Eva Longoria Responds to Donald Trump's Comments & Her Message Is for Everyone

“Everybody’s been coming to me for a comment,” Eva Longoria said at a luncheon for the National Association of Latino Producers, in response to Donald Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants, in which he implied that all Mexican immigrants were rapists. And, for a time, Longoria avoided Trump's comments. She had been holding out, Longoria told E!’s Marc Malkin exclusively, in order to avoid “contribut[ing] to that poison being spread.” And who could blame her? By commenting on Trump’s remarks, which he made over two weeks ago during a speech to announce his candidacy for presidency, the actress risked bringing even more attention to the words that were so hurtful in the first place. (They are also the words that recently resulted Trump being let go from deals with Univision, NBCUniversal, and Macy’s.)

Comparing Trump’s words to Hitler’s, Longoria said, “What I think he doesn't understand and what people don't understand is words create emotional poison… Hitler moved a nation with words, just words.”

Longoria was tough, but, man, am I glad she finally spoke, because Longoria’s response touches on a larger issue than just Trump himself. In speaking about the power that words can have, her message reached across political lines to comment on hate and the power it has over people. Comparing Trump's words to the words of someone like Hitler (not, of course, his actions), Longoria made the point that hateful language can do serious damage, more than most people realize. Words can inspire discrimination, intolerance, and violence against entire peoples. Longoria is one of many high-profile members of the Latino community to comment on Trump’s recent remarks about immigrants, following in the footsteps of Ricky Martin, Juanes, and Miss USA hosts, Roselyn Sanchez, and Cristian de la Fuente.

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She went on to add that, when a person says something like what Trump said, they have to expect a backlash. And, while Longoria’s main point may have been to say that the backlash against Trump is not only expected but necessary, her other point that words have the capacity to create and spread hate is a powerful message.

In light of the nation’s recent focus on racially charged violence, Longoria’s message — that what we say about people does matter — is a hard line in the sand for those who still believe that racism is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, racism is alive and well, Longoria points out, and present in the subtle messages of intolerance that are all around us.

Regardless of your political beliefs, by ignoring intolerance and not responding to it, we all run the risk of being swept up in it. And, with everything that has been going on across the country, it is more important than ever that we not tolerate messages of hate. Though Longoria didn’t want to draw more attention to Trump’s “poisonous” words, I’m thankful that the actress is finally speaking up about this important issue.

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