Get ready for the hardest eyeroll you have had to do today…..ready? Okay, here it goes:
Celebrating Cinco De Mayo is racist! Duh! I mean, who in their right mind would think it’s okay to party and celebrate other cultures’ holidays and customs? How dare we celebrate St. Patrick’s day or Mardi Gras, or *gasp* Cinco De Mayo!!?
In case you didn’t catch it, the above is in extreme sarcasm. HuffPost Latino Voices shared a video today on Facebook, suggesting that white people should not celebrate May the 5th because it is not their culture. It’s caption read: “It’s that time of the year again. Here’s how (not) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.”
Videos and mindsets like this are the EXACT reason the US is still struggling to become more of a melting pot and less of a divided platter. Who cares if “gringos” wants to wear a sombrero and eat chips and salsa? I don’t think the girl in the video has any problem at all with getting drunk and collecting beads at Mardi Gras, or drinking on St. Patricks day while she wears green.
This is not the only example of this type of close mindedness though. Daily Wire reports of Gonzaga University telling their students that celebrating May 5th is racist.
Judie Biggs Garbuio, Vice President for Student Development, allegedly sent out an email that reads:
Tomorrow, Friday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 18662 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). This is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, however, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Unfortunately, the celebrations have become less about the appreciation of Mexican heritage, and instead has become more about drinking and partying especially by non-Mexican individuals. Because of this, there are many instances when Cinco de Mayo becomes a holiday that is full of cultural appropriation. At some college campuses, including our own, students create “theme” parties or dress in costumes that are insensitive and offensive to the Mexican-American and more broadly the Latinx culture. I would encourage you to check out the UMEC Facebook page that provides some “alternative ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.” However, if you decide to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, think about what you are doing. Your actions can be hurtful to members of our Gonzaga community and reflect our community. I encourage you to remember the values of inclusion and commitment to diversity that our institution holds. Please remember that there is an enormous difference between appreciating Mexican culture and appropriating it.
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