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Michael Avenatti Says Democrats Better Run a “White Male” in 2020 Because Their Words “Carry More Weight”

And no, it doesn't matter that he says he wishes things were different.

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Michael Avenatti, the man best known as Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, still hasn’t officially announced his plans to run for president in 2020, although he sure looks to be gearing up for it and his name is often included in lists of top possibilities.

In an interview with Timehe said that even if he’s not the Democratic nominee, that candidate had better look like him.

“I think it better be a white male,” he says, although he makes it clear he’s not happy about that idea. “When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight. Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes.”

He says it’s because he’s a white male that he’s had such success representing Stormy Daniels and “immigrant mothers,” because apparently no one told him that there are plenty of highly successful female attorneys as well.

Avenatti says that he was misquoted and his words taken out of context, and that his real message was about allyship and calling on white men to step up and speak out. But this is not allyship. This is the perpetuation of dangerous prejudices, masquerading as condemnation.

Most women and people of color know how frustrating it is to know that white men are listened to more, judged less, and taken more seriously than the rest of us. We know that we have to shout to be heard and that when we do, we’ll be called shrill or nasty or hysterical. We know we have to work infinitely harder to earn the same respect as white men. But the answer to all of that is not to shrug your shoulders and accept it as unchangeable fact while also happily benefiting from the discrimination holding others down.

Even if Avenatti’s message was meant to call on white men to do more, he could have done better by encouraging them to be actual allies, to listen to women and POC instead of steamrolling them. As is, his argument seems to be that since white men won’t listen to women and POC, they should at least be good to us. His words are as dangerous as they are patronizing.

(via THR, image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.