Last week I published a poster from the South Sound Republicans' Cinco de Mayo fundraiser. The poster featured a cactus in a sombrero, and noted that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant would be emceeing. Bill Bryant has repeatedly avoided taking a position on Donald Trump's candidacy, even while some of his fellow GOPers in the Washington legislature have blasted Trump's xenophobic commentary and vowed never to help him get elected.
But Seattle-area Republicans aren't the only people using Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to raise money. A reader from the 36th legislative district—which comprises northwest Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard, Phinney Ridge, and Queen Anne—forwarded an online flier from a Cinco de Mayo-themed fundraiser with Ed Murray she received last week.
The event, which will be hosted by the 36th District Democrats at the Seattle PI building, costs $36 per attendee and $100 per "Friend of Ed Murray" sponsor. "We'll celebrate the holiday with delicious Mexican food, margaritas, beer, and soda," the flier reads. "You won’t want to miss this!"
The reader who forwarded the event flier is Chicana. She wished to keep her identity anonymous, but had this to say about having an overwhelmingly white political establishment capitalizing on Cinco de Mayo in her neighborhood:
"This is so tone deaf," the reader wrote in an e-mail. "May 5th feels more like a day where white folks feel like they can get blitzed on margaritas, eat tacos, and also apparently white politicians can raise money. Sept. 16th is Mexican Independence and actually matters a hell of a lot more!!!"
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, in which the Mexican army defeated the well-armed French. A couple of years ago, a University of Washington student wrote about why the holiday so often becomes distorted by white people in the States.