When I learned Donald Trump was running for President, I was entertained. I was as entertained and had the same smirk on my face when Herman Cain was running for office. As Trump has moved to the forefront of the GOP races, I am no longer entertained and have no smirk on my face. I’m terrified.
When I heard he was coming to Louisville, I knew that I had to do something. I talk a lot. I talk loudly. But Donald Trump in my city required some walking and not talking. After talking with some of my fellow freedom fighters, I decided that I would go to Trump’s rally with my phone in hand and film everything. I think in the fight for freedom, it is important that everyone knows their skills and uses them to film the movement. Journalism is my first love. Today, I was a journalist. I also have a passion for young people and the majority of the protesters were high school age so I went with protecting them in mind. So, that’s why my black ass went to a Donald Trump rally.
I parked my car in Old Louisville so I wouldn’t have to pay to park and caught the TARC the rest of the way to the convention center. I never ride the TARC/public transportation so… I put a $20 bill in the machine and expected change back (yea, dumb on my part but hey.. i figure if a machine will take bills, it’ll give them). The TARC driver told me she saw me put a $1 bill in shrugged and said ‘We don’t give change.’ We went back and forth. She acted like my $20 was no big deal and I wanted to scratch her eyes out but I didn’t. I stayed calm. God is merciful. The other passengers on the bus were very helpful and told me to just call the hotline and they’ll check the machine and give me my money back once they see a $20 bill in there. What did we learn… Don’t put a $20 in the TARC and don’t end up in jail about $20.
Once I got to the Convention center the line was around the block. Once we got to 4th and Jefferson, there was a group of protesters across the street. (I’m going to add photos and videos later.. I’m trying to get this all out while its fresh in my mind) Some signs said “Black Lives Matter” I heard someone say “He doesn’t even have anything to do with that…”
First thing I noticed, A LOT of people in line had on University of Kentucky paraphernalia. LESS (but a good number) people had on University of Louisville ‘nailia stuff too. As a UofL alum and fan, we are going to deduce that the UofL fans were just stopping by the rally before the game and that the UK fans crazy.
The lady in front of me in line struck up a conversation with me. She was an older white lady so I was on the defensive. Turns out she just came cause she was curious and was not a Trump supporter. She told me she graduated from UofL (my alma mater) in 1971 with an MBA and was the only woman in her class. Had she not been my elder I would’ve said “YAAASSSSBIIITTTCHH” but I didn’t. Cause I’m respectful.
We had to walk through metal detectors to get in, empty our pockets, and have our bags looked through.
The room the rally was in was large and it was BARELY half full. A lot of people in the city reserved tickets and didn’t show up on purpose to show Trump he ain’t welcome in these parts. I believe if there were actual seats in the room, it would’ve shown how many people WEREN’T there a little better.
Lots of white people of ALL ages in the room I was surprised to see so many YOUNG white people for Trump. I saw less than 10 other black people, one Latino, and a guy from the middle east. I don’t know if they were supporters or not. Outside the rally after I was kicked out (more on that later), I saw a Jewish family (the men had on yamakas) who were obviously for Trump because they had on his T-shirts. So like I said, Lots of white people.
Young white guys were carrying a sign, a HUGE sign that said “Build the Wall.”
An older white guy had on a shirt with Hillary Clinton’s picture on it that said “Life’s a bitch so don’t elect one for president”
Another white guy had on a shirt that said “Keep Calm and Carry Guns”
Right before Donald Trump got on stage, I noticed a young white guy with “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his shirt and “You remind me of Hitler” on the front of his shirt. I gave him the thumbs up and asked to take his picture. Once Trump got on stage, he started yelling “BLACK LIVES MATTER, TRUMP IS A FASCIST”. Another guy came up to him and was GOING OFF. He was beet red and I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears. I walked up and stood between him and “BLM” (never caught his name). Beet Red’s friend got him to walk away. Another guy and I stood on either side of BLM cause he was gon get his ass whooped.
The cops came up to BLM and said stop yelling. So he stopped yelling, but he kept saying. “Black Lives Matter. Trump is a Fascist.” loud enough so everybody could hear. Finally, secret service came and grabbed him and told him to leave. I started filming because had I not, they would’ve gotten too physical with him. Secret Service told me to leave as well. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by 3 cops and the secret service… all white men.
I repeatedly asked why I had to leave and if filming was against the rules. I also said “don’t fxcking touch me.” They didn’t. The cop told me that if secret service told me to leave and I didn’t then it was criminal trespassing. BLM told them that we weren’t together. We were both escorted out of the room, down stairs and onto the street by Secret Service.
I went back to 4th and Jefferson where the protesters were and filmed them some more. I had a good conversation with an older white gentlemen who asked us why Trump’s comments on Muslims were racist since Muslim wasn’t a race. He argued that Muslims had the most terrorists of any religion. I appreciate these moments because I got to engage with someone whose views are different than mine.
By the time the rally was over and people started coming out, all the protesters went down to the entrance of the rally. On one side of the street, people against Trump, on the other side of the street people for Trump. The cops were standing in the middle of the street facing the against crowd which was twice as big as and a thousand times as diverse the for Trump crowd. This was the most powerful, scariest time of the day
The for crowd started chanting “Get a job.”
The against crowd started chanting “Black Lives Matter”
The for crowd, at the same time chanted “Cops Lives Matter” then “All Lives Matter.”
It got heated, so we got the crowd to move down the street to 4th and Jefferson, Trump supporters followed that crowd and it got mixed up. But it was just a lot of yelling back and forth. A line of us stood between the crowds.
By the time I left the scene, the against trump crowd had 4th street blocked at Jefferson. I left because I was cold and my phone was dying, I didn’t want to be around that many cops and that many white people with no phone.
One last thing to note, most of the people that were selling Trump’s campaign stuff (T-shirts, pins, hats, signs) on the street were young and black. Scary.
And that is my Trump rally story. It was way more traumatic than I thought it would be and I’m definitely going to have to do some self-care. I’ll add photos/videos as i figure out how to transfer them from my phone.
Thank you for reading. Register to vote. http://www.dmv.org. We cannot let this man in the white house.