PENDLETON, S.C. – A Clemson professor dressed in a traditional Muslim garment says he was kicked out of Donald Trump’s rally Wednesday night in Pendleton. He caught it all on tape, posting this video to social media and it was watched more than 150,000 times in 24 hours.
Dr. Chenjeria Kumanyika was wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf called a “keffiyeh” at the rally. He doesn’t practice that religion, but wanted to stand in solidarity with groups that he feels have been marginalized by the Trump campaign.
He believes this prejudice was showcased last night when he was walked out of the Trump event, sparking the viral nature of his video. Kumanyika called his moves a “test” of our rights to practice the democratic process. His getting kicked out means the test failed.
“I think this sends a message in some way that if you are going to participate in this democratic process, be small. Be inconspicuous. Don’t stand up. Sit down. If you’re told to leave, don’t ask why,” said Dr. Kumanyika.
Kumanyika said he didn’t act small at the rally. He stood up, he sat down and he walked around the arena, as he said others were doing. According to Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies, his behavior caught the Trump campaign’s attention.
“What did I do that was different than anybody else,” asked Kumanyika in his video.
“The Trump Campaign…the Trump people said that you were no longer welcome,” a deputy explained.
7News reached out to the Trump campaign, Thursday. They said they were looking into the matter.
Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office said they did escort him out on behalf of the campaign, but not based on his appearance. They said Kumanyika was “continually blocking” the view of other people.
“I wondered and I still wonder what I did that was different than what anyone else has done,” said Kumanyika, Thursday.