California Congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell stunned the political world by coming out as a white man on Twitter, making him just the ninth openly white male candidate to enter the fray.
Swalwell made the announcement by telling his followers “SPOILER ALERT: I’m a white man,” and followed it with a pledge to “Ask a woman to serve as VP.”
SPOILER ALERT: I’m a white man.
I know where I can’t speak to someone else’s experience and I pledge to:
1️⃣ Pass the mic
2️⃣ Ask a woman to serve as VP pic.twitter.com/yz7hUB3bRA
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) April 24, 2019
Candace Owen ripped Swalwell to shreds…
Spoiler alert: I’m a woman.
This tail-between-the-legs, self-deprecating virtue-signaling is:
Society needs strong male and female leaders—not beta-boy narcissists.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 24, 2019
The tweet was accompanied by a clip from Monday night’s edition of All In with Chris Hayes, in which guest host Joy Reid asked Swalwell “Why does the field need yet another, to be blunt, another white guy in the field? I mean, there are a lot.”
“I don’t think anyone’s identity should hold them back, but I think the next president should see all races, all identities, but recognize where you can’t speak for someone’s experience, and past the mic To someone who can,” Swalwell said. “I have pledged that I would ask a woman to serve as vice president. I would put forward a diverse candidate, and I would put forward policy that would make sure that inherent bias did exist, or discrimination that exists incommunities, would be eliminated, and that we would make sure everyone everywhere has opportunity.”
Swalwell isn’t the first candidate to grapple with whiteness this cycle. Former Vice President Joe Biden made headlines when a plan to pre-name Stacey Abrams as his running mate was floated, and roundly rejected by everyone up to and including Stacey Abrams.
Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has also said he would prefer to pick a woman as his running mate.
Early in his campaign, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders derided “opponents” who he claimed want “candidates who are black or white, who are black or Latino or woman or gay, regardless of what they stand for,” and said, in another interview, that considering the gender of a candidate would be discriminatory.
But shortly thereafter, Sanders told Cenk Uygur that his eventual running mate would likely be “somebody who is maybe not of the same gender that I am.” Sanders is also a white man.
Swalwell’s tweet and commentary appear to validate the premise that white men are at some sort of disadvantage in the Democratic field, but as Reid noted in her interview with the congressman, it doesn’t appear to have hurt any of them in the polls.
Someone needs to step in before one of these guys tweets “Being white is not a choice.”