TRUMP CAMPERS

A bust of President Donald Trump sits on a barricade on in downtown Tulsa ahead of Saturday's campaign rally. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

Your editorial comparing the Rev. Al Sharpton’s visit to the president’s is a rhetorical strategy we’ve become all too familiar with lately: the false equivalence ("Black lives matter," June 19).

It became most prominent, of course, when the president, responding to the murder of a protester during a racist rally in Charlottesville, said there are good people — on both sides.

So to borrow from that editorial's template ...

Unlike President Donald Trump, Sharpton seeks to unite people.

Unlike Trump, Sharpton calls for peace (as opposed to the shooting-when-looting approach).

Unlike Trump, Sharpton recognizes that structural racism continues to do great damage to this country.

Unlike Trump, Sharpton wants to do something about it.

The editorial makes a valid argument that any large gathering of people In Oklahoma amid the current COVID-19 spike here is a health risk and should be avoided.

But the comparison between a Trump rally and a Sharpton rally is highly flawed, measurably and observably.

The former openly and enthusiastically sows seeds of cultural antagonization. The latter wants that to end — for everyone.

Editor's Note: Shane M. Graber is a visiting professor and research fellow at Oklahoma State University's School of Media and Strategic Communications.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.


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