Trump Rally Book Reader: Volunteers Put Us On Camera Because We’re Black


The woman who defiantly read a book during Donald Trump‘s rally in Springfield, Ill. on Monday has been identified. Now she’s speaking out about why she attended the campaign stop in the first place, as well as what motivated her to ignore the Republican presidential candidate and read a book instead.

Johari Osayi Idusuyi, a student at Lincoln Land Community College, told local ABC affiliate WCIS she had no interest in Trump. “But if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?”

So Idusuyi and a few friends went to the rally and found several seats unaccounted for in the area located just behind the podium. When the group inquired about the vacant seats, volunteers told them they were reserved for VIPs. That’s when they were approached by a campaign worker who offered them the empty chairs immediately behind the stage.

“I think we were chosen for obvious reasons. We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there,” Idusuyi told Jezebel. “He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.”

The 20-year-old student stressed that she went to the rally not as a plant, or with ill intent. She genuinely wanted to see Trump speak. But when a few protesters interrupted the speech and the crowd collectively turned on them, Idusuyi got angry.

“The way the supporters treated the protestors was really unbelievable and that’s what made me mad,” she said. “Then there was a man who snatched a lady’s [Barack Obama] hat. She was one of the protesters and was leaving and her hair just went with the hat. Then he threw it into crowd and everybody cheered. I thought, ‘That’s bullying. That’s aggressive.’ I don’t think Trump handled it with grace.”

So she pulled out her copy of Claudia Rankine‘s award-winning book of poetry, Citizen — which she claimed she was already reading at the time — and ignored the rest of the speech. That’s when an older couple, visibly irritated by Idusuyi’s action, poked her on the shoulder and said, “If you don’t wanna be here then leave.” A brief argument ensued, after which the older woman supposedly said she was glad Idusuyi wasn’t her daughter.

“If I met this couple at an event or a dinner party, I would think they were nice people,” Idusuyi explained. “They probably are nice people. But I don’t think they have any right to tell me what to do.”

Check out the clip above, via WICS.

[h/t JezebelWCIS]
[Image via screengrab]

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