Okay so, tomorrow is May 5th or Cinco de Mayo, if you’re that type of person.
And contrary to popular belief, it is not Mexico’s Independence day. That day is September 16th (celebrated on the 15th). So if you believe you are celebrating Mexico’s independence, then you are wrong.
Also, if you wear a sombrero and dress in “typical’ Mexican fashion, then you are being racist. And if you use this day as an excuse to get wasted on tequila then you’re just gross and have reduced a pretty significant day in Mexican history to a day where you eat tacos and get bombed on margaritas.
Also, Cinco de Mayo isn’t really celebrated nationwide in Mexico. It’s mostly celebrated in Puebla. Because Cinco de Mayo is also know as “La Batalla de Puebla” or “The Battle of Puebla” where the Mexican army won, despite the odds, against the French army during the French intervention in Mexico.
Now, I need you to remember that because it is important. To me, since Puebla is where my mother was born. To my people. And to my culture.
Cinco de Mayo is not yours to celebrate. It is not your excuse to get drunk on what will be a Thursday.
Now, despite that being said, I don’t mind if you celebrate Cinco de Mayo so long as you know it’s significance and you don’t reduce the day to gross stereotypes.
Respect the culture and Mexicans will invite you over for a cook out and a good conversation. We are not what you see on tv. We are a diverse people who love our culture and don’t mind sharing as long as there is respect.
So, I just wrote that big thing on ‘progressive’ white America’s modern view of the chattel slavery of African Americans, and I have deiced, on behalf of all white people, we need to stop lying to each other. Teachers, tour guides, even just random people, when they get asked “Was Master X nice to his slaves” or “But most slaves were treated well, right?” Need to uniformly answer “No.”
No owner ever treated a slave well. Not George Washington, Not Thomas Jefferson, not your potential ancestors, not the nice family you heard about on vacation last year. To own another human being is to not treat them well.
We have to stop lying to kids (and each other) and saying that there is a humane way to strip another human being of there right to self, to take a person and create a marketable commodity .
White Americans still benefit from the legacy of slavery, and Black American’s still suffer from it. We need to stop teaching it as an ancient quirk that left few scars because everyone was more or less happy.
It wasn’t symbiotic, it was parasitic, and we need to stop saying otherwise.