Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated by Americans of Mexican descent. It commemorates a military victory by Mexico over the French in 1862.
I’m not sure beating the French in battle is worth a party, but people celebrate what they celebrate, and hopefully, everyone who wants to feels free to join in.
It’s a lively holiday comparable to St. Patrick’s Day. You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate the one, or Mexican to celebrate the other.
You pretty much do have to drink to celebrate either one.
Growing up gringo in Texas, I’ve always been aware of it. I may have celebrated it a few times with tacos or something. Then again, we eat tacos all the time here. Even Dairy Queen serves tacos now. And I’m writing this on a Tuesday.
Do I need an excuse to eat tacos? I do not.
The Houston Chronicle took a break from bashing Texas history this week — it’s been doing that quite a bit — to media-splain to Texans what we should and shouldn’t do on Cinco de Mayo. Digital Reporter ShaCamree Gowdy, who is not of Mexican descent, wrote up the piece. The title says quite a bit: “Houston, here’s how to not be racist this Cinco de Mayo.”
The suggestions are banal.
Remember that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on Sept. 16.
If you are a teacher educating your students about Cinco de Mayo, please make sure there are no stereotypes about Latinos or Mexicans in the lesson. This includes textbook assignments and films that you will watch.
The food you consume is important, too. Visit your local authentic Mexican joint or stop by your favorite tamale vendor. You don’t have to shout Spanish at them, which brings us to our next point, which is a big one…
If you are not fluent in Spanish it is perfectly fine to not speak Spanish. This goes for any day of the year, really.
People’s cultures aren’t costumes. Please leave the oversized sombreros and phony thick mustaches at the party store. There is no Cinco de Mayo dress code and your usual jeans and T-shirt will be just fine.
Lastly: never drink and drive!
The author acts like none of her readers has ever ordered a burrito before. Sheesh.
MySA, which is part of the Chron’s media empire, posted the story on Facebook, probably expecting some high-fives. Instead, it got ripped and mocked hard by the folks it was supposed to pander to. Here are a few of the (unedited) comments:
its Drinco De Mayo cause its not even a real holiday dummiesCinco de drinko it is where’s my pinche SombreroMexicans don’t care!!! You can call it Drinko de Mayo (I love “Cinco de mayo – pico de gallo”) and guess what?? We don’t care!! You can dress as a burrito and say “ay caramba!” and guess what…?? Exactly! We do not care!In Mexico nobody celebrates “5 de mayo” and we find all this celebration really funny. So do as you please enjoy!Hey but the last part is right, don’t drink and drive. Just drink, not margaritas, that’s super gringo. Try tequila or mezcal.I’m more offended that this pen deja thinks she has any right to speak for us. You are not invited to the carne asada!The only person that’s making it an issue is the person behind the computer writing the article . No one cares!!! Funny thing is cinco de Mayo means nothing in Mexico non existent holiday . pinché liberalWho wrote this article? I’ve never been offended by how people celebrate Mexican culture. If people are having fun while celebrating then you are doing the right thing. Drink margaritas, eat tamales or tacos, and dance . People need to calm down with this racist BS. In case you are wondering I am Mexican American don’t let my name mislead you.Happy Cinco de Drinko but thank you Mrs Gowdy for telling us what we think is racist.As a Mexican-American, I DONT CARE!!!! Stop trying to find reasons for people to hate each other!!!Mexican isn’t a race lol. It’s kinda racist to imply that.These comments make me happy. In the US this holiday is the same as St Pattys. A reason to sell booze and party. If anything it brings ppl together.It just hit me, if you have to write an article on how not to be a races towards another race then that makes you a racist…
We have a winner!
There’s much more in the comments section on the post but you may have to follow the paper’s page to see them.
This reminds me of my most heartwarming Cinco de Mayo story. I wrote about it for PJM several years ago. Short version: white liberal Austin guy tries to convince some Tejano barber brothers that they should really be into Cinco de Mayo. The barbers really weren’t, but the liberal white guy just wouldn’t let up. After several rounds of back and forth, the moment reached its chuckle-inducing end.
The [liberal white guy] just wouldn’t have it. He asked, again, “But aren’t you excited about Cinco de Mayo? It’s coming up! What are you and your family doing?”
Now the son nearest the door was a little bit angry, but he and his brother both laughed it off. “I told you, we celebrate the Fourth of July! My family has been in Texas forever. I’m from Lampasas, man! We’re not ‘Mexican-American’ or any other thing like that, we’re Americans! Fourth. Of. Ju. Ly. Not Cinco de Mayo.” Lampasas is northwest of Austin, near Killeen.
The newcomer finally seemed to give up. He started to sit down in one of the chairs by the door to wait his turn, but then seemed to change his mind, and he left.
The brothers just chuckled, and the one cutting my hair muttered “Cinco de Mayo? Whatever. We’re Americans. I’m from Lampasas.”
Happy Cinco de Mayo, Drinko de Mayo, Cinco de Drinko, or whatever you choose to call it on May 5th. No one outside the offices of the Houston Chronicle and the professional race profiteer-industrial complex is likely to be offended.