Illinois woman Johari Osayi Idusuyi became an overnight celebrity–mainly on Twitter and Facebook–after she was spotted reading a book during a Donald Trump campaign speech. Someone captured a Vine video of her reading and it subsequently went viral.
— kristen ann cooper (@KristenACooper) November 12, 2015
Idusuyi, who is a student at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, said she brought Claudia Rankine’s book, “Citizen,” a book on everyday racism, to a Trump rally in Springfield, Ill.
“I’m genuinely not interested in him as a person, but if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?” Idusuyi told WICS-TV.
Idusuyi ended up with a spot right behind him. She added that she was probably seated behind the GOP candidate “because she’s black.”
“I think we were chosen for obvious reasons,” Idusuyi told the Jezebel blog. “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.”
She claims that some protesters were removed from the event and she described it as bullying. “Some a mix of educated and uneducated, everyone on the spectrum cheering for such ignorance and that’s when I was just taken a back and that’s when my energy had shifted,” said Idusuyi, per WICS.
Idusuyi said she wasn’t intentionally trying to protest.
— someecards (@someecards) November 12, 2015
“I came here, yes, to observe a man that I already had low expectations for, but I thought maybe he could change my mind. Maybe it was just a media thing and I’m judging too fast based on what the media says and I was wrong, I wasn’t. He was exactly what I expected him to be and his supporters are exactly what I expected them to be,” added Idusuyi.
Some Trump supporters noticed her reading and told her to leave, but she didn’t.
“If you don’t wanna be here then leave,” a woman told her, she recalled.
“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.”