A teen who identified himself as half-Indian was escorted out of a Donald Trump rally last week out of concern that he was a protester, but the man insisted he was a Trump supporter and said he feels that he was racially profiled.
Jake Anantha, an 18-year-old from Charlotte, was approached by a member of Trump’s security team and then ushered out by police. He was told that he resembled another man who had previously disrupted Trump rallies.
Anantha is reported to be a registered Republican wearing a Trump T-shirt, a Trump fanboy who had come to cheer the man he thought was for all Americans. As he stood outside the door of the convention center watching “all these white people” streaming in after he was removed, Anantha says he stopped believing Trump stood for everyone.
“When I saw him on TV, I personally didn’t mind his rhetoric,” he told the local Charlotte Observer. “I defended him. When people called him a racist, I said he’s a critic of our flawed immigration system. He’s strong on Islamic terrorism.”
Jake’s father Ramesh Anantha, who also counted himself as a Republican, says his son’s ardor for Trump made him go “whoa!” before the incident. “It’s unbelievably ironic… he should have been looked at as a perfect Trump supporter. He should have been somebody they’re putting up on stage,” said Anantha, whose parents migrated from India.
“It was a very rude introduction into the world of politics,” said Anantha, who works in financial services. “We realize Donald Trump himself had nothing to do with this problem, but it’s the type of campaign he’s running.” He believes, “I do think it was because I was brown,” Anantha said.
Explaining the run-up to the incident, Jake Anantha said he had been waiting near the stage just before Trump arrived when a security staffer tapped his shoulder and asked him to come with him. He says the staffer told him, “We know who you are. You’ve been at many other rallies.”
“I told him I’ve never been to another rally in my life,” Anantha said. “I’m a huge Trump supporter. I would never protest against Trump.” Anantha later tweeted that he would be voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in November. “I will definitely be voting Johnson on November 8th,” he wrote.