A Northwestern University Mexican student group finds “eating tacos and drinking tequila” to celebrate Cinco de Mayo racially offensive, and wants to see the practice come to an end.
In a letter to the university’s paper, the Latin student group Alianza called for a “respectful” celebration to commemorate “the Battles of Puebla, in which a vastly outnumbered, under-equipped Mexican army twice defeated the well-armed, well-trained French army, which had not lost a battle in over fifty years,” according to The Daily Caller.
This is not unlike a uniquely American holiday, which commemorates the moment when 56 men affixed their signatures upon the Declaration of Independence to “mutually pledge to each other [their] lives, [their] fortunes, and [their] sacred honor.”
What followed was a bloody 8-year war “in which a vastly outnumbered, under-equipped” rag-tag group of patriots “defeated the well-armed, well-trained [British] army, which had not lost a battle in over fifty years.”
The letter from Alianza continues:
Unfortunately, instead of partaking in these cultural celebrations and enriching their Northwestern experiences, some of our peers choose to throw ‘Mexican-themed’ parties that are culturally insensitive, offensive, and detrimental to the Northwestern community. Drinking tequila shots, eating tacos, and wearing sombreros do not commemorate Mexican culture; on the contrary, that offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members, and casts our entire community in poor light.
Americans traditionally celebrate every Independence Day by drinking way too much beer, eating way too many hot dogs and then capping the day by watching in awe a local fireworks display.
My point is simply this.
We Americans are a gregarious lot, and as such, we’ll find any excuse for a party, even if we have to search outside our own national boundaries to do so. That includes Bastille Day, and yes, Cinco de Mayo.
So my advice to Northwestern University’s Mexican students is to buck up, grow some skin, enjoy the day and be thankful that we don’t celebrate by mimicking a group of marauding Mexican drug lords or fence-destroying illegal immigrants.
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