Well, it's that time of year again: the birds are singing, final exams are coming, and the April showers have brought us May flowers. It's also that time of year when white people make absolute fools of themselves for no reason other than to get mindlessly drunk at the expense of another culture!
That's right, Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner. Let me get the first big thing out of the way:
Cinco De Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day! It is not a Latino or Hispanic holiday, only Mexican! It is not the day Mexico became free of foreign rule! Cinco De Mayo is to celebrate Mexicans fighting off French troops who tried to enter the city, which was not a fight for independence. I'm pretty sure the only reason that the United States even recognizes it as a holiday is because we weren't fond of having French rule so close either (not that we did much to help).
Modern Americans seem to completely ignore the actual history of Cinco De Mayo, and just use it as an excuse to bring up harmful racist stereotypes of Mexicans like huge sombreros, mustaches, ponchos, and of course, tequila. But naturally, after the fifth of May, most Americans will go back to hating their Mexican neighbors whether they are documented or not, and using them as a scapegoat for job shortage or crime rates. Yes, Americans love Mexican food, Mexican drinks, Mexican dances, Mexican music, but they cannot stand the thought of actual Mexicans.
Cinco De Mayo seems to be a good time for Americans to have lots of tequila and nachos and shake maracas. That is what can be called perpetuating a harmful stereotype. Mexicans do not all wear ponchos with big mustaches as they drink margaritas. So, to say that this is a celebration of Mexican culture is really all wrong.
So, here is my message to white people: Don't be disrespectful. Don't celebrate with Cinco de Drinko and going to Taco Bell or Chipotle. Instead, support a family owned Mexican restaurant and learn more about history. Look at the stereotypes you enforce, and ask yourself how a Mexican person might view it (hint: it is problematic). And if your friends still support this American drinking holiday, hold them accountable and try to educate them.
Nobody wants to ruin the party. But please try to be educated so you don't offend anyone or insult an entire culture of marginalized people.