By Eiman Zuberi —
Pushed. Attacked. Berated. A University of Louisville junior made national headlines after being physically and verbally assaulted at a Donald Trump rally March 1.
Kashiya Nwanguma attended the rally at the downtown convention center when GOP frontrunner Donald Trump visited Louisville. The event drew several thousand supporters and a few protesters.
“I was just very curious about the spectacle of it all,” Nwanguma said. “I just wanted to go and see what was really going on with these rallies. I try to be nonjudgmental and wanted to take a stand against what Donald Trump represents.”
But what happened next left her in disbelief.
In an incident she’s calling “unimaginable,” attendees shoved Nwanguma out. Multiple people and media outlets recorded it, but no one did anything to help her.
“I went there straight after work,” Nwanguma said. “As more people were being thrown out, I was able to get pretty close to the front.”
Closer to the stage, she raised her hands, holding two pieces of paper with a photoshopped picture of Trump on a pig’s body. Soon, Trump was yelling in his microphone to “get her out of there.”
“He looked at me directly in the eye,” Nwanguma said. “Then I began to get attacked by the crowd.”
Videos of the scuffle lit up social media. Local and national news outlets are discussing it. The attacks have been deemed hate crimes or racism. Police are investigating.
“I was like, ‘what the heck is going on,’” Nwanguma said. “I was in awe. I didn’t know what to think.”
A week later. the public health major says it was so ridiculous, it was “almost funny.”
“I don’t feel the need to react negatively or angrily at a situation like that,” Nwanguma said. “Their beliefs are ignorant.”
The videos show several grown men, one identified as a veteran and another a white supremacist youth leader, shoving and cursing at Nwanguma. Some of the words heard in the crowd were “loser” and “scum.”
“Leftist scum is what sticks out to me the most. I’m not sure it’s an insult really. But I think they were implying that I’m a liberal piece of crap,” Nwanguma said. “Their opinions are not valid.”
Nwanguma tried to film what was happening during the attacks. She shot two videos, one has gone viral. She said one of the men tried to grab her phone, which slightly injured her wrist, the only physical injury.
She wasn’t the only person thrown out of the rally. During his 40 minute speech, Trump paused several times, shouting things like “get them the hell out of here!”
Nwanguma said she hopes it brings awareness about the hostile environment provoked during these rallies. “It just lets people know that there are people out there who have very extreme and dangerous views, among Americans,” Nwanguma said. It’s a wake up call in a way.”
“I want them to take a chance and get to know someone who is different from them,” Nwanguma said when asked what she would say to her attackers. “(To) see that not everyone who is different is bad. We don’t have to react to each other violently to get our points across.”
Photo by Nick Amon / The Louisville Cardinal