One million people did not show up to President Trump’s rally
in Tulsa, Oklahoma this past weekend. Instead, the 19,000-seat arena looked more than half empty on Saturday night, and that’s in large part thanks to K-pop fans. The kids are alright.Earlier this month, the Trump team announced the president would be resuming his campaigning efforts in person for the 2020 election, and that included a first stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event was initially scheduled to take place on June 19, or Juneteenth, and was met with heavy resistance
by many who felt it was insensitive for Trump to hold a rally in Tulsa on the historic date. Tulsa was the location of the 1921 massacre that left hundreds of Black residents dead, thousands homeless and destroyed 36 blocks of the Greenwood District, which was known as ‘Black Wallstreet.’ In a shocking display of common sense, Trump decided to move the rally by a day to June 20.Even with the revised date, many continued to criticize the decision to hold a public even in an enclosed space at a time when many states are continuing to set records for new daily cases of COVID-19. The president boasted on June 15 that almost one million people
had requested tickets for the June 20th
rally, but on Saturday, photos from the event showed a very different attendance rate.The outdoor overflow area, expected to hold thousands, was nearly empty, while the inside of the BOK Center appeared barely half full of Trump supporters. It now appears that we have K-pop fans to thank for the underwhelming turnout.Organized largely through the use of TikTok, K-pop fans encouraged each other to register for the free event without the intention of attending. One video that tagged K-pop supergroup BTS to join the effort had over 300,000 views
.US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the low turnout at Trump’s rally, responding to Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s claims that protesters physically blocked Trump supporters from attending the rally. Fake news.
Those who did attend got a front row seat to watch the unmasked leader of the free world say that COVID testing should be slowed down
so that numbers don’t continue to rise. Seriously. That’s his response to 120,000 American deaths. Trump then demonstrated that he can drink from a glass and walk down a ramp
. So yeah, totally worth contracting coronavirus to see in person.Trump’s rally was also marred by his use of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” a song choice that resulted in the president immediately receiving a cease and desist letter from Petty’s family.
For those wondering what the BOK Centre looks like when the attendance is actually totally ‘yuge,’ comedian Amy Schumer shared an old tour video. Boom.
Organizing a massive online demonstration by reserving tickets to Trump’s rally is the latest in an impressive list of accomplishments by K-pop fans. After supergroup BTS were forced to cancel their 2020 Map of the Soul
world tour, the group encouraged fans to donate their refunded tickets to coronavirus relief, resulting in thousands raised
. Earlier this month, BTS donated $1 million to the Black Lives Matter movement, an amount that was matched and later surpassed
by millions of K-pop fans around the world. Most recently, K-pop fans co-opted the hashtag #WhiteLivesMatter
and redirected users to anti-racist images and articles. And that’s all just this year.[video_embed id='1981850']RELATED: Expectations and explanations for Trump's Tulsa rally turnout[/video_embed]