Earlier today, a gringo ex of mine sent me a text message wishing me a happy cinco de Mayo. Hmmm ok. I thanked him and then reminded him that I wasn’t really celebrating because:
A: I’m not Mexican and
B: I’m not a Mexican from Puebla.
See Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day and not even all of Mexico celebrates it, because the holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla.
Let’s make this comparison: most people in the U.S. celebrate 4th of July not the battle of Saratoga.
Pero an article making it’s way around suggests that Cinco de Mayo makes other Latinos hate Mexicans. Porque? Because it’s more proof that the Mexicans are taking over sillies! Cue the reconquista music please:
But for Dagoberto Reyes, a Salvadorian immigrant living in Los Angeles, May 5 is more a reminder of the dominance Mexican culture has in a country that is home to immigrants from many Latin American countries. His prime example: Los Angeles-area public schools.
“Our kids go to this school system, and the school system is more preoccupied with Mexico’s history, and not the rest of Latin America’s, much less El Salvador’s,” said Reyes, director of Casa de la Cultura, a Salvadorian community center. “They came back celebrating Cinco De Mayo. That holiday means nothing to us.”
Hell I’d be happy if any Latin American history was taught in my daughter’s public school, besides the rushed mention of the Aztecs eating hearts and Puerto Rico as a proud part of the United States. Pero instead, this article takes the position that non-Mexican Latinos are resentful for being confused as Mexicans.
“Not many of them know their geography,” said Diego Martinez, who has had to explain to several people the island nation of the Dominican Republic is not located in Mexico. “I like Mexican food very much, but I’m Dominican.”…This population difference can mean a struggle for immigrants vying for better position in American society and in the country’s economy, said Luis Guarnizo, a sociology professor with a focus on migration at the University of California, Davis.
“When you have a group in the majority, they control the situation, and they exercise some power over the other groups,” Guarnizo said, pointing to examples of non-Mexican immigrants imitating Mexican accents and parents echoing Reyes’ complaints about the teaching of Mexican history over that of other countries.
Apparently the idea is that the in the melting pot that we are told is the U.S. there is only room for fully acknowledging one Latino culture. That it would be too much work for people to wrap their heads around the idea that Latinidad isn’t one ethnicity.
Pero, more dangerously, it foments the idea that even other Latinos don’t really like Mexicans all that much and promotes divide and conquer politics. This is especially worrisome in light of hate crimes against Latinos and specifically Mexicans, such as the recent acquittal of two young men accused of beating a Mexican immigrant to death.
So while gringos fill up bars today, wearing sombreros, I worry a little, not just for Mexicans pero for all Latinos, who are still seen as carriers of disease, both physical and social and thus ok to deny rights, including the very right to exist.
Today it may be fun for some to “play” Mexican. Pero for all Latinos, daily life is a real struggle, not a never-ending fiesta.
Via / MSNBC