Cinco de Mayo

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The photo is blurry as hell and I apologize (see the disclaimer in the introduction), but this was one of the 2015 Cinco de Mayo displays at the Whole Foods in Chapel Hill, NC. If you have never heard of cultural appropriation before, this here is it.

Here are two quick articles that summarize the issue better than I could:

USA Today – College

Hello Giggles

The first article says this on how not to be racist about Cinco de Mayo:

“1. DON’T BUY SOMBREROS, PONCHOS OR FAKE MUSTACHES

We have said time and time again: Our culture is not for you to create costumes out of. Our traditional colorful materials and attire are not for you to dress in once a year to mock and pretend to be Mexican.”

The second says this:

Step 2: Know That Culture is Not a Costume

Culture isn’t a costume, and wearing a sombrero and shaking maracas isn’t respecting any culture. This Cinco de Mayo, refrain from wearing ponchos and sombreros.”

Clearly, it’s problematic enough to buy and wear stereotypical Mexican costume items for Cinco de Mayo. It’s even worse to USE THOSE ITEMS AS ADVERTISING PROPS TO SELL SHIT. For rich, privileged white people to use and stereotype a (marginalized) culture in order to sell expensive food to other rich, privileged white people is fifty shades of fucked up. Even if all the white people involved feel that they are “celebrating” that culture. Mexican culture does not exist to give white Americans an excuse to party once a year, and it definitely doesn’t exist to help Whole Foods sell avocados and (shitty) tortillas.

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