When I first started telling the people around me that I was planning to go to a Trump rally, they all had the same reaction.
Nobody thought it was a good idea at all. And, honestly, I understood where they were coming from. The media portrays Trump rallies to not be the best places in the world for a black girl like myself.
Above, is one of the many violent Trump incidents that I had to look over once more before I went to this Trump rally. It really did scare me to see so much violence spring from just one event.
But the reason why I wanted to go in the first place is that I wanted to see if Trump was as bad as the media was making him out to be.
This whole election year has seemed like more of a reality TV show and less like like a sophisticated election. It all can seem very fake at times. So I wanted to experience it for myself and make my own decisions without being totally swayed by what the media may want me to believe.
In other words, I didn't think it was going to be as bad as I thought it was.
Once I got to the Richmond Coliseum I was a bit scared. I can't lie. It's weird going into a space full of people that could potentially pick a fight with you. But I didn't come to cause a scene. I came to observe, that's it. I just showed my ticket at the door, and a guard let me into the coliseum.
One of the Trump volunteers passed me an official Trump poster, and it all became real to me at that very moment.
I was officially a part of a Trump rally. I walked into the coliseum, and observed everything.
There were blue "Make American Great Again!" banners displayed all over the arena. Trump supporters were everywhere. They all pretty much looked like the average, friendly people that you would see walking down the street. In my mind, I had imagined them to be mildly different.
So that was pleasantly surprising.
A couple of other politicians came out first, one by one to praise Trump and simultaneously burn Hillary Clinton. But that's what I was expecting. I didn't pay it much mind because that wasn't what I was here to see.
It was interesting to see how other people reacted to what they were saying. They would boo and cheer almost on cue. I almost thought I was actually watching this play out on CNN or MSNBC. But no, this was in fact real life.
They played a couple different songs at the rally, but the one that stuck out in my head was Neil Young's 'Rockin' in The Free World'.
I was extremely interested to see what music they'd play at the rally because there had been a ton of controversy with artists not wanting to associate themselves with Trump by letting him play their music at his rallies. I guess Neil Young doesn't mind.
Before I knew it, lights began to flash around the coliseum and loud music filled the air. An announcer introduced Donald K. Trump to the crowd, and there he was.
Now, I can't lie, it was quite exciting to see him in the flesh. Before anything else, Trump is a celebrity. And for me personally, it's always exhilarating to come in close contact with a celebrity. He did the typical politician/businessman/whatever thing and shook hands with people in front of cameras, and threw an assorted bunch of thumbs up. And then, once he got to the podium, the music died down and he started to talk.
It was at that moment that it felt just like watching his speeches on the television. For some reason, I thought it would be different to see him in person. I thought maybe I would get some insightful knowledge about Trump from seeing him in the real life; I'd realize that Trump isn't a bad guy after all.
But, no, that's not what happened. I sat there and listened to him talk for quite a while. Most people were pretty enthusiastic about what he was saying, some weren't. But once I left, I still had some of the same unanswered questions.
1. When you say "Make America Great Again" you're implying that America was once greater than it is now; when was that?
2. Are you actually going to build a wall around America and make Mexico pay for it? Or are you just saying that to give journalists a decent quote?
3. Is your hair real?
But, it's cool. I don't regret going at all. I made it through alive and I didn't have a completely awful time. That's a win in my book.