Actress and University of Kentucky Wildcats fan Ashley Judd was so triggered by a Donald Trump fan, that she felt compelled to share the “scary” encounter on her Facebook page.
According to Judd, a fellow hoops fan approached her at Saturday’s basketball game and asked to take her picture. When he finished snapping the photo he freaked out Judd by simply stating: “We like Trump.”
Judd described the incident this way: “He said to me with open hostility as he was backing away, ‘We like Trump.’...I feel very sad that this happened, and frankly scared. We absolutely need apolitical spaces in this country where we come together for something that is beyond who voted for whom and the platforms, beliefs, and agendas of respective candidates.”
Judd added: “I could’ve easily retorted to this man, for example, with ‘Well, I know everything I need to know about you now, Sir, you voted with the KKK.’ Or perhaps another shot, such as ‘Well, I voted with the popular vote which you lost by the widest margin in American history.’...But I didn’t. Instead, I turned to my uncle who, by the way, is a Baptist preacher and a Democrat - yes, those things occur in the same person and in the same family, - and said ‘I need a hug.’”
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The following is Judd’s full description of the event, as it appeared on her March 11 Facebook page entry. (Bold emphasis is mine):
I’d like to share with you and experience I had today. It’s uncomfortable and scary for me and I have a hunch that some of you have had experiences like it. It may be attempting to put me in a different position as a so called public person, and the reminder is, like all of us, I’m just human and navigating this at times terrifyingly polarized post election climate.
Before I recount the incident, I want to be very clear that I believe something like basketball is a neutral space – actually, it’s not neutral. It is unifying. It was a positive place - a time and space in which we come together for a common purpose and with a common love: college basketball and the chance to root for our team, and to be a part of the wacky, unpredictable culture of March Madness. Our memories go deep, the wild stories continue to amaze, and everyone’s hopes run so high. We root for the underdog, wait for the upsets, and believe our team can go all the way. I firmly believe college basketball is #NoPoliticsHere space and actually can be a bonding and healing space
An older man with white hair came up to me at my seat today at a basketball game. He said “May I take your picture? I said “Yes.” And before I could offer for him to be in the picture with me, 6 inches from my face, he took my picture with his phone. He said “I’m from Big Stone gap.” I said, “I love Big Stone Gap! What a beautiful town, I loved making the movie there.” I went on to say how good the cooking is, mentioning, of course, the pineapple upside down cake and pumpkin pie!
In my mind I was getting ready to ask him about the national parks and if he ever spends time in especially the Thomas Jefferson National Park – but something inside of me was already clenching and I concluded by simply saying “I like Big Stone Gap. “
He said to me with open hostility as he was backing away, “We like Trump.”
Of course, it’s very clear now that as I was being friendly and talking, his affect was angry, and he certainly didn’t respond in anyway to my general enthusing about his little Appalachian town. And it’s also clear that his entire approach to me and aggressive sticking his phone 6 inches in front of my face to take my picture was a part of his plan to treat me with rudeness, aggression, and disrespect. Who knows, maybe he’s already done something undignified with the picture or maybe it was just a pretense so he could say something menacing to me.
I feel very sad that this happened, and frankly scared. We absolutely need apolitical spaces in this country where we come together for something that is beyond who voted for whom and the platforms, beliefs, and agendas of respective candidates.
I could’ve easily retorted to this man, for example, with “Well, I know everything I need to know about you now, Sir, you voted with the KKK.”
Or perhaps another shot, such as “Well, I voted with the popular vote which you lost by the widest margin in American history.” And dragged in his charming town like he had – “sorry to discover Big Stone gap is full of misogynists like you.”
And his “we” in “we like trump-“ he’s one guy and invoking the royal “we” is a tactic used to intimated. And I could have said, “We? Half the folks didn’t vote; and more than half who did voted the other way. Pull out the issues check list and show me who your threatening “we” is, person by person.
But I didn’t.
Instead, I turned to my uncle who, by the way, is a Baptist preacher and a Democrat - yes, those things occur in the same person and in the same family, - and said “I need a hug.”
Y’all know who I am, what I believe, and what I fight and risk for.
You also know I like college basketball. And in college basketball that’s all you’ll ever hear me talk about. College basketball. Period.
I ardently hope that the same goes for you and everyone else in America.
I also feel both for myself and everyone else who has both participated in and is on the receiving end of a hostile act like this which seeks to intimidate. It’s not nice. I’m so sorry that our public spaces can be like this. Just think about it – whoever would want to run for office with this kind of thinly veiled attack on each other? Good people have no incentive whatsoever to run for office in this country when things like this happen
Where are some of your #NoPoliticsHere spaces, and how do you defend and protect them graciously?