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Mystery woman seen in viral video reading book at Trump rally speaks out

By WITW Staff on November 12, 2015

The woman spotted at a Trump rally reading Claudia Rakine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric has been identified by the website Jezebel as 23-year-old Johari Osayi Idusuyi. Footage of Idusuyi went viral after she was tapped on the shoulder by a man seated behind her as the Republican frontrunner spoke at a rally in Illinois on Monday night. The man behind her gestured to the woman to put down the book and pay attention to Trump, a suggestion that Idusuyi enthusiastically rebuffed. Jezebel tracked her down and asked whether, as some speculated, her placement there was a total set-up. Turns out, it wasn’t — however, Idusuyi said the seats she and her friends sat in were in a VIP section that the foursome wasn’t originally slated for. But when Idusuyi asked to sit there, some people with the Trump campaign quickly found seats for them in prominent area of the VIP section. “We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there,” told Jezebel, adding that they were instructed to sit near the middle.

Idusuyi said she went to the rally with an open mind, hoping to learn more about Trump. The opportunity to go along arose when her friend’s family members canceled on their plans to attend the event. She was seated alongside three friends. “We weren’t trying to make a scene and it wasn’t originally planned to be a protest. We just wanted to go in with an open mind and it turned into something bigger,” Idusuyi recalled.

Johari Osayi Idusuyi (Facebook)
Johari Osayi Idusuyi (Facebook)

So, why’d she decide to whip out a book and start reading during the rally? Idusuyi said the treatment of some “Dump Trump” protesters in the audience quickly turned her off the candidate and his message after he abruptly called for their dismissal from the venue. “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.” Idusuyi said the behavior she witnessed amounted to bullying of the small group of protesters and, deciding she’d heard enough, she took out the book, which she’d happened to bring along and started reading.

“I wanted to leave, but I came, I’m in the middle, I’m on camera, so I might as well read because I don’t have anything else to do,” she explained. “I’m not going to waste my time listening to somebody who I can’t respect anymore, so I started to read.”

The rest of the interview is interesting and touches on the fateful moment that was caught on camera. Idusuyi dishes on the words she exchanged with the man seen tapping her on the shoulder.

Read the full interview at Jezebel.