At Trump’s insistence, the Republican Party has moved its convention from North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. The reason: North Carolina imposes health restrictions due to the pandemic. Twenty thousand people in an arena did not seem like a good idea to state health officials, especially since it seemed likely that many would follow Trump’s model and refuse to wear a face mask.

The rate of coronavirus infections is rising in both states.

Florida will impose no restrictions, and face masks will not be required.

Trump will give his acceptance speech on August 27, which is known in Jacksonville as “Axhandle Saturday.”

Trump is set to give his speech on Aug. 27 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, a venue in downtown Jacksonville that can accommodate roughly 15,000 people. (It is smaller than the 20,000-person capacity Spectrum Center in Charlotte where Trump was supposed to deliver the speech.)
The timing of the speech raised concerns, because it will be given on the 60th anniversary of Jacksonville’s Ax Handle Saturday, when a mob of about 200 whites attacked black demonstrators who had been trying to desegregate lunch counters in the city via a series of peaceful sit-ins. After about two weeks of protesting, a group of white men, armed with ax handles and baseball bats, beat the protesters.

Somehow the timing seems appropriate for a man who reveres the Confederacy.