Gov. Bevin criticized for social media post


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- “Out of touch”, “racist.” Those are some of the words, and phrases being heard in response to a video posted by Governor Matt Bevin.

“I am here at Nativity Academy. I am about to go in and meet the members of the West Louisville Chess Club, not something you necessarily would have thought of when you think of this section of town and yet some incredible young minds,” said Gov. Bevin in a video posted to his Twitter and Facebook pages.

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It is those words said by Gov. Bevin in this promotional video posted on his social media pages that’s prompted outrage among people on the internet and in the community.

The video shows Gov. Bevin touring the West Louisville Chess Club, playing the game with children and posing for photos.

It didn’t take long for hundreds of people to comment on the post calling the governor racist for insinuating chess is something uncommon in low income areas.

One tweet posted by Amy Durham said, “Way to racially profile an entire area… Because surely no one in the west end of Louisville is smart enough to play chess.”

Louisville Metro Council President David James also weighed in on the governor’s comments saying he is in disbelief.

“For the governor to perpetuate such a thing at a planned event, on a scripted video… Angers me, disheartens me, saddens me. I really have no words for it,” said James.

The reaction was not all negative, former Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens commented on twitter, “Good for you getting into a west end catholic school and talking with these young people!”

Hargen who left JCPS in April is now head of 44 catholic schools in Baltimore.

In a statement sent to ABC 36 by Governor Bevin’s office, a spokesperson said the governor’s visit to the West Louisville Chess Club was intended to showcase an important program that is encouraging sportsmanship and character building and goes on to say it is disappointing that some are trying to shift the focus away from the kids.