At a moment when emotions are running high, actress, businesswoman and activist Eva Longoria made a seemingly blatant mistake.
In an interview with MSNBC, and following the announcement of Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump, the Desperate Housewife seemed to belittle Black women’s role in the election’s final outcome.
Host Ari Melber asked Longoria about the impact of Latina voters on the presidential race. The activist responded that “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 heroes here, beating men in turnout in every state and voting for Biden-Harris at an average rate of 3:1.”
This comment felt like a kick in the stomach for a country that just elected its first woman and woman of color as vice president.
Social media exploded in rejection of Longoria’s comments, received as a scented contempt of racism.
Bilingual New York Times reporter Sandra E. Garcia tweeted, “Some Latinas ARE Black women. For example, my sister, mother, and I. Good morning.”
Rolling Stone senior reporter Kamil Smith added, “Eva Longoria invented a contest where there was none, and then managed to lose it. All at once. This was as perplexing as it was dismissive.”
Almost immediately, the actress turned to Twitter to offer an apology and clarification, claiming to be saddened to hear that some people saw her comments 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,” she tweeted.
“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,” she added.
Although it is difficult to take the comment out of context, it seems that the original problem persists: skin color remains a safe ticket for broader and more diverse platforms, while the unconscious seems to play tricks on us, even when we have the best of intentions.