This election revealed the potential for a powerful women’s coalition going forward. White women won’t be in the forefront, though. Black women and Latinas will lead the charge.
Of course, many white women will be involved because of their sheer numbers. But the last two presidential elections have shown that white women as a whole are not as reliable as Black women and Latinas when it comes to voting in our best interest.
So, we are prepared to start the revolution without them.
The mere thought of Black women and Latinas coming together to chart the course of the country terrifies many in mainstream America. Already, some on social media are trying to pit us against each other by making us competitors rather than allies.
But we’re too focused to allow that to happen. Our eyes are set firmly on the prize that awaits us. And we are poised to go for it with or without an abundance of white women by our side.
Once again, Black women made it clear last week that we have no tolerance for a misogynist who has talked about women as though we are sexual objects. Just as we led the failed attempt to elect the first female president in 2016, Black women cast ballots at a greater rate for presumptive President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris than any other group.
Nine in 10 Black women voted for Biden and Harris, an effort that lifted a woman to the second highest political position in the nation for the first time in history, according to exit polls. Latinas followed at 69%, pushing Biden and Harris over the finish line in states like Arizona and Nevada.
Only 44% of white women voted for Biden and Harris. More of them voted for Donald Trump this time than four years ago.
I don’t know who the 55% of white women who voted for Trump were. I am fairly confident, however, that they were not the white women I know personally, and certainly not the ones I consider as my friends.
However, Trump supporters, particularly women, tend to encase themselves in a shroud of secrecy. They don’t have the guts to admit publicly that they would rather put a man who disrespects them in office than support a highly qualified woman.
While smaller percentages of Blacks and Latinas also voted for the Trump ticket, the white women problem in today’s political society is a much bigger issue. I will leave it up to those with professional expertise to figure out the complex psychological dynamics that cause women of any race to turn against their own.
While Blacks and Latinas are perfectly capable of carrying out a political revolution by themselves, it would move quicker and have a much greater impact if it included a proportionate number of women from the largest racial group in America.
Six in 10 Asian American women voted for Biden-Harris, according to NBC News exit polls, while Native and Indigenous Americans reportedly helped tip the scales for Democrats in some Western states.
Every woman is welcome in this movement. And every racial and ethnic group, regardless how small, has much to contribute.
As the power of the combined Latina and Black women’s vote becomes more obvious, those with an alternate agenda will desperately try to rip us apart. We saw an example of the fierceness of those attacks days after the election.
In an interview on MSNBC on Sunday, Latina actress Eva Longoria pointed out the significant role Latinas played in last week’s election.
“The women of color showed up in big ways,” as she said. “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 Biden-Harris at an average rate of close to 3 to 1.”
She went on to explain that Latinas did this in spite of seemingly insurmountable challenges, including language barriers in some instances.
There is nothing wrong with what she said. And there is absolutely no reason to think that by pointing out the force of Latinas in the election, she was attempting to diminish the accomplishments of Black women.
But detractors accused the former “Desperate Housewives” star and Democratic activist of being dismissive of Black women to the point that she posted multiple tweets to clarify her remarks and apologize.
Longoria explained that she was comparing Latina women with Latino men. But her most important point was that Black women aren’t in this alone.
“Finally, Black women don’t have to do it alone,” she tweeted. “Latina women and other women of color are standing with them and growing their voice and power. Together we are Unstoppable!!!”
As African American women, we know our political worth, and so does everyone else. On Monday, Harris acknowledged our role in electing the first Black and Indian woman as vice president.
“I want to speak directly to the Black women in our country,” she tweeted. “Thank You. You are too often overlooked, and yet are asked time and again to step up and be the backbone of our democracy. We could not have done this without you.”
When Black women are focused on taking care of business, we don’t have time to sit around waiting for accolades. But it’s always nice when someone takes note of our hard work and determination.
Black women cannot be threatened by the emergence of Latina women as a political force. We should embrace them, as well as women of all races, as partners in the movement to advance our collective agenda.
There is enough room at the table for all of us. There is no need to fight over scraps. Together, we cannot only plan the menu but also see to it that every woman gets her fill.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Dahleen Glanton is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
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