LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is trending for all the wrong reasons. His comments about a chess club being surprisingly in Louisville's West End is getting plenty of backlash.
Since about 7pm Tuesday night, Brandia Todd's fingers have been going non-stop.
"Inboxes, text messages, phone calls. I had to put my phone on do not disturb," she said.
She's upset because an image of her 12-year-old son and Bevin is part of a widely spread post quoting Bevin's own controversial social media post."
"I'm about to go in and meet members of the West Louisville Chess Club," Bevin said in the video posted to his official Facebook and Twitter accounts, "not something you necessarily would have thought of when you think of this section of town."
To critics, the statement fuels a negative stereotype about the West End. His comments have been labeled as out-of-touch and even racist.
"It's more than just about race, its about power," Todd said.
Todd attended the Governor's visit with the team, but said had she known moments earlier he had made those comments, her son would not have been part of the video opportunity.
She would rather see other photos of she and her son shared, showing pride in their Shawnee neighborhood and for the private home school her son attends which mandates chess learning.
"It teaches him to use his mind. Anybody can go outside and dribble a basketball, anybody can throw a football, but can you think," she asked, "My son can think."
While she's spent the better part of the last 24 hours responding to messages and asking friends not to share the photo of her son and Bevin together with the quote, she wants to hear from Bevin directly.
"We require an apology, we deserve and apology because how dare you?"
"There are plenty of smart children. All children have potential, and for you to assume from what part of town they come from means they are less than, is very upsetting."
"Governor Bevin met with the West Louisville Chess Club to showcase an important program that is encouraging sportsmanship and character building among Kentucky’s youth. It is disappointing that some are trying to shift the focus away from the incredible accomplishments of these talented kids," an emailed statement from the Governor's office read.
"They're the West End Louisville Chess Club. The club is from 'this part of town', so yeah, that is what we're focused on that and his comment because it was about our babies.," Todd responded, "His people need to think about, what if it was your babies."
She said what matters most is not where a person lives, but how they live.
Social media and politics: A double-edged sword
Derrick Rose can be reached at (502) 582-7232 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.