Quora Question: What's It Like to Attend a Trump Rally as a Black Person?

Donald Trump rally
Donald Trump at a rally in Biloxi, Mississippi, January 2. Reporting on the U.S. election has swept the Pulitzer prizes. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Answer from Jeremy M. Thompson:

I went to a Trump rally at Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA. I went through four layers of security checks. I had to show my ticket for the event on my phone to two different people. Next, a third-party security company prechecked me. Then, TSA was set up with Secret Service personnel to do the final inspection.

Once I arrived in the theater, I had the choice to sit on the main floor or up in the balcony. I decided to sit up top. Before Trump came out to speak, there were other speakers. I remember a lady, a black man working for minority recruitment for the GOP in Georgia, Ralph Reed and Herman Cain. The main talking point for everyone was that Trump is good and Hillary is Obama 2.0. The crowd would boo loudly every time Hillary's name was mentioned, and President Obama couldn't do anything right.

Donald Trump came out and the crowd seemed to eat up his words. The Orlando shooting had just taken place. Trump was very careful to be considerate and respectful. He spoke on a wide variety of policy issues. However, it was always from a general perspective. He never had specific policy solutions.

Many anti-Trump people were in the audience. Trump instructed his supporters to chant, "Trump, Trump, Trump" and point to the offenders. This would allow the police and security to find them and escort them out of the theater. Trump told his supporters to not use violence.

I also noticed that Trump basically says the same thing at each rally that I've listened to on YouTube or read about in the news. He will simply add something currently going on in the USA or abroad. He also speaks anecdotally about everything but presents it as absolute truth. His followers chant USA whenever he speaks about something like being strong with China or bringing jobs back to the USA. But it's always rhetoric without specific policy.

I was mostly ignored at the event. I had one white gentleman speak to me, thank me for coming and shake my hand. I never told him that I was there for observational purposes only. I never mentioned my independent political affiliation. Around me were plenty of young white millennial males, a few white females, a few older white females and plenty of middle age white males. There were maybe five black people in the balcony area with me.

We also had five or 10 Hispanics that showed up in the balcony. One of them wore a huge sombrero. The sombrero man received hand claps and high fives. He thanked the audience and said that Hispanics love Trump. I felt like the man and the people clapping were not genuine. It appeared staged and over the top.

After about two hours I decided to leave the event. As I was leaving, a man working for the Trump campaign was passing out bumper stickers. He gave them to all of the white people in front of me with a smile and small talk. I received no bumper sticker. I received no smile. I received no small talk.

I felt really uncomfortable being at the event. I knew that many people probably thought that I was there to cause trouble. I wasn't warmly welcomed. Nobody except for one white male briefly spoke to me. I found it odd that they wanted to increase the minority vote in Georgia for Republicans, but I didn't receive any conversation.

I'm not going to say that the people were racist. I will say that the environment is not minority friendly. For the first time in Atlanta, I felt unwelcome and worried. Nothing negative materialized, but I never plan on placing myself in that environment again. It was nice to say that I went.

One final thought, Trump only wants people at his events that bend to his persuasion. If his supporters were to challenge him, he would kick them out too. He is an equal opportunity person when it comes to getting rid of people that don't agree with everything he says. You either agree 100 percent or he will kick you out.

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Quora Question: What's It Like to Attend a Trump Rally as a Black Person? | U.S.