Seis de Mayo

Trump says they’re all rapists. Some people in Arizona applauded Crazy Joe’s roundups of everybody with an accent, darkish skin or a vowel on the end of their name. But yesterday, on the fifth, people held parties, drank Coronas with a wedge of lime, ate guac without peas and maybe wore a sombrero.

It’s absurd enough that a once-honorable group has allowed itself to become a parody in search of a mission, but what could be gained by shifting from condemning lynchings and unmasking the Klan to scolding party-goers for enjoying a taco?

Of all the piddling complaints that bring ridicule down on the unduly passionate, cultural appropriation is the biggest head-shaker. If we can share in the horror of police killing black guys, we just can’t get worked up over a white girl in hoop earring. If this causes you to lose sleep, then get Ambien because the only cure for your horror is drugs.

This isn’t real. This isn’t violence. But most importantly, this is the way to accomplish two things that probably aren’t intended: first, to the extent people are concerned about serious harms caused by inequality, you lose their concern. You drive them away by making such a bit of trifling nonsense into such a huge deal. You scold them. You shame them. You tell them they’re evil racists for having a party, for having some Mexicano fun because somewhere there’s some teary-eyed Mexican whose feelings are hurt because you’re wearing their sombrero, and you’re not a Mariachi. Poor baby.

Your scolding hasn’t changed their minds, made them see that by drinking a Corona, they’re “reducing” Mexican culture to a cartoon. That’s because they’re not, except to that very small cohort of social justice warriors who will believe anything. There will, these days, always be someone, somewhere, who takes offense at everything.

The rest of us have no plan to live in their miserable world. We want to have some fun, celebrate the culture (even if we do it wrong, according to the officious scolds) and enjoy some guac. Why? Because it’s delicious. If your complaint is that we’re not allowed to enjoy foods of other cultures, you’re fighting a battle that you will not only lose, but will invoke the enmity of all. Do you think Mexicans running restaurants won’t serve dinner to patrons who don’t pass a purity test?

The other thing you accomplish is driving away those who have no animus toward Mexicans. You prove that the forces of equality are a bunch of over-reaching, petty crazies. If the option you present is to be scolded by the ideologically pure for not meeting your degree of “respectfulness,” and screaming racist at people who don a sombrero for fun, then you’ve lost us.

Sure, there are people who hate Mexicans, believe Trump when he says they send all their criminals here and assume every Mexican is an illegal. But that’s not the vast majority of Americans, who see them as people, some good, some not, but just as welcome as anyone else. And these are the people you’re going to scream at, attack, for letting their kids swing at a piñata?

If you want people to be welcoming, accepting of others, because in your obsessively ideological view this must be rammed down their throats as Mexicans can’t manage to be accepted as people without your shrill admonitions, it would be far more effective for everyone to enjoy Cinco de Mayo, to embrace that little piece of Mexican culture as a good time. Fun Mexican culture is a far more useful game-changer than outraged Mexican culture.

And as for you, Southern Poverty Law Center, I remember hearing Morris Dees speak years ago, back when your mission was focused on serious issues, on life and death issues, and found him enormously inspiring. People are still dying, yet you put Christina Hoff Sommers on a list of misogynysts?

I get it. You’ve been seized by the ideological purists, who spend their days and nights turning over rocks to find heretics to out. You’ve gone from lynching blacks to torching the unorthodox. In the process, an organization that once held great, and well-deserved, respect has reduced itself to a joke, scouring the internets for people using unapproved words and standing up for that one person somewhere who will always be offended.

It’s a terrible shame to see SPLC spiral down the bowl this way. Maybe you need a day off, time to take a step back and remember why you exist, for serious issues and real harm. Chillax. Have a Corona with a lime, some guac, and maybe take a poke at a piñata. It’s fun and makes you appreciate Mexicans even more.

 

29 thoughts on “Seis de Mayo

  1. Patrick Maupin

    “Mexican culture cannot be reduced to tacos, oversized sombreros and piñatas.”

    Of course not. How could they forget the margaritas?

    1. SHG Post author

      Or fajitas? I mean, there are so many good Mexican things they’ve erased. I’m literally shaking.

  2. Richard Kopf

    SHG,

    I swear that Joan and I had Tacos from Taco John’s last night. We truly forgot that it was Cinco De Mayo. The line at the drive-thru was long which was surprising. And then this morning I opened your post, and it stimulated my few remaining synapses.

    If we Germans were to appropriate a Mexican holiday, it would “Día de Muertos” which to us roughly translates to “Shoot a Zombie Day.” And, by the way, any Mexican who celebrates Oktoberfest with Cerveza Pacífico Clara is a sinner and such an act should subject him or her to judgment at Nurmberg.

    This all goes to show that I appreciate your celebration of Seis de Mayo. I am betting it will become a new multi-cultural holiday. You should be proud as your invention relies upon no walls but manages to make Mexico and America great again. You are truly a humanitarian.

    All the best.

    RGK

    1. SHG Post author

      In the summer of ’79, I snuck a beer mug past Brunhilda at the Hofbräuhaus in München. I was one décolletage away from Dia de Muertos. Since then, I feared neither food nor beverage. David doubted my bravery and skill, and demanded that I show him the beer mug. We then got caught up in another beverage and forgot all about it, but it’s true.

      1. Mike G.

        Interesting that some woke Mexicans complain about cultural appropriation when Americans drink Corona or Dos Equis, when you consider that these beer companies were started by expatriated Germans. Perhaps the Duetsch should complain.

      2. Richard Kopf

        SHG,

        Mortlach will do that to you. Indeed, if it’s not Scottish its shit.

        All the best.

        RGK

  3. Hunting Guy

    I’m confused.

    According to a genealogical test, I’m German, French, Hispanic (Portuguese, not Spainish), Native American (east coast), Italian, Welsh, Irish, Scandinavian, Ashkenazic, and a host of other odds and ends, including a very tiny bit of sub-Sahara African.

    In other words, I’m a typical American mutt.

    So my Welsh background isn’t suppose to celebrate Carnival in Rio? My Native American is suppose to tell my Irish part not to dress like an Indian on Halloween? My African part wants reparations from my English ancestry for their part in the slave trade?

    Screw the SPLC.

    I’ll enjoy whatever I want.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps it’s time to consider a rebranding. They could become the Cultural Appropriation Thought Police, prounounced Cat Pee. This will provide a mandate to go after any ethnic restaurant whose owners are not the labeled group. They could start with El Coyote Flaco in Port Chester which is owned by Chileans, then the hundreds of Thai places owned by Lao or Khmer, and all those Chinese restaurants with Vietnamese owners. The Korean sushi bars should get a free pass as war reparations. They can also extend the brand to personal style and go after hoop earrings, kinte cloth and dreadlocks.

  5. Lee Keller King

    I find it amusing that Cinco de Mayo is barely celebrated in Mexico (where is is not a national holiday), but an enormous deal in the United States.

    Personally, my view is that the Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States is more a creation of the beer and snacks industry than a grass roots movement.

    1. B. McLeod

      Yes. few people here know this, but it is really a regional celebration in Mexico, and is a much bigger deal here in the U.S., where it has been commercially exploited. Personally, I celebrated with a beef taco pizza from Papa Murphy’s and a few cold cans of Frio Light (brewed in Memphis, TN).

      How dare these pompous, little asses lecture us about this in English? That seems very out of the spirit of things, and I refuse to even respond to them until they do it right.

      1. PseudonymousKid

        It was the capitalists all along. Good work, comrade. Wait until Cinco De Mayo Americana seeps back over the border. It’ll happen. Greed knows no bounds.

        1. Lee

          Well, it’s already happened with Saint Patrick’s Day, so I guess it’s only a matter of time. 😱

          Seriously though, I’ve got no real problem with Cinco de Mayo hours St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in the United States. I just think it’s funny that many of my fellow Gringos think they are celebrating an authentic Mexican holiday when they celebrate Cinco.

      2. Skink

        I drink Corona with a side of Tennessee whiskey . The Corona is just there to make me feel better about drinking a glass of bourbon, and the bourbon is respectful of the funnest place on Earth: Nashville (where the motto is, “help me get this thing back on its wheels”).

        The Corona has no real function–it’s just a lazy thing making me feel less of a drunk. But I’ll have to stop this practice because I obviously believe Mexicans are lazy and Nashvillians are drunks.

        1. SHG Post author

          La cucaracha, la cucaracha
          Ya no puede caminar
          Porque no tiene
          porque le falta
          Marihuana que fumar

          1. Skink

            I understand no Spanish, and you can’t make me find a translation. Mrs. Skink reverts to Spanish when she’s really pissed, but I understand nothing, so I just nod. Stop screwing with my argument exploder.

          2. Lee Keller King

            “No, no, no, no, I don’t smoke it no more
            I’m tired of waking up on the floor
            No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
            And then it makes it hard to find the door”

            R. Starr

  6. Matthew Wideman

    I ate at an actual Mexican owned restaurant and they handed out sombreros, mustaches, and fake mairiachi guitars. The food was delicious and the festivities fun and relaxing.

    So in the SPLC eyes, I mist be a Klansman attending a minstrel show. That much fun and food can’t be wrong.

    1. SHG Post author

      While I’m sure there are some woke Mexicans in elite colleges who are deeply hurt by gringos enjoying their culture with being sufficiently respectful, I suspect most Mexicans, like most everybody else, just likes to make money and have fun.

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