Much of the credit for the historic election of Joe Biden has been readily given to Black women, a powerful voting bloc who Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris rightfully paid tribute to during her victory speech Saturday night.
One night later, though, actress and Democratic activist Eva Longoria provided a different narrative for who exactly pushed Team Biden across the electoral college finish line.
During an appearance on MSNBC with Ari Melber, Longoria described how relieved she’s felt since the election — “democracy won,” she said — and noted that Biden has a lot of people to thank for his victory. “Mostly people of color,” she said. “The Black and brown communities delivered for Biden.”
But Longoria said she took umbrage at the notion that Latinos “showed support for Trump” and insisted it isn’t true. “It’s not the narrative that needs to be out there,” she said. “Latinos delivered big for Biden,” she added. She said Democrats won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan “because of Latinos.”
Eva Longoria just embodied one of the many barriers in the way of WOC unity – the desire to bring attention away from and size up the efforts of Black women. A core of antiblackness is the sense that Black women are underserving – even a little attention, is "too much."
— Sierra (@sierrasviews) November 9, 2020
It was later in the conversation when Longoria implied that Latinas were more important to Biden’s win than Black women were.
“Of course you saw in Georgia what Black women have done, but Latina women are the real heroines here, beating men in turnout in every state and voting for Biden-Harris at an average rate close to 3 to 1,” she said.
Watch the exchange below.
“Women of color showed up in big ways. Of course, you saw in Georgia what Black women have done but Latina women are the *real* heroines here.” – Eva Longoria, what?pic.twitter.com/8m8aFd0ZnT
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 9, 2020
As a result of her fateful words, Longoria was being called out on social media.
that eva longoria msnbc interview is why we emphasize that you specifically say “black women” and not “woc”…because even within our own communities our work is diminished and erased…
— amy gdala ✨ (@lyviafm) November 9, 2020
To be sure, describing the election’s racial voting demographics in terms of a contest is problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it inevitably serves to divide people with a common cause instead of uniting them.
Longoria responded to the backlash early Monday morning with an official statement and multiple tweets apologizing for her comments that she said were “perceived as taking credit from Black women.”
Please read 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/KO80U2yarD
— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) November 9, 2020
At least one Black woman did not accept the apology and called Longoria “a disappointment.”
Nope. Not only did you call Latinas the “REAL heroines,” but you CIRCLED BACK to make sure you made the point. And now, to deflect from your anti-black sentiment, you’re gaslighting us by telling us that we didn’t hear what we heard. You’re a disappointment.
— Akilah Green (@akilahgreen) November 9, 2020
For the record, exit polling data conducted by Edison Research and widely published in mainstream media showed 70 percent of Latino women voted for Biden compared to 91 percent of Black women. And regarding Longoria’s comments about supporting Trump, it wasn’t only Latinos who overperformed with him; every demographic except white men gave the losing president more votes than they did in 2016.
That Eva Longoria thing is sad. People really do not like for Black women specifically to get praise. Reminds me of Gina Rodriquez
— Urban Suburban Housewife (@Supernova_tash) November 9, 2020
But to ignore the way Black voters pushed Biden across the finish line is to ignore the facts of the matter. Black voters played an outsized role down the stretch because of absentee ballots cast in majority Black precincts voting districts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Specifically, counties near Democratic strongholds of Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia — cities with Black populations that are larger than the Latino communities there. And it’s been shown time and time again that Black women like Stacey Abrams disproportionately spearheaded and fueled those voting efforts.
HBCU alumnae worked tirelessly to tip the scale towards change during this historic presidential election to make Howard University's own Kamala Harris the first Black vice president-elect. #PresidentElectJoe #bidenharis2020 #Election2020resultshttps://t.co/uZq8XLbmfu
— NewsOne (@newsone) November 8, 2020
Those are the facts.
The scrutiny here is because of Longoria’s choice of phrasing and tone of her words that came off as a comparison that downplayed the undeniable contributions from Black women both in this election as well as over the course of American history.
That doesn’t diminish the crucial voting roles Latinos played in the election by any measure. But it also shouldn’t preclude anyone from properly recognizing the decades of groundwork Black women have laid down on behalf of the Democratic Party.
Eva Longoria can try to downplay the significance of black women securing the presidency for Democrats all she wants, but she hasn't been relevant since Desperate Housewives. So. Let's not look to her for any political insight or analysis. Gone, girl.
— kinsey clarke (@tinykinseyscale) November 9, 2020
That’s precisely why Kamala Harris said she felt the need to single out Black women voters while discussing all women voters during her speech Saturday night.
“Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality, liberty, and justice for all, including the Black women, who are too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy,” Harris said.
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris: “Black women who are often too often overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.”
Eva Longoria: pic.twitter.com/z1Y7hTdgil
— The94percent (@the94percent) November 9, 2020
Watch the full interview below.
Shirley Chisholm Is 'Unbought And Unbossed': Powerful Quotes From The First Black Congresswoman
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"You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas."— New-York Historical Society (@NYHistory) November 30, 2020
#OTD in 1924, "Fighting Shirley" Chisholm, the first Black woman in Congress, was born in Brooklyn.
📷 With Rosa Parks, c. 1968. @librarycongress pic.twitter.com/VWmLNOH34Z
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I always loved this Shirley Chisholm quote: “I am literally and figuratively a dark horse.” https://t.co/lNsiKYh2L7— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 12, 2016
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Shirley Chisholm Quote pic.twitter.com/Ffapsb92sC— David O Valenzuela (@Yecora51) August 19, 2014
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Our quote today is from the American politician and author Shirley Chisholm pic.twitter.com/3vACrLVNoN— Project Syndicate (@ProSyn) January 27, 2017
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“Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.” A quote from Shirley Chisholm, presented by Rachel Thomas, Co-Founder and President of @LeanInOrg 👊💥 #RaiseYourVoice 👉 https://t.co/oh1F3Ujeli pic.twitter.com/UoOD2nEtsL— MAKERS (@MAKERSwomen) February 7, 2018
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Eva Longoria Apologizes For Saying Latinas ‘Were The Real Heroines’ Of Biden’s Election was originally published on newsone.com