Think twice before donning that sombrero on Cinco de Mayo

Dulce Martinez , Managing Editor

Cinco de Mayo is a day everyone looks forward to. Americans celebrate by eating tacos and wearing colorful ponchos because that’s what the day is about, right? It’s another ‘Holiday’ that Americans use as an excuse to party with their friends. It’s a day everyone looks forward to because of the half-priced tacos and because they can attempt to order their meal in Spanish.

If that is what you think this day is about then you are sadly mistaken. Cinco de Mayo is the day on which the Battle of Puebla took place. It is not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence day, a day everyone in Mexico actually celebrates.  The small town of Puebla defended itself from France in the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.  People who aren’t from Puebla don’t celebrate this day as it isn’t where they are from nor does it pertain to them. It’s not viewed as a holiday in Mexico; people still have to go to work and all the businesses remain open. In Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with recreations of the battle, traditional music and dancing, as well as eating traditional food.

In America, it’s a different story. People go out in ponchos and sombreros and use this day as an excuse to party rather than to educate themselves about what the date actually means. They use a day that is meant to remember freedom to wear offensive costumes from party stores and to play stereotypical music rather than supporting their fellow Mexican-Americans. It’s not fair that they get to stereotype us and use this day as another excuse to party rather than learning about the history of a country and appreciating our culture.

It’s not that people other than Hispanics can’t celebrate this date but if you are going to base us off stereotypes and appreciate our culture for one day and then go back to wanting us out of the country on May 6, then don’t celebrate it at all.

Why should you be allowed to celebrate a day meant for freedom and a day that was made for Mexicans to look back at their heritage while we worry about being separated from those we love.  People who want Mexicans out of the country while also supporting a man who said that we’re rapists and criminals should perhaps reconsider taking part in a day that is meant to appreciate the culture and instead learn about history of Mexico and its people.

If you are going to celebrate this day, do it in a way where it’s not offensive and where you are not mocking these people. Learn the history about why this day is celebrated and why it means so much to people who are a part of the town. Don’t use this day as another excuse to stereotype a group of people or to celebrate it just to celebrate it .