Kymberly Janisch/National Museum of Mexican Art

Cinco de Mayo — Don’t Do It

Most Americans don’t even know what the date represents

Regina Rodríguez-Martin
2 min readMay 4, 2020

--

If you have friends who aren’t Mexican who like to “celebrate” cinco de mayo, please tell them to think twice. Here’s why.

  1. You’re not celebrating Mexican culture. Mexican Americans don’t make a big deal out of cinco de mayo. Mexican Independence Day is a much bigger holiday for us. Oh, you thought cinco de mayo was Mexican Independence Day? You can’t celebrate a culture when you don’t know what you’re celebrating.
  2. Alcohol. Americans do not need another excuse to imbibe, and increasing numbers are trying to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume. We have enough alcohol in our lives when even yoga classes advertise post-class mimosas. Please take this annual binge-drink off the calendar.
  3. Racism. It’s too easy for cinco de mayo “celebrations” to turn into brownface and other forms of racism. Many white people get out sombreros, sarapes and big mustaches. Sometimes they pretend to sing “La Cucaracha.” It’s offensive.
  4. Appropriation. If you take part in a mostly white cinco de mayo drink-fest that doesn’t address what the holiday is really about, you are appropriating Mexican culture.

If you want to honor Mexican culture in a respectful way, here are much better ideas.

--

--

Regina Rodríguez-Martin

Mexican American. Chicagoan. Generation X. Relishes questions of human behavior. Nobody’s mother and nobody’s wife. Blog: https://www.reginachicana.com.