During Donald Trump’s Springfield, Illinois, rally on Monday, the political candidate continued to gain the adoration of his supporters with what was surely a rousing speech for some. However, one black woman who found herself with the dubious honor of sitting behind Mr Trump found that she had just no cares to give. The woman pulls out a book and proceeds to actively bury her face in it while ignoring Trump, and the internet has made her a celebrity for it.
Don’t interrupt a black woman if she’s reading Claudia Rankine’s CITIZEN in the middle of a Trump rally: https://t.co/gGueoyXY45— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) November 10, 2015
The black woman, identified as Johari Idusuyi, was hailed in several reports as a hero. Idusuyi spent much of the rally in silent protest over Trump. Her proximity to the speaker meant that her every move was captured on camera, and she can be seen checking her phone, engaging her friend in several conversations, and engrossing herself in a book. It was that last activity that seems to have gotten two Trump supporters behind her riled up enough to confront her about reading and that was when she delivered the epic head flip response that everyone fell in love with.
The Chicagoist pegged the book being read as Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. In the most perfect point of information yet, the book is actually about “mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media.” They, like so many others, believe an award should be presented to Johari Idusuyi. The article also expressed hope that Trump fever was dying down and cited an incident where he was recently booed. Ohio Governor John Kasich told the presidential candidate at Tuesday night’s GOP debate that his intentions to deport millions of people was “silly” and not an “adult argument.” Trump responded by insulting the governor and earned himself some heavy boos from the spectators.
Johari Idusuyi has since been identified as a 23-year-old student and writer at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, and when questioned about her actions at the Trump rally, she states quite clearly that it was his attitude and that of his supporters that made her show such disinterest. Johari says she is not a Trump supporter, but when she learned that he was going to be nearby she took the opportunity to see the Republican candidate in person and vowed that she would go with an open mind. Upon arriving with her friend, who is also black, the organizers directed them on exactly where to sit — even inviting them to the VIP section.
“I think we were chosen for obvious reasons. We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there. He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.”
In Jezebel‘s conversation with Idusuyi, she revealed that at the opening of the rally, when Trump began displaying those bullying tactics that the media so often reports on, she quickly saw the light. Trump himself demanded the removal of several protesters, and then a supporter took off the Obama hat another person in the crowd was wearing and tossed it away, earning cheers and applause from the host of other Trump supporters. The young woman says that showed the Republican’s true colours.
“I thought, ‘That’s bullying, that’s aggressive.’ I don’t think Trump handled it with grace. I thought, ‘Oh, you’re really not empathetic at all.’ That’s when the shift happened.”
Recognizing that she was on camera behind Trump, she took out her book and openly began to read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. She decided to take the time to promote a great book, having carried it in case the rally really had nothing insightful to offer her and it seems she made a great decision. She did not, however, expect that reading Citizen would get her into an argument. The exchange started when the man above her tapped her on the shoulder and told her that if she did not want to be there she should leave. The woman beside him seemed to hold more anger towards Idusuyi, and she says she felt the man was more of the initial mouthpiece as even after he stopped, the woman continued to badger her about leaving if she did not want to be there, Idusuyi stood her ground though and exchanged several words with the woman before doing that epic head flip and continuing to read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen.
“I do want to be here, that’s why I’m here. You don’t know who I am. I’m reading my book because I’m uninterested. Did you not just see what happened? This person disrespects women, minorities, everybody and you’re still supporting him. He’s not saying anything of substance.”
She believes that the pair seemed like nice people, but the fact that she was a young black woman ignoring what they seemed to believe was really a great speech offended them. Clearly she found more to support in Rankine’s Citizen.
Suffice it to say, when asked, Johari Idusuyi says Trump definitely does not have her vote.
Photo Courtesy of Johari Idusuyi Facebook Page]