Houston, here is how one can’t be racist on this Cinco de Mayo

May 3, 2021 Updated: May 3, 2021, 5:18 pm

Members of the Las Americas Ballet Folklorico perform during a Cinco de Mayo parade presented by LULAC District 8 in Downtown Houston, TX on Saturday May 5, 2018.

Tim Warner, freelance / For the Chronicle

There are few things Americans love more than an excuse to get dressed and drink alcohol, and there may not be a more misunderstood example of this phenomenon than Cinco de Mayo – a Mexican holiday that most non-Hispanic US citizens like seem to handle a pub crawl.

Fake mustaches are worn and tequila is chugged, but there are many ways to celebrate our Mexican neighbors’ story that won’t make you look like an unsuspecting doll.

MAKE NOTES: Dear Texan teachers, it really isn’t that difficult to avoid being racist

Here are some ways to avoid having your Mexican-American neighbors patronizing this Cinco:

  • Remember that is Cinco de Mayo Not Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on September 16th.
  • If you are a teacher teaching your students about Cinco de Mayo, Please make sure that there are no stereotypes about Latinos or Mexicans in the lesson. This includes textbook assignments and movies that you will watch.
  • The food you consume is also important. visit Your local authentic Mexican eatery or visit your favorite tamale seller. You don’t have to yell at them in Spanish which brings us to our next point which is a big one …
  • If you are not fluent in Spanish, it is perfectly fine not to speak Spanish. That really goes for every day of the year.
  • People’s cultures are not costumes. Please leave the oversized sombreros and fake thick mustaches in the party shop. There is no dress code for Cinco de Mayo and your usual jeans and t-shirts are fine.
  • Finally: never drink or drive!

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of a people and their history, and while Mexican Americans seemingly okay with outside cultures joining in the fun, there is a right way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and a clumsy and racist way.

Let’s do it right. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

ShaCamree joined Chron in April 2020. She was previously a digital content producer for WLBT and Fox 40 News in her hometown of Mississippi. She likes media, music and writes about Beyoncé.

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