Who Was The Woman Who Read Through A Trump Rally?
If you were wondering who was that heroic woman who wouldn't stop reading at a Donald Trump rally, wonder no more: her name is Johari Osayi Idusuyi and she pretty much as excellent as she seems. After a Vine of Idusuyi in the audience behind Trump as she refused to stop reading, went viral she became an unexpected Internet sensation. And since then she's explained a little more about how she came to find herself reading Citizen by Claudia Rankine on camera at a Trump rally.
As Idusuyi explained to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, she didn't plan it. In fact, she attended the Trump rally at the last minute when a friend told her that she had a few extra tickets she wanted to give away. As she said:
[My friends and I] did come ... with an open mind. We had low expectations, but we still wanted to see if maybe the media is just blowing him out of proportion, maybe he does have something valid, something of substance, to say.
And as for the book, she just happened to have it on her. She had seen Rankine at an event in Chicago not long before attending the rally, and brought her copy from the reading with her to read before the rally started.
However, once the rally started, Idusuyi said that she was upset by the way Trump handled the protesters at the event. According to her, a grown man pulled an Obama hat off of a 16-year-old female protester and threw it out into the crowd, and Idusuyi says she and her friends were "disgusted" by the response from Trump and his supporters.
"After I saw those incidents, I felt uninterested," she said. "I felt disappointed." So she decided to read instead — and the rest in Internet history.
Idusuyi also told Jezebel that she thinks she and her friends might have been asked to sit behind Trump in the first place because they were people of color; They didn't have tickets for the section, but were asked by an usher if they'd like to sit there.
"I think we were chosen for obvious reasons. We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there, " she said. "He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was."
So really Trump's campaign only has themselves to blame. If people are going to try using marginalized people as props to make it seem a candidate has diverse supporters, they can't really be surprised when it backfires.
Personally, having only heard Trump speak during the Republican primary debates, I can't think of anything better to do during a rally than read a book of poems dealing with modern racism in America.
Johari Osayi Idusuyi: a hero for our times.