Eva Longoria dishes on the roots of her political and social activism
The longtime Hollywood actress is a big voice in the push for the Latino vote in 2020.
On the latest episode of Mandada Dayani and Debra Messing’s podcast The Dissenters, Eva Longoria encouraged people to get more involved in politics.
“I’m not speaking for women. I’m not speaking for Latinos. I’m telling you, speak for yourselves, stand up and speak for yourself. The best way to do that is to vote. Because the only time we are equal with the richest one percent and the poorest is in the voting booth,” she said.
Longoria credits her voting and racial equality activism to her childhood, which she described as a “very philanthropic upbringing.”
She has an older sister who was born with an intellectual disability and her earliest memories were at the Special Olympics.
The Desperate Housewives actress explained that the realization that voting gives a person so much power, no matter who they are, is what inspired her to educate people on voting rights.
Longoria feels that many Latinos in the U.S struggle with their identity, as they need to assimilate into American culture while also holding onto their heritage.
“I think a lot of Latinos have difficulty navigating identity in this country, because we want to be assimilated and be fully accepted, but we want to hold onto our language, our religion, our traditions, our music, our food, and sometimes people say, no, you can’t either you’re this or you’re that,’” she said.
People used to tell her that she was half Mexican and half American, but that never sat right with her.
“I’m 100% Mexican and 100% American at the same time,” said Longoria.
Having to constantly affirm her identity like this also led to her political activism.
Longoria also wants kindness and empathy to become more prevalent in society, and wishes that people would become more aware of social issues.
“I wish I could take every mother in America down to the border. They would say ‘Oh my god,’” she said. “As a mother, I can never imagine this. Not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, not a blue state or a red state, but as a woman. And as a mother, you can’t imagine the atrocities.”
Longoria has been a longtime supporter of Voto Latino. During the midterm election in 2018, she rallied alongside Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, Zoe Saldana and Gina Rodriguez, encouraging Latinos to vote.