Are Cinco de Mayo Hangovers Cultural Appropriation?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

If you had too much Tequila or Dos Equis last weekend were you guilty of cultural appropriation? You might ask the sages who issued culturally appropriate warnings beforehand.

On May 4, 2018 of Cinco de Mayo, Ben McDonald reported in Campus Reform that “In an email to the student body Wednesday, VP of Student Development Judi Biggs Garbuio notes that Cinco de Mayo is ‘a relatively minor holiday’ in Mexico, but ‘has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage’ in the United States.

“‘Unfortunately, the celebrations have become less about the appreciation of Mexican heritage, and instead has become more about drinking and partying especially by non-Mexican individuals,’ she continued. ‘Because of this, there are many instances when Cinco de Mayo becomes a holiday that is full of cultural appropriation.

“‘At some college campuses, including our own,’ she warned, ‘students create “theme” parties or dress in costumes that are insensitive and offensive to the Mexican-American and more broadly the Latinx culture.'”

Across the country, Nikita Vladimirov reported in Campus Reform on May 5, 2018 that “The University of Vermont’s Bias Response Team sent out a campus-wide alert after a student group featured mariachi musicians in a promotional flyer.”

“In an email sent to the student body Friday, the Bias Response Team (BRT) formally condemned the ‘Top Cats’ a capella group for posting an event flyer highlighting their Senior Show that ‘had the faces of three senior members superimposed on the bodies of what appears to be Mexican mariachi band members.'”