Eva Longoria’s Comment and the Reason for the Backlash
On November 8th, actress Eva Longoria made a particular claim during an interview with MSNBC. She responded to the host, Ari Melber, on the impact of Latina women on the presidential election, where she said, “The 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 close to 3 to 1.” The reaction to this assertion was very negative. Longoria received backlash for her claim, especially from Black women who were upset to hear that their efforts in the election process were being undermined.
It is important to understand that the anger aimed towards her statement was not random. Throughout our history, Black women are not given the credit that they deserve for the work that they do. This goes beyond politics and into other areas such as fashion and music. Longoria wording her statement the way that she did, implied that Black women’s work in the election did not equate to that of Latina women. It dimmed the light on Black women being the backbone of the Democratic Party.
As previously stated, Longoria’s comment felt like it discredited the work that Black women have accomplished in this election. We owe Black women a lot of praise for their part in the Democratic Party. According to AP VoteCast, “In 2018, they were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates [...]” Black women’s impact on the election is one of crucial importance. During this year’s presidential election, the demographics highlight that about 93 percent of Black women voted for Biden which is a much higher percentage than any other race and gender. Black women are the most reliable voters and continue to vote at higher rates creating a large turnout. In elections, Black women are essential to battleground states that offer a larger number of electoral votes. Let’s look at Stacey Abrams for example.
Abrams deserves much praise for her efforts in Georgia. In 2018, in response to the voter suppression highly experienced in that area, Abrams launched Fair Fight, which brings awareness and educates the public on election reform while tackling voter suppression. Thanks to Abrams, her and other Black women were responsible for registering 800,000 people to vote in about two years. This is an amazing accomplishment that played a major role in Georgia’s voter turnout and was crucial to the outcome of votes between Biden and Trump. Abrams’s achievements deserve the highest appraisal. Black women were essential to the outcome of this election.
Since Longoria’s appearance on MSNBC, she has apologized for her comment via her Twitter, stating that her “wording was not clear and [she] deeply regret[s] that” and continuing to say that “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.” Longoria acknowledging the issue does highlight where she went wrong. Her comments were perceived as if she was removing the credit from Black women and that was a huge mistake to make. Black women are essential to elections and should continue to receive the credit that they are long past due.
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