Cinco de Mayo: a holiday known for oversized sombreros, mouth-wateringly delicious tacos, one too many margaritas and racism.
Every fifth of May, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans prepare for yet another day of cultural appropriation, racist jokes and perhaps a tweet or two from President Donald Trump about his long-promised border wall.
As a fourth-generation Mexican-American, I’m hoping 2017 is the year we, as a community, put an end to the appropriation and degradation of an entire culture. This Cinco de Mayo, know the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation in order to make this “holiday” enjoyable for everyone.
Before you go out and drink as many Coronas as you can, try to get a basic knowledge of what you’re “celebrating.” Frequently confused with Mexico’s independence day, which is Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo commemorates an unforeseen victory by the Mexican army against the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Puebla is located in east-central Mexico and is one of the 31 states that makes up the country.
And, while Cinco de Mayo in America is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture, the lack of appreciation for Mexican heritage, the historical significance of the event itself, and the influx of racial stereotypes has transformed the holiday into an almost unbearable occasion for anyone of Mexican descent.
Rather than subjugate Mexicans and Mexican Americans to yet another year of cultural appropriation and lack of appreciation, read up on ways you can help celebrate our beautiful heritage — and ways to help avoid further degradation of an entire culture. Read more (Opinion)