By Ed Wallace, 7/20/2016A small-town girl from Morgan, UT was thrust into the national spotlight because of what happened during a simple trip to the restroom yesterday at the GOP convention in Cleveland. Kera Birkeland, a Utah GOP delegate, exited from the restroom in tears and returned to the delegation where other delegates asked her what was wrong. Kera responded that she was threatened by Donald Trump supporters: “They said: ‘You should die. They should pull the protection from the Utah delegation. You should all die.’ ”A reporter from CNN happened to overhear a conversation between a Utah delegate and a Trump liaison discussing the incident. This story grew from there into a major news story, especially in the main-stream and left-leaning media, who are out to destroy Trump and republicans any way they can.Another Utah delegate, Stefani Stone Williams, got an email from Carl Paladino, the co-chairman of Trump’s New York campaign, that said she (Williams) should be “hung for treason” for trying to give delegates a chance to vote for a candidate other than Trump.
Ed’s Note: Utah Standard News stands behind Kera and the rest of the Utah delegation as they attempted, with others, to force a roll call vote on the rules. They are representing the values and standards of our state, and the will of our citizens. To all off them… GREAT JOB. Keep it up.
Kera described the incident on her Face Book page:
“Friends: thanks for the kind words. Yes, I was threatened, so to speak. I went into the bathroom and came out of my stall and there I was confronted by two women. They yelled at me, called me names. They said I should die. They said the police should be pulled from the Utah delegation and we should all die. They never touched me. They did not say they would kill me. They just said I should die.
It shook me at first. I came out of the bathroom crying, which is how people from Utah found out. The story spread. News crews caught me crying. I was just in shock. But I was and I am ok. Yesterday, while riding the bus downtown, a democrat said to me; “You’re a young republican, we should kill you before you produce off spring”. It’s just been a great two days.
This behavior is horrible, but I won’t let it get me down. I’ll stay involved and keep fighting for what I believe. Our society really needs to change and start treating people with respect and decency.
And for the record–I am not Never Trump. The role call vote was never about Trump. It was about the National Republican Party showing transparency. I believe a role call vote would have helped unite the Republican Party. But the RNC doesn’t seem to want a party for the people.
She later responded to all the attention.
“I am so very much over all the drama surrounding what happened on Monday. I want to post it here, and move on.
Monday, Utah delegates on the floor requested a role call vote. Our request was not being heard by the RNC. They had our mic off. We were loud, and I’m sure to others, seemed obnoxious. The longer this went on, the more others around us, who supported Trump, got loud to counter us. The tension, in at least our area, was high. I was asked by some media and other delegates if I noticed the people flipping us off and yelling rude things at us- I didn’t. I was trying to film what happened and I was watching the stage. It was really, really loud.
Shortly after this was over, I used the restroom. In the restroom, two women made the remarks that I should die. With all the tension that was on the floor and hearing the crowd make horrible remarks to our senator as he walked out, I knew I was in unfriendly territory. I did start to cry, not bawl, I wasn’t hysterical, but I had a few tears. It made me sad. I had used that bathroom before and I’ve used it since, and people are fine. I have had several simple conversations with other women while in the restroom. It was just that one time and it upset me.
When I came out, I went back to our delegation seats. A few delegates spoke with me about why I was crying and were kind. One delegate, who was also threaten by email (she was told that she should be hung) told our Trump liaison what happened. He was sorry it happened. He’s a nice guy. But someone from the media was standing there and heard what she said. Cameras were all around. The media was hoping to get reactions from our attempt at a role call vote. Shortly there after, I was approached by a very nice man from NBC. He asked me some questions about the vote and about what went on in the bathroom. I told him what happened. I let him know that I was ok and didn’t want to discuss it on air. I am vain and knew my makeup was messed up from the tears. I also knew that what happened in the restroom was a knee jerk reaction by a very, very small portion of the people there. He was very kind and understanding. He didn’t pressure me.
Shortly there after, another man from the media came over… He had heard what happened. I was not crying at this point. Everything was fine and we were moving on. This media guy asked if I wanted to share what happened. I said that I didn’t. I told him that I’m not a victim and that everything was ok. He told me “Well, we have video of you crying and we have the story, we’re running that story with footage of you crying or you can share your story composed”. There were already people talking to me about what happened, because they heard it from someone else and their version of the story was wrong. I didn’t want it to be a big deal and felt that if I shared what really happened, it’d be done and over. I was wrong. As usual, the media twist things. The whole thing was blown WAY out of proportion.
I got a panicked call from my mom after she read incorrect details of it all online. It was overwhelming. I tried to set the record straight that night and blow it off.
Yesterday I woke up to my name and makeup messed up face, all over news outlets. It was again overwhelming. I was and I am ok. Shortly after that I started getting some hateful messages sent to me. I rarely even open the messages now, I just delete them. People can be so mean.
When I do an interview, my hope is to convey each time that our society needs to be more kind (but that doesn’t sell). I get that people get upset and fly off the handle from time to time. As a foster parent, I am pro at dealing with breakdowns, meltdowns and tantrums. I’ve been yelled at, called names, punched and threaten by foster kids. But they are kids– going through REAL crap. As adults, and in politics, we should behavior in a higher manner. What I have seen at the RNC is the perfect example of why people hate politics. And what I have received in negative messages from those outside of politics is an example of why people think our nation is rude and intolerant and why no one wants to take a stand. You’ll always have laptop warriors ready to pull you apart bit by bit.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” -Mark Twain
“One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all — to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.” -Ezra Taft Benson”
Watch report from Fox13, SLC: Utah woman describes confrontation with angry delegates at RNC Cleveland