Actor Natalie Morales used her own family members as an example when discussing why she believes President Donald Trump saw some surprising gains in support from Latino voters in 2020.
Early polls consistently showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with a small lead in Florida. On election night, however, Trump won the key battleground state, along with a reported 45% of its Latino vote, an 11-point improvement from 2016.
As of Thursday, the presidential race remains undecided, though it’s clear that expectations of a “blue wave” fell short. While Biden held his ground with Latino voters across the country, pollsters and analysts have spent the past few days attempting to explain why Trump won over a sizable amount of that electorate in Florida, as well as Texas and Arizona, in spite of his very public history of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Morales, who is of Cuban descent and was raised in Miami, shared her thoughts in a viral Twitter thread Wednesday.
“I, unfortunately, have friends and some family in Miami that voted for Trump,” the “Dead to Me” and “Parks and Recreation” actor wrote. “They aren’t racist. They aren’t bad people who want bad things for the world. They are 10000% brainwashed.”
She went on to note how the GOP has accused Democrats ― including Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is Puerto Rican ― of promoting a socialist agenda. That tactic, she added, was particularly effective among Cubans and Venezuelans who “fled from poverty and violent, oppressive regimes.”
Morales also argued that the now-iconic “Hope” poster of former President Barack Obama, painted by artist Shepard Fairey and used throughout the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, resembled “communist propaganda.”
Elsewhere in the thread, Morales suggested that some Latinos, particularly those who have lived in the U.S. for decades, may have internalized a sense of “colonized self hatred” and are eager to assimilate into the dominant culture.
“I’m sure I’ll get shit for this post, but it’s important for our growth that we try to understand each other & ourselves more,” she said. “This election has certainly made it look like we are truly divided. But I don’t think it’s that black and white.”
Morales isn’t the only celebrity to chime in about why Biden and other Democrats have gotten a mixed reception from Latino voters in battleground states.
Actor-comedian John Leguizamo, who was born in Colombia, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Thursday that he feels the Democratic Party could do a better job of reaching out to Latino people instead of making them “always an afterthought.”
“If you don’t keep us in mind and put us in the forefront, you’re not going to get us,” said Leguizamo, who worked with the Biden campaign and The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group, in hopes of mobilizing Latino voters. “Nobody comes after us. Nobody knocks on our doors. Nobody’s talking about our issues. … Trump at least knew enough to target them. And that’s what he got. He got back what he put in, you know?”
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