Features

Cinco de Mayo and Dressing Up Like "a Mexican"

The Controversy Over a Taco Contest and Tequila Pub Crawl in Seattle

Cinco de Mayo and Dressing Up Like

GRINGO DE MAYO These photos, from the Facebook page for 107.7 The End’s ¡Fiesta 5K Ole! and Taco Truck Challenge page, more clearly illustrate the stereotyping of Mexican culture at the event than mere words possibly can.

One thousand two hundred and fifteen people—the vast majority of them white, if the many photographs on Facebook are any indication—took part in the fourth annual ¡Fiesta 5K Ole! in Seattle recently. Some wore sombreros, serapes, and big, bushy fake mustaches for the race around Capitol Hill, which was followed by tacos, beer, and tequila at the 107.7 Taco Truck Challenge in Volunteer Park. It rained, but people gamely did shots, played corn-hole beanbag toss, and did the worm on the wet grass. Bands played.

This was Saturday, May 3. The next day, across town in Fremont, the makers of Sparkle Donkey Tequila held their second annual Cuatro de Burro pub crawl, with live donkeys, a mariachi band, and a call to "Come dressed in the celebratory attire of festive Mexico." The first 200 people to show up got free sombreros.

What—if anything—is wrong with this picture?

The internet didn't exactly explode, but Marcos Martinez, executive director of nonprofit Entre Hermanos, tweeted:

#CuatroDeBurro is a #racist representation of mexican people and culture, right here in Seattle!

And:

@SparkleDonkeyTq drunken white folks in sombreros and sarapes is like blackface minstrelry. I can't make it any clearer.

A message to The Stranger's Facebook read:

I really suggest you look into this racist event going on right now at Volunteer Park, stereotyping Latino and Mexican culture for Cinco de Mayo. It's hosted by The End 107.7. They have been avoiding discussing... their racist depictions of Mexicans and Mexican culture.

A petition on Change.org urging 107.7 The End to "Change Your Event's Theme!" garnered 318 signatures. It reads in part:

The event's theme... depicts Latin@, specifically Mexican@, communities and culture in incredibly superficial and appropriative ways. Mexican culture and imagery are much more than "sombreros" and "tacos" and in fact has a rich cultural history that these superficial and stereotypical imagery fail to understand and represent.

Hearing about the petition, the band Tacocat (The Stranger's music editor, Emily Nokes, is a member) canceled their appearance at The End's Taco Truck Challenge.

A few days after the events, Mario Campos, president of the board of Casa Latina in Seattle, says, "A lot of Americans think Cinco de Mayo is our Fourth of July. Which it's not. It's totally wrong." Cinco de Mayo, as you may already be aware, was the date of a relatively obscure battle between French and Mexican forces in Puebla in 1862, a battle that the outnumbered Mexican forces won; in the 1960s, it was adopted by activists in the US as an occasion to celebrate Chicano culture. But Campos doesn't see celebrations of it as offensive, regardless of the participants and the costumes—he compares it to Saint Patrick's Day, when "people wear green and a lot of shamrocks and drink beer." Of Cinco de Mayo, American-style, he says, "When people are doing it, they're not trying to look for ways to ridicule the culture... This is a country where people have come from all over the place, and [holidays like this] can be a way to look into other cultures... It can be a moment of joy."

So is this a beer-drinking moment of joy or a minstrel show? Both Cinco de Mayo and Saint Patrick's Day, in their popularized editions, arguably call up cultural stereotypes of poverty, drunkenness, and laziness. What's the difference between dressing up as a leprechaun and as a campesino? For one, Irish people are no longer being actively discriminated against and exploited in the United States. Gustavo Arellano, of the nationally syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, calls it "Gringo de Mayo" (google it to find his nuanced essay on the topic). Of the Seattle Cinco de Mayo controversy, he writes in an e-mail, "I'm only upset that gabachos don't dress up as Mexicans every day. It would make it so much easier for la migra to identify the right people to deport, you know?"

Garett Michaels, program director of 107.7 The End, says, "We certainly don't encourage people to do anything but come out and have a good time" at the ¡Fiesta 5K Ole! "It doesn't even fall on Cinco de Mayo—it's around Cinco de Mayo. Never in a prior year has there been any indication that people were bothered by it or offended by it." He says there was a "terrific turnout... I'm sure we'll do it again next year."

But is 107.7 open to changing the event?

Michaels says, "We certainly would have a discussion. The event is taco trucks with music, and it happens to fall on the first Saturday of May. People are out to have a good time... At the food trucks, people are mostly wearing jeans and sweatshirts—no one wants to wear a piñata costume all day."

But really: Is 107.7 open to changing the event?

"If there's a groundswell of opinion out there that this needs to change, I'm certainly open to it," Michaels says.

Sven Liden, co-owner of Sparkle Donkey, says their Cuatro de Burro celebration is "tongue in cheek. We know that you know that this is a commercial holiday that's been co-opted already by tequila companies." He compares it to wearing lederhosen at Oktoberfest: "We're not trying to make fun of people, but trying to embrace and celebrate." He says he and co-owner Stefan Schachtell are taking objections "seriously... We definitely want to hear them out." They've personally gotten in touch with the four people on Facebook and Twitter who objected to Cuatro de Burro. Schachtell says, "If somebody reaches out and says they'd love to talk about Cinco de Mayo and stereotypes, we're happy to meet with them. We're very small players in the scheme of things, but we're a local company, and I'd like to think we're very progressive. The last thing I want is to leave any unaddressed concern." They're meeting with one person who objected next week.

Schachtell, Liden eventually says, is Latino himself—his mother emigrated from Chihuahua, and she was here for this year's Cuatro de Burro in Fremont. Schachtell describes his mom as a Mexican American leader and says she's proud of him and his work. His mom is concerned, he says, "less about Cinco de Mayo, more about how things are co-opted to sell products." (His father emigrated from Germany. On his 40th birthday recently—they had a party called "Schachtoberfest"—his father handed the family lederhosen down to him.)

Marcos Martinez of Entre Hermanos concurs that commercialization is a problem, but says it goes deeper than that. "Like everything else, [Cinco de Mayo has] been taken over by the alcohol and advertising industries, with the added layer of racist representations." What should Sparkle Donkey and others be doing differently? He refers to an article on Feministing.com, "8 Feminist Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo." Number one is: "Don't dress up like 'a Mexican.' No sombreros, mustaches, or donkeys please. This is bare minimum y'all." Other ways include studying Mexican history, supporting immigration reform, joining the fight to end deportations, and learning Spanish.

Martinez adds, "From the very small amount of communication I saw from the Burro people, it's possible they are Mexican. Of course, this doesn't change anything. Mexicans promoting the stereotyping of Mexican culture by white folks is wrong. Chris Rock or Kevin Hart can stand up onstage and joke about black people all day and that's fine, but you know that doesn't give a non-black person license to do the same."

On the national stage this year, during a May 5 segment on MSNBC's Way Too Early program entitled "Cinco de Mayo: Mexican Heritage Celebration," producer Louis Burgdorf walked on- and off-screen wearing a sombrero, drinking from a tequila bottle, and shaking a maraca. Hugo Balta, the president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, issued a statement that read, in part, "This is simply the worst example I have seen of a discriminatory stereotypical portrayal of any community by any media. The fact that this was done by a news organization is abominable. This wasn't a chance occurrence."

MSNBC issued an apology. recommended

 

Comments (97) RSS

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1
Culture is not a costume, full stop. I don't know why white people can't understand this.
Posted by Luckier on May 14, 2014 at 9:14 AM · Report this
2
"MSNBC issued an apology."

Still waiting for the Stranger to do the same.

Posted by Won't Hold My Breath on May 14, 2014 at 9:31 AM · Report this
3
Here are Europeans dressing like Americans. Spoler: we always eat popcorn and drink out of red cups.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now…
Posted by Jimmy Rustler on May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
4
As I wrote on Cinco De Mayo:
"A bunch of white folks dressed up as "Mexicans" in Volunteer Park right now for the Olé 5k. "Wacky" sombreros, mustaches, mangled Spanish. So if you want to take some photos that'll horrify your future grandkids with how racially insensitive we were back then, now's your chance." - Paul Constant, May 3

With shifting demographics and the malleability of "whiteness", Cinco De Mayo is more likely to viewed as innocuous as St. Patrick's Day rather than horrific, by future grandkids.

Anyway, have a happy one.
Posted by Nell Irvin Painter on May 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
5
". . .second annual Cuatro de Burro pub crawl, with live donkeys, a mariachi band, and a call to "Come dressed in the celebratory attire of festive Mexico."

Are people mainly just offended by the "dressing up like a mexican" part of this? I've spent a lot of time in Mexico and mariachi bands and donkeys really are a part of their culture so i don't see why that would offend anyone.
Posted by Jimmy Rustler on May 14, 2014 at 10:06 AM · Report this
6
"The Cinco de Mayo party at the Cha Cha last night was pretty insane. Have a look:"

http://lineout.thestranger.com/lineout/a…
Posted by Jeff on May 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM · Report this
7
"I've spent a lot of time in Tokyo and sushi and anime really are a part of their culture so I don't see why that would offend anyone."

"I've spent a lot of time at Third and Pike and the n-word and baggy jeans really are a part of African American culture, so I don't see why that would offend anyone."

The important thing here is "part" of the culture. It can be an absolutely valid PART of the culture but using that reductive part of to reproduce the whole is really problematic, especially when it's A) not your culture and B) a minority culture and you are in the majority.
Posted by Chris B http://eccentric-orbit.org on May 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM · Report this
8
It's weird when the guy dressed as a giant bottle of tequila is technically the 'tasteful' one.
Posted by intoxipolitan on May 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
9
Everything is offensive, and some people won't be happy until everything fun is outlawed.
Posted by Keenan C on May 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM · Report this
10
Cuatro de Burro is the "4th of Donkey". It's a celebration of donkeys based on the companies "heritage" story. It's not really about people. It's about donkeys.

http://www.sparkledonkey.com/
Posted by DearReader on May 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
11
I'm German and I hate how Oktoberfest portrays my people.
Posted by katherinejoann on May 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM · Report this
12
if it's wrong to do on May 5, it's wrong to do March 17, no matter how "accepted" one group is at this point.

if you are going to rain on a parade for politically correct reasons, at least be consistent.
Posted by the eyeroller on May 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM · Report this
13
Calling anything anti-Mexican "racist" is pure (offensive)ignorance. "Mexican" is not a race anymore than Canadian is--and neither is "Latino." Mexicans and Latinos come is a great variety of colors and ancestries.
Posted by Bajaj81 on May 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Texas10R 14
"Mario Campos, president of the board of Casa Latina in Seattle, says, "A lot of Americans think Cinco de Mayo is our Fourth of July. Which it's not. It's totally wrong." Cinco de Mayo, as you may already be aware, was the date of a relatively obscure battle between French and Mexican forces in Puebla in 1862..."

It was definitely NOT an obscure battle; the French invaded to loot the Mexican treasury because many years of war had depleted the economy.

Napoleon III, whose army had not been defeated in battle for around 50 years showed up with the intent to re-po the debt owed to France. After sweeping the Mexican government out of Vera Cruz, the French, got their butts kicked by a smaller (by half) and poorly equipped Mexican army (who also employed guerilla tactics) despite the French army's superior equipment and firepower. Hardly an obscure battle – in Mexico, where it is a commemorated by a national holiday in those crucial states, and a nation-wide school holiday.

Also, if the French had succeeded, they were ready to assist the Confederacy in the American Civil War. The outcome could have been quite different with the aid of France.

So, drink your tequila, don your sombrero and thank the Mexican people of the 1860s for putting the hammer on France, at least for Cinco de Mayo.
Posted by Texas10R on May 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM · Report this
15
Can't we just have huge wine parties on Bastille Day and make fun of the French? Nobody would complain about that....
Posted by Texans on May 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM · Report this
16
Whenever the issue of cultural appropriation comes up, I always wonder why it's not ok to appropriate culture, but no one ever seems to have any issues when men dress up as women for Halloween or in drag shows. Because the arguments made against cultural appropriation (that it consists of a privileged group wearing the worst stereotypes of a less privileged group as a costume they can take on and off) also applies to men in drag, which often plays up the "zany" diva-ishness and catty, preening behaviors attributed to women.

I swear I'm not trolling here. I really don't see the difference and would love to hear from others as to why one is acceptable and the other isn't.
Posted by Don't hate me for asking this, but... on May 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM · Report this
17
Seattle. What's the fear here? That racists have a platform to dress up and drink and perpetuate negative stereotypes? If you are starting from a position that sombreros and sarapes have a negative connotation I'd say that is more a reflection of your own feelings.

As with any of this kind of stuff, the barometer should be with the culture that is being celebrated. What percentage of Mexicans in Seattle does this holiday bother? This reads like a bunch of white people trying to one up each other with their mandatory liberal sensitivity. The one Mexican you were able to search out who might have a problem with the holiday didn't reference some outreach from within the Mexican community. He referenced Feministing. The joke seems to be on you.

Posted by cliche on May 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM · Report this
18
drinko de mayo. also,show me 4 irishmen and I'll show you a 5th
Posted by neoanderthal on May 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Report this
19
The thing here that the article barely touched on and that is really the most important part about this is the larger context of racism and imperialism that exists in the US. Why it is hurtful and frustrating for white people to wear sombreros and mustaches on one day is that the other 364 days a year Mexican folks and Latin@s in general live under constant attack for their existence in this country, even/especially in areas that were traditionally parts of Mexico until the mid-1800s. So the fucked up thing is that one day we might read an editorial that says ''illegals go home'' in a newspaper and then the day after that it's all ''ohhhh we love mexicans, tequila, yeahhh!'' like white people get to ''participate'' in other cultures when it's fun to them but not when those cultures are dealing with constant oppression, erasure, and fucking genocide.
Posted by analemma on May 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
20
Just out of curiosity when did Mexican become a race? I thought this was a national holiday not having to do with ones race?
Posted by The Artful Dogger on May 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM · Report this
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Texas10R 25
Welcome to the proverbial cultural melting pot. In America, there are hundreds of ethnic, religious, and cultural affiliations from which to choose for celebratory buffoonery and zany behavior.

The WORST thing in America, is total disregard of your self-identified cultural affiliation.
The EASIEST thing in America, is to make fun of white Americans. Try it –it's fun– and as long as it's just that –making fun– it's cool. Let's face it: every group and sub-group has its idiosyncrasies.

The fun-train only really jumps the track when discriminatory public policy is enacted, or when violent idiots who are incapable of playing with others, act on their violent impulses.
¡Viva la Mexico!
Posted by Texas10R on May 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM · Report this
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27
@19
Settle down there cabrón. Your people stole that land from the Indians just like we did then you sold it to us fair and square. Do you even Treaty of Hidalgo?
Posted by William F. Fuckley on May 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this
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Rojo 31
@20 You're totally right and the photographed people are being judged by the color of their skin. They could easily be Mexican, much like my blue-eyed, fair-haired brother in law whom I've seen many a time in a giant sombrero (genuinely worn to ward off the sun, as he's pale) with a Corona in hand (yes, Mexicans drink those too.)

I'll admit: these folks don't quite match up what we think of as "Mexican." We should ask these people for ID to determine if they're being culturally insensitive. If they don't have papers clearly showing that they're of Mexican descent and thus participating in folkloric costume, then we should feel free to berate them for their behavior; that seems fair.

Papeles por favor.
Posted by Rojo on May 14, 2014 at 4:27 PM · Report this
32
LMFAO @ the liberal progressive white guilt.

you people really lead some pathetic lives.

If you suffer that greatly from white guilt, just put a .45 your head and pull the trigger. end.the.pain.

losers.
Posted by laughing at liberals on May 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Crtr RdrQz 33
Can we all agree that Sparkle Donkey is quite possibly the worst name of any company ever?
Posted by Crtr RdrQz on May 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
8Way 34
@33.

Sparkle Donkey is a jab at all the tired stereotypes that nearly every other TQ company uses to market their tequila. It's also a riff on the Sparkle Pony meme.

Their website is pretty genius: http://sparkledonkey.com

they also invented a whole TQ study institute with fairly extensive content as part of the backstory

http://www.instituteoftequilastudies.org…

The TQ itself is pretty good -- a bit sweet for my taste though.

Posted by 8Way on May 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM · Report this
35
As an Italian, Domino's Pizza offends me greatly. What is it with you people...
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on May 14, 2014 at 6:45 PM · Report this
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39
As a white person I've seen plenty of redneck/white trash costumes, I'm not offended because I don't have shitty tattoos or regularly wear a wife beater. Unless you regularly wear a serape and ornate sombrero you probably shouldn't be offended. Just fools acting a fool, get over it.
Posted by Hmmmmmmmm on May 14, 2014 at 9:51 PM · Report this
--MC 40
It's in line with the American view of Mexico as a cheap-ass country full of funny subhumans and cheap crap for sale. It's a view of the country as Tijuana from the border to the other border.

I think it's fear, myself. You know, the founding editor of the New Yorker, Ross, was once quoted as saying "N______s are either funny or dangerous," and that attitude explains why so much was invested in stereotyping them -- one ridicules the thing that one hates and fears. So we see young Amazon drones walking around in sombreros and talking in Jose Jimenez voices, because the dominant culture is afraid of the dangerous Mexicans. You saw the map showing that the second most commonly spoken language in the US is Spanish, right? We (Mexicans) will have Texas back, and we might have Idaho and Ohio while we're up and around.

And kudos to Tacocat for ditching that sad food truck show. I like them more and more.
Posted by --MC on May 15, 2014 at 7:29 AM · Report this
JF 41
I hope this works.
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM · Report this
JF 42
And bold?
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 10:24 AM · Report this
JF 43
And underlined? You people are worse that dog owners that don't clean up their shit on the ground.
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this
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seandr 45
@1: Culture is not a costume

Culture is many many things, including a costume.
Posted by seandr on May 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
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47
OH MY GOD. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND KEEP YOUR MANUFACTURED GUILT TO YOURSELF.

I especially liked the part where 4 (four!) people being offended constitutes an outrage. Get fucked and go be offended elsewhere.
Posted by Vitriolforbreakfast on May 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM · Report this
48
@14 Actually the French did end up succeeding. The Puebla battle was a temporary setback and Napoleon III installed Ferdinand Maximilian, some random Hapsburg aristocrat, as 'emperor' of Mexico. It was some years later that Maximilian was defeated by Mexican revolutionaries and executed.
Posted by Rhizome on May 15, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Fnarf 49
No one in Mexico knows or cares anything about May 5th, outside of a few notices in Puebla. What you're really celebrating is East LA Chicano Pride.

Sadly, to most Americans Mexico is a party theme -- even when they visit the country. That's the real problem with this: it's not a "celebration of Mexico", or Mexican-Americanism, it's a celebration of bullshit stereotypes. Burros? How about Volkswagons? They're much more representative of Mexico. My Jetta was made there.

I spend every May 5th dressed like a typical Mexican: jeans, collared shirt, regular shoes.

Now, if you want to talk about the REAL holiday, you missed it: CINCO DE CUATRO.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
50
So all the Latinos with pants hanging off their ass speaking in psuedo-ghetto Ebonics are also guilty of racism? What about all the Indians on the Rez displaying the same behavior?
Posted by robot ghost on May 15, 2014 at 11:55 AM · Report this
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JF 52
How is bringing up the Kelly O thing off topic? We're discussing the act of dressing up as people from other cultures and that's specifically what your employee did.
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Hernandez 53
Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day are American "drinking holidays", fully co-opted by beer and liquor companies. If you want to get mad at anyone for appropriating cultural stereotypes, get mad at them.

That said, I'm not naïve enough to believe that all these drunk white people are mocking Mexican people and culture for simple harmless fun.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on May 15, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
54
It's unfortunate to see that nearly an entire column of Stranger commenters lack the sophistication to connect how racist caricature historically normalizes and internalizes ideas which continue to support a system of power and privilege that disproportionately provides advantages to the hegemonic group while using others as a social stepping stone.

On the other hand, if you don't have to deal with a lifetime of that shit, maybe it's kinda subtle to you.
Posted by srslydude on May 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM · Report this
55
Can I still have fun at Syttende Mai?
Posted by derpyderpington on May 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM · Report this
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JF 57
@54 Or maybe it's just a giant hat.
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
58
one of the things that makes Mexican culture more fun than US culture is the higher party frequency. people day-drinking in a sweet park is fun. tacos r awesome. the US has a top 5 Hispanophone population, per wiki. hopefully we can get even more of em.

most of their events, like many of ours, are based on made up gods and myths. why can't ours come from a battle whose importance we exaggerate?

I doubt the Mexicans at the battle drove Volkswagens, but it is of course very cool that the Mx automobile industry is approaching US productivity levels and therefore displacing Japan and Canada as the principal auto exporter to the US. Several Japanese firms are doing big things there, as is VW
Posted by alfresco on May 15, 2014 at 1:01 PM · Report this
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60
Never ever apologize or give an inch to pc white-guilters. It's a form of tyranny against whites and/or anyone who has made responsible choices in life. It will never be enough no matter how much you apologize for being white and they will never be satisfied. In fact just to make an offensively hilarious point we should all spend one day dressed as a stereotype. Get over it and get a life.
Posted by robot ghost on May 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM · Report this
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63
From the Stranger's Commenting Policy...

COMMENT DELETED: Off-Topic
We'd rather not moderate your comments, but anything that deviates from what we want people to hear may be removed, and repeat offenders may be banned from commenting. We never censor comments based on ideology that aligns with our own. Thanks to all who add to the circlejerk.
Posted by white guilty on May 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this
64
Well, just to make it clear, NOBODY FRICKIN CELEBRATES THIS IN MEXICO!!!! THEY JUST WON ONE BATTLE, ONE!!!! ITS A JOKE, HORRIBLE, TOO! Literally, NOBODY in México celebrates this! On this day in México (pronouce Me-hi-co) nobody cares about it! its not even in our calenders! On independence day for México, theres people dressed up in costume, floats on the street and trumpet players playing awesome tunes. here cinco de mayo is just a racist holiday they can dress extremely racist! its the most ridiculous and expoited 'holiday' in the WORLD!!!!!!!!
Posted by laylawinx3isbackandbetterthanever on May 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
--MC 65
#60, we're not all whites here. Anyway, the situation doesn't demand an apology for whiteness as much as for fools acting like "white people". "Did I offend you by using a stereotype that was old and tired in the 1950? Sorry, dawg, just having a good time!"
Posted by --MC on May 15, 2014 at 2:09 PM · Report this
66
Most holidays consist of stereotypes. Jesus, have you seen the "Indians" portrayed during Thanksgiving? Wiccans are not well represented on Halloween. The Irish get mocked on St Patrick's Day. Mother's Day is hardly free from stereotypes, and Valentine's Day is all about 'em. Memorial Day has pretty much devolved into BBQ Day (fuck the dead, amiright?). Basically, we suck at holidays. Suck at 'em. Sucks that this is happening to Latinos... welcome to America?
Posted by wxPDX on May 15, 2014 at 2:15 PM · Report this
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raku 68
The line is crossed when people have the power to act on hatred and stereotypes. Non-Irish people assimilating St Patricks Day is very annoying, but no Irish people in America are being hurt in a significant way because of green beer and leprechaun costumes (at least in a way where it's a severe social problem). However, people of Mexican descent are absolutely suffering and dying because of white people's hatred and dismissal of them as actual human beings.
Posted by raku on May 15, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
69
We think this article is PC run amok.
Posted by Thom and Bri Bri on May 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM · Report this
70
@65 How does one act like "white people"? Is gang related gun fire or car burglary just someone acting like "brown people"? It should be ok to use that term right?
Posted by robot ghost on May 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Texas10R 71
@48
I'm aware of the ultimate outcome of the campaign. My point was to rebut an assertion in the article stated by "Mario Campos, president of the board of Casa Latina in Seattle" in which Mario's claim was that the battle of Puebla in 1862 was "relatively obscure." The battle was actually a crucial morale victory, which is why it is celebrated to this day.
But thanks, for contributing.
Posted by Texas10R on May 15, 2014 at 2:52 PM · Report this
Texas10R 72
@64
It is a state holiday in two states.
It is a national school holiday.
Posted by Texas10R on May 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this
JF 73
@68 How dare you speak for the Irish!
Posted by JF on May 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this
74
@60 I think your statement "It's a form of tyranny against whites and/or anyone who has made responsible choices in life" made it abundantly clear where your mindset is. A "responsible choice" in life would be keeping your ignorance in check, as opposed to painting in broad strokes the type of stereotypical thinking you're trying to sell here.
Posted by Complacency_sucks on May 15, 2014 at 3:12 PM · Report this
75
75: This guy obviously equates whiteness with responsibility, and therefore is probably a huge racist.
Posted by Jizzlobber on May 15, 2014 at 3:33 PM · Report this
76
Point of Information:

Don't many Mexican restaurants in Seattle (and I believe many/most owned by Mexican-Americans) celebrate Cinco de Mayo? It's a "commercial holiday" to encourage people to buy more food and drink. No?

Posted by Not my real name or yours on May 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM · Report this
77
@27 your comment confused me for a hot minute before I realized you thought I was Mexican. For the record, I'm white, but I guess you're trying to say that Mexicans stole where they were living from Indians before they lost the Spanish American war? Pretty weird thing to say considering that lots of Mexican people are indigenous. Yeah there are/were lots of Spanish/mestizo people there, but the idea that the indigenous Mexicans stole their land from....indigenous Mexicans is pretty silly. do you even history bro?
Posted by analemma on May 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
billbillbillbillbill 78
Bethany, great article, a nice semblance of objectivity underlied with a heavy dose of common sense. This argument ends with the fact that the blackface analog holds, i.e. characterizing Mexicans as mustachioed sombrero wearing tequila drinking drunkards=characterizing black people as soft shoeing big lipped obedient morons. Justify it all you want but ultimately if you're against one you ought to be against the other. Here's an idea, we could celebrate the actual Mexican Independence Day, September 16th, not dress like fucking morons, and still get drunk and have a good time...
Posted by billbillbillbillbill http://www.hereswhatithinkaboutthesebooks.blogspot.com on May 15, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this
79
I'll take this seriously when Little Caesar's drops the use of their olive-branch crowned, toga-wearing "Italian".
Posted by AinWA on May 15, 2014 at 5:20 PM · Report this
80 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
81
I don't know why everyone gets so upset by people celebrating anything and having a good time. I'm Mexican, and I know what Cinco de Mayo actually was, and I still celebrate it simply as a day that "white folks" are actively thinking about Mexicans. And honestly, I'd rather it be through campy hats and eating tacos than what it normally is - illegal immigration and everything surrounding that issue. Relax, and try to have a sense of humor. You'll be happier in the end.
Posted by choosebronze on May 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM · Report this
JF 82
@78 Or we can let people do whatever they want. It's not as if wearing a sombrero actually hurts anyone
Posted by JF on May 16, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
83
Why, Bethany Jean Clement, do we hear all this anti-racist noise? Never hear any noise supporting racism. And it seems to come from only one directiion: Blacks and Mexicans -- and acquiescing "bleeding-heart," misguided whites parroting them with, "Sho you right."

Are there no racist Mexicans? No racist blacks? Have we reached no "Gentleman's Agreement" on this perennial noise because the playing-field is so lopsided or tilted by only the noise of blacks and Mexicans?

What about standing back and looking at the scene from space and saying: "Anybody who isn't a racist will not discriminate; will not say, Get outta my face. I see and hear the ignorant crap that people who look like you are into on our streets, in our schools, and in your neighborhoods!"
Posted by cheko on May 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM · Report this
--MC 84
#70, you know the stereotype. Let's have a "White People Day" where people dress up in hip t-shirts and walk around ridiculing everybody they meet, then try to play it off as a joke. Oops, that was last night on Pike and Pine, wasn't it? (And if this makes you feel hurt inside, well, live with that feeling every day for the next fifty years then get back to me.)

#83, right on. Nobody should be racist. You first.
Posted by --MC on May 17, 2014 at 8:42 AM · Report this
--MC 85
#70 -- I guess I didn't really answer your question. You can make all the remarks about what "brown people" you want, honey bunny! We know what "brown people" are supposed to be like, but that would give us a very good idea what YOU are like.
Posted by --MC on May 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM · Report this
86
made up holidays r better than real holidays because people disagree about real good things, like legally intrusive racial desegregation by the feds and the US retreat from Vietnam

it's not like US had won anything on July 4th, either. do we commemorate the Brit surrender or the revolutionary manifesto?

mass deportations of petty offenders r wrong. denial of access to social services is wrong. when u make the target the attitudes and recreational tastes of everyday people, u r alienating the majority for a small and unlikely payoff (a regular, non-party day on May 5).
Posted by alfresco on May 17, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
87
The author of this article should only wear the clothing of, eat the food of, listen to the music of, read the literature of, live in the houses built by, live by the tales of, and celebrate the holidays of her ancestors.

Until she does that, she's just another clueless prig.

If she did that, she'd be burnt at the stake.

Fun fun.
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on May 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM · Report this
88
Would you like some corn stalk twine and feathers, oh indignant ones?

A bit of burlap, perchance?
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on May 18, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
89
Or you can go catch drunk-ass 13 year old Irish girls at Trafalgar as they fall from walls.

Ever seen a drunken native?

No?
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on May 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
90
And then, after a full day of drinking with a group of people from all over the world, you're sitting in a park by the River Thames drinking a bottle of Jameson you purchased (which, quite consequentially, is most likely the best liquor they've ever had), before Bono's twin brother starts screaming about the negros(in not such kind terms) before telling you he is going to nuke you.

And that, my friends, is your great celebration.
Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on May 18, 2014 at 4:33 PM · Report this
91 Comment Pulled (OffTopic) Comment Policy
92
This must suck, guys.

This must really fucking suck.

What are you going to do? Wage another four-year jaw war?

http://i60.tinypic.com/2ymhj7a.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_ywjV-w…

Posted by worthless_people_are_worthless on May 18, 2014 at 9:26 PM · Report this
93
@47 Shit, you think THAT'S pathetic, I sat home on Cinco de Mayo, simply munching on some otherwise perfectly muy delicioso organic corn tortilla chips dipped in medium black bean and corn salsa, and made the mistake of calling my former self-appointed "Supreme Ruler of the Universe on Someone Else's Hard-earned Money" narcissist gold-digger of an older sister to wish her a Happy May 5th. After the initial long-distance greeting, she turned immediately disconsolate upon hearing that all was well for me, however Bohemian. "I would have enjoyed fixing a lavish Mexican fiesta meal,' she says, 'but all I have are leftovers...[hubby] STILL isn't home yet....I've had an exhausting day...sniffle sniffle...'
This from a woman who four years ago went out to dinner every night of the week, took two token bites of said made-to-order entree before having it boxed up by the server to go, and further contributing to a fridge with enough leftovers to feed Africa for a year before finally declaring bankruptcy after 34 years of living the ultimate fantasy.

Long and short: Her expressed Anne Romney-style outrage is all over my buying a mere bag of corn tortilla chips and jar of salsa for less than ten bucks at a local grocery store?!
Puh-LEASE!

And people are puzzled as to why I don't bother much anymore in keeping in touch with my older sibs!
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 18, 2014 at 11:05 PM · Report this
94
re @93: I am NOT making this shit up, but everybody please feel laugh your asses off anyway.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 18, 2014 at 11:12 PM · Report this
95
@94: *sigh* Damn typos!
I meant: 'I am NOT making this shit up, but everybody please feel free to laugh your asses off anyway.'

Posted by auntie grizelda on May 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM · Report this
96
Cinco de Mayo - Yet another holiday that's used an excuse for young Americans to get shit faced, behave like fools, and embarrass themselves in public.

It's gratifying to know that this latest who-cares-why-we're-celebrating-let's-just-drink-til-we-puke occasion met all the criteria for low-brow brainlessness.
Posted by Purrl on May 20, 2014 at 12:21 AM · Report this
97 Comment Pulled (OffTopic) Comment Policy

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