HBO’s Watchmen takes place in an alternate version of America’s present, but it begins with an all-too-real incident from the nation’s past. The first episode of the Peabody Award-winning series, created by Damon Lindelof and based on Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series, opens in Tulsa, Okla., on May 31, 1921, the date of the infamous Black Wall Street massacre. On that day, armed mobs of white men descended on the city’s predominantly black Greenwood District — dubbed “Black Wall Street” because of its prosperity — and razed the area, burning, looting and killing. The massacre became one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in American history, and, for a long time, one of the least discussed.
But Watchmen thrust that violent chapter in Oklahoma’s history back into the public discourse, serving as the inciting incident in a narrative that speaks directly to the legacy of racial injustice in America. And that narrative starting point looks positively prescient in light of President Donald Trump’s announced decision to hold his first campaign rally in months in Tulsa on June 19. That date is no accident: Celebrated as Juneteenth or Freedom Day, it’s a commemoration of the end of slavery following the Civil War. The parallels between Watchmen’s world and our own were immediately noted on Twitter.Tom@Tom_Critchley_
I was already starting to get serious Watchmen vibes about the current events in the US, and now Trump is doing his first rally in Tulsa?
First rally is going to be in Tulsa on Juneteenth? That sounds like episode 10 of Watchmen. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/us/politics/trump-rally-tulsa-oklahoma.html?smid=tw-share …Trump Will Return to Campaign Trail With Rally in TulsaThe president’s first rally since the coronavirus shuttered most of the country will take place on Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, in the city where one of the worst racist…nytimes.com9Twitter Ads info and privacySee Mark Wynns’s other TweetsPatrick S. Tomlinson@stealthygeek
If you think it’s a coincidence Trump’s first hate rally in two months is in Tulsa after everyone learned about the 1921 Tulsa bombing while binging Watchmen during lockdown, Stephen Miller has a wall to sell you.254Twitter Ads info and privacy60 people are talking about thisSandi Bachom@sandibachom
Trump going straight for the Klan vote. His first no mask Covid MAGA rally will be in Tulsa on Junteenth the 99th anniversary of the bloodiest massacre in black history. If you saw Watchmen on HBO this is absolutely incredible. He’s going to burn it all down.1,177Twitter Ads info and privacy513 people are talking about thisDan Fagin✔@danfagin
The Trump campaign is going to find out that Tulsa is a more progressive city than they think, in part because of its terrible history of racial violence. Masks in the (fictional) city of Watchmen, what could go wrong? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/10/us/politics/trump-rally-tulsa-oklahoma.html …Trump Will Return to Campaign Trail With Rally in TulsaThe president’s first rally since the coronavirus shuttered most of the country will take place on Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, in the city where one of the worst racist…nytimes.com7Twitter Ads info and privacySee Dan Fagin’s other Tweets
Lindelof, who is well-known to eschew social media, has yet to respond to recent headlines. But since Watchmen premiered in October, he has been very vocal about why he chose to start the show with the Tulsa massacre. “It was built on this incredible, horrible taking of treasure and destruction of an African American utopia in 1921 Oklahoma,” he told NPR last year, admitting that like many white Americans, he was unaware of Black Wall Street or its awful end and crediting author Ta-Nehisi Coates with educating him. “It felt like a superhero origin story in some weird way. It felt like Krypton, you know? It felt like the destruction of a world.”
This article was originally posted on yahoo.com/entertainment/.