While many (myself included) thought the act, which quickly went viral, was a planned protest, Johari Osayi Idusuyi told Jezebel’s Kara Brown that it was spontaneous—she attended the event with an open mind, but her mood shifted when she saw how the presidential candidate’s supporters interacted with protesters.
There were some “Dump Trump” protesters. The way the supporters treated the protesters was really unbelievable and that’s what made me mad. All four of us as a collective group, our energy shifted. The way Donald Trump said, “Get them out of here”—when you say those words, that activates your supporters to be able to be the same way. Then there was a man who snatched a lady’s 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. I thought, “Oh, you’re really not empathetic at all.” That’s when the shift happened.
Just as remarkable is the fact that Idusuyi had Citizen, a brilliant meditation on racial injustice in contemporary America, on hand. “I actually wanted to bring two books,” she told Brown. “It was The Alchemist and that book, but I forgot The Alchemist on my table. I just started to read it. Then I was like, I’m in the middle, I’m on camera, so why not use the opportunity to promote a great book?”