Politics & Policy

Seven Pieces of Advice from the Social-Justice Internet for a Culturally Sensitive Cinco De Mayo

Don't say "guac."

It’s that time again: Cinco de Mayo, a day that used to be one of celebration but has now been deemed “problematic” by Social Justice Warriors, (also known as the Kind of People No One Wants to Be Around, which might be why they hate fun so much). 

In case you are for some reason concerned about offending them, here’s a list of their guidelines this year for (hopefully) getting through May 5 without doing something that they’ll demand you apologize for: 

1. “Stop calling guacamole ‘guac’” because that’s culturally insensitive. — USA Today

Yep, that’s right. The common phrase “chips and guac” is apparently some sort of racially insensitive slur or something, according to USA Today college contributor Dani Marrero. She explains that this seemingly innocuous abbreviation is actually like super upsetting and terrible because the word “guacamole” “has significance as it comes from indigenous Nahuatl language.”

2. Don’t sell shirts that say “tequila” Or rings that say “guacamole.” — Remezcla.com

I never knew a dip could create this much controversy! The clothing company Nylon apologized for and agreed to discontinue its line of Cinco de Mayo–themed attire — such as shirts that say “Tequila” and “More Tequila” and rings that say “guacamole” — after the Latin Millennial media site Remezcla.com issued a “facepalm alert” for the items on the grounds that they’re insensitive. 

Now, the upset group here does clarify that they’re not actually offended by guacamole itself but by the fact that it’s being marketed in association with Cinco de Mayo. See, it’s not like they’re being ridiculous or anything. 

3. “Don’t buy sombreros, ponchos, or fake mustaches.” — USA Today/pretty much all of Social Justice Internet 

“Our culture is not for you to create costumes out of,” Marrero writes. “Our traditional colorful materials and attire are not for you to dress in once a year to mock and pretend to be Mexican.” (Note: I highly doubt anyone actually considers Cinco de Mayo celebrations to be an accurate representation of Mexican culture, and if they do, they’re probably too dumb for your think piece to help them.)

As ridiculous as it may seem to people who don’t follow PC Police News, the War on Sombreros is hardly new. Many pieces have touched on how absolutely unforgivable it is to wear one, including one in CNN that asked the reader to “consider how it would strike us if we saw another country marking the Battle of Gettysburg with binge drinking and Uncle Sam hats.” (Uh, that would “strike me” as something that sounds fun.) 

4. Instead of buying sombreros, “save the dollars you would use to buy these racist garments and head to the nearest bookstore” for books about Latin culture. — USA Today

“Look for books by Chicano/as, memoirs by Mexican-Americans, or narratives of immigrants. . . . Look at a map and identify the state of Puebla. If you already have done these things, do it for someone else who hasn’t,” Marrero writes. One thing she may have forgotten to consider: It would probably be impossible to find anyone who would actually want to hang out with you if that was your idea of Cinco de Mayo fun. 

5. Whatever you do, do not include those “offensive” Looney Tunes mice. — The Huffington Post

In a 2,000-word piece centered around the horror she experienced upon finding out that her daughter’s elementary school would be having a Cinco de Mayo celebration, mom and St. Cloud State Multicultural Education professor Sudie Hofmann discussed how horrified she was to find out that the students would be coloring pictures of the Looney Tunes mouse Speedy Gonzales and his mouse cousin Slowpoke. After all, Speedy does stuff like say “arriba” and get Sylvester to drink a lot of hot sauce, and Slowpoke is “shiftless and lazy” (you know, hence the name “Slowpoke,”) and these things “represented offensive stereotypes.” Hofmann said she complained to the school, but that it still actually dared to have the students color mice pictures anyway. 

6. Don’t say “arriba” or “ay” because that is “offensive.” — Care2

Apparently, “arriba” is not just offensive when cartoon mice say it. 

“Yelling ‘Arriba, Arriba!’ or ‘Ay! Ay! Ay!’ in random fashion makes no sense, and is offensive,” Judy Molland explains. “This is not how Mexicans behave.”

(I repeat: I highly doubt anyone out there actually considers Cinco de Mayo to be an accurate representation of how Mexican people behave, and if they do, they’re probably too dumb for your think piece to help them.)

#related#7. “Don’t chug beers” or do “insensitive things like getting a free biscuit at Taco Bell.” — The Inquisitr News

But wait — what if you chug beers every night? What if you just like biscuits? I guess you’ll have to wait until May 6, if you take the advice the Insquisitr News is offering. It appears that fajitas, tacos, and tequila are also not allowed. 

8. Don’t worry — “salsa and chips are allowed.” — The Daily Beast

In case you were starting to get worried that you can’t do anything fun, Kelly Williams Brown assures you that that’s not true — you can still “eat some chips and salsa if you’re so moved.”

Thank God! I always rely on think pieces to let me know what kind of snack foods I am and am not allowed to eat, so this is a huge relief.  

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