing of George Floyd, but it is only 14 weeks since president Trump was acquitted over his behaviour towards Ukraine.
Bolton’s book – The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir – will be published on 23 June.
LeBron James, arguably America’s most prominent athlete, has stepped up by backing a new campaign group More Than a Vote.
James commented earlier in the week about the long voting line that were seen in the Georgia primary on Tuesday.
Joining James in the new venture are his business partner Maverick Carter. Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, Phoenix Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith and former NBA player Jalen Rose. James has cited Muhammad Ali as an inspiration for his involvement in politics.
Gabriel Baumgaertner looks at just what LeBron is planning: ‘How do we fix this?’ – LeBron James takes fight to black voter suppression
While Florida Rep Val Demings and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have had their names touted as a possible VP pick from Joe Biden, Kamala Harris is in a strong position to take the spot.
Bloomberg have a piece from Jennifer Epstein this morning running the rule over Biden’s options. It includes this quote from Democratic strategist Karen Finney:
If it isn’t all the more obvious in this moment why selecting a black woman isn’t historically the right thing to do, morally the right thing to do, something that our country needs, I don’t know what other sign you need. It seems very obvious and so important in this moment.
Biden has already committed to choosing a woman for VP.
Hi, welcome to our US politics and protests live blog today. Here’s a reminder of some of the key points from yesterday and overnight, and a look at what we can expect later today
- General Mark Milley apologized for participating in Trump’s church and bible photo op after the forcible removal of peaceful protesters. “I should not have been there,” he told the National Defense University
- Republicans confirmed that Donald Trump will become their nominee for the election in a convention rescheduled to Jacksonville, Florida. The party were unhappy that the original venue in North Carolina would have to be down-sized due to coronavirus restrictions
- Black community and political leaders are calling on Trump to at least change the date of his Tulsa rally, saying that holding the event on Juneteenth is a “slap in the face”
- Seattle’s mayor has continued to defend protesters in the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone”
- The Senate voted 65-19 early Friday morning to advance a bipartisan conservation bill, the Great American Outdoors Act
- Arizona has seen an alarming surge of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases daily
What can we expect from today? Well, there are no public events scheduled for Donald Trump, but vice president Mike Pence will be having a morning roundtable with faith and community leaders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He’s giving a talk later on at Oberg Industries. Joe Biden will be doing a teletown hall with the AFSCME union.
The White House sent out an email yesterday titled “The corporate media is now controlled by the radical left”. I don’t know whether that includes me, but you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ll be looking after our coverage for the next couple of hours.