It’s that time of year again, when Donald trump forgets his racist self, sits in front of a Taco Salad, drinks a few shots of his expensive Tequila and claims that he loves Mexicans. No, I’m not talking about the last tournament at Trump National Golf Course, I’m speaking about Cinco de Mayo – the holiday where most people channel their inner Mexican to celebrate when a young Mexican nation rallied to defend itself.
However, Cinco de Mayo tends to be the one holiday in the US that continues to patronize Mexican history with stereotypes, making me think of awful Speedy Gonzales cartoons whenever I walk down the street. Most gringos don’t understand the significance of the date, and tend to use it as an excuse to party. Heck, as I sit here nursing my Pacifico, I’m not one to complain about partying, but I won’t do it to dishonor the true Mexican traditions or culture.
That said, here are 5 things that KILL me on Cinco de Mayo.
1. It’s NOT Mexico’s Independence Day – Get it right people
You want to toast something with your Coronas? Don’t toast the Mexican Declaration of Independence – toast the strength in resistance. Cinco de Mayo commemorates when Mexico fought off the invaders from FRANCE in the Battle of Puebla. Yes, France. The country that was rolled over in every other war in history was actually an aggressor, invading Mexico in 1862. This is 50 years AFTER Mexico declared its independence from Spain on Sept. 16th.
2. Lay off the Sombreros, Serapes, fake mustaches and blankets
First, you’re going to give your corneas a coronary. Second, there’s nothing wrong with going overboard with stereotypical “festive decor” or costumes. Except, well, you know, everything. The worst possible thing I’ve ever seen, was someone using a sombrero as a chip holder.
3. Cinco de Drinko???
Seriously are you reducing a culture to a reason to drink? Well, I guess so because everyone becomes a drunk Irish idiot on St. Patrick’s day. But seriously, one of the biggest problems with early 1900 Mexican culture, was the depiction of Mexicans as a culture of drunks. Look at 1960s-70s Looney Toons or Hanna Barbera cartoons, westerns of the 40s-70s, or even radio programs from the 30s. Many of them depicted Mexicans as those who couldn’t lay off the Tequila. So, when you’re using it as an excuse to drink – aren’t you perpetuating the cycle?
4. This guy
You like chips and guacamole?? Salsa fresca? Me to. But I don’t use this as an excuse to exhibit horrible courtesy to those around me by eating like I’m some donkey at a trough. I also don’t try to pile a giant stack of chips in my mouth to see A) how many I can eat at once; and B) see how loud of a crunch it will create. Get some damn manners and eat with your mouth closed!!
5. What’s the Price for Culture?
Mexican culture is not a commodity people can buy. You can’t just go out and buy some stuff, and instantly become a Mexican for a day. It’s not an excuse to try speaking in a horrible accent, disrespect cultures and smash a pinata and then throw it away when you’ve had too many margaritas. Respect a culture, learn about it before using it as and excuse to go on a Mezcal bender.
Cinco De Mayo is a day that has lost it’s true meaning in the US and instead is an excuse to drink copious amounts of alcohol. People love being Mexican for one day and then proceed to completely disregard the people and current struggles for the rest of the year and look at Mexican immigrants as the most serious problem in the world. You can’t have your chips and eat them too.