Eva Longoria decided to be on the wrong side of history on Sunday when she diminished the contributions of Black women voters and their role in the 2020 election on MSNBC.
Though she went on to change her tune, initially she was asked by host Ari Melber on Latina women and their impact on getting the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket elected. Longoria responded by sharing, “Women of color showed up in big ways. Of course, you saw in Georgia what Black women have done but Latina women were the real heroines here, beating men in turnout in every state and voting for Biden-Harris at an average rate of 3:1.” She also added a few other comments on Latina women.
Immediately after this clip surfaced on Twitter, social media users began voicing their opinions. Many users slammed Longoria, they felt she was diminishing Black women and their contribution to last Tuesday’s election results. Nationally Black women reportedly showed up to the polls in large numbers which directly led to Biden being named the projected winner on Saturday. Some tweets focused on how people of color separate themselves from the Black community.
It’s important to note that Longoria’s comments on MSNBC had a spirit of anti-Blackness. At the grassroots level, Black women like Mississippi’s Fannie Lou Hamer previously set historic ground and created a lane for the current generation of voters rights activists. Hamer was met with violence as she worked tirelessly to make her voice and Black voter’s voices heard. To declare another race and gender heroines of the election is erasure of the space Hamer created decades ago.
After comments on Eva Longoria’s MSNBC began gaining traction on Twitter she released an apology and clarified what she actually meant. She tweeted: “I’m so sorry and sad to hear that my comments on MSNBC could be perceived as taking credit from Black women. When I said that Latinas were heroines in this election, I simply meant that they turned out in greater numbers and voted more progressively than LATINO MEN.”
Her apology also read:
“My wording was not clear and I deeply regret that. There is such a history in our community of anti-Blackness in our community and I would never want to contribute to that, so let me be very clear: Black women have long been the backbone of the Democratic Party, something we have seen played out in this election as well as previous ones. Finally, Black women don’t have to do it alone any longer. Latinas (many who identify as Afro-Latina), indigenous women, AAPI women and other women of color are standing with them so we can grow our collective voice and power. Together, we are unstoppable! Nothing but love and support for Black women everywhere! You deserve a standing ovation!!!!”
Even if Longoria offered an explanation of her comments, what still stands is the fact that white women voted in favor of Donald Trump’s reelection at alarmingly high rates. In 2016, they did the same thing (53%), four years later, his vote from them increased. According to New York Times exit poll data, 55% of white women voted for Trump, while 91% of Black women voted for Biden. 70% of Latino women voted for Biden. Numbers don’t lie. Black women are the “real heroines” of the 2020 election.
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