Houston, here’s how to not be racist this Cinco de Mayo – Chron

Members from 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.

Members from 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 dress up and drink alcohol, and there may not be a more misunderstood example of this phenomenon than Cinco de Mayo—a Mexican holiday most non-Hispanic U.S. citizens seem to treat like a bar crawl.

Fake mustaches are worn and tequila is chugged, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate our Mexican neighbors’ history that won’t make you look like an oblivious dummy. 

TAKE NOTES: Dear Texas teachers, it’s really not that hard to avoid being racist

Here are a few ways to avoid patronizing your Mexican-American neighbors this Cinco:

  • Remember that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on Sept. 16.
  • If you are a teacher educating your students about Cinco de Mayo, please make sure there are no stereotypes about Latinos or Mexicans in the lesson. This includes textbook assignments and films that you will watch.
  • The food you consume is important, too. Visit your local authentic Mexican joint or stop by your favorite tamale vendor. You don’t have to shout Spanish at them, which brings us to our next point, which is a big one…
  • If you are not fluent in Spanish it is perfectly fine to not speak Spanish. This goes for any day of the year, really.
  • People’s cultures aren’t costumes. Please leave the oversized sombreros and phony thick mustaches at the party store. There is no Cinco de Mayo dress code and your usual jeans and T-shirt will be just fine.
  • Lastly: never drink and drive!

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of a people and their history, and while Mexican Americans are seemingly OK with outside cultures participating in the fun — there’s a right way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and an awkward and racist way.

Let’s do it the right way. Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all!

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Houston, here’s how to not be racist this Cinco de Mayo – Chron

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