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CINCO DE MAYO: Top 5 Most Ridiculous Examples of Campus ‘Latino’ Outrage

Cinco de Mayo Countdown: Hyper-Sensitivity Run Amok

Cinco de Mayo consistently serves as a platform for universities and their students to complain about “racial insensitivity” among non-Mexican peers.

It seems that any time a student dons a sombrero, it’s decried as culturally biased, or even racist.

In honor of another school year of hypersensitivity run amok, The College Fix presents the top five most Latino-inspired campus overreactions over the last 12 months:

No. 1: Recently, one lone complaint over a Mexican-themed fundraiser to benefit cardiac research at Dartmouth College prompted administrators at the Ivy League university to freak out and cancel the entire event. The joint sorority-fraternity “Phiesta” fundraiser, originally slated for tomorrow, will no longer take place.

What was so racist and insensitive about inviting students “to join Greek members on Phi Delt’s lawn for a performance by campus band ‘Burn the Barn,’ free virgin piña coladas and strawberry daiquiris, chips and salsa, homemade guacamole and Boloco burritos.”?

The offended student, Daniela Hernandez, bemoaned in an email to The Dartmouth that “there are various problematic structures and ideologies regarding a Cinco de Mayo-inspired event, and I am sure that we, as a Dartmouth community, could learn from the extensive literature written about the Americanization of Cinco de Mayo and its construction as a drinking holiday in the United States, cultural appropriation and the inappropriate usage of cultural clothing, and the exploitation of groups of people and cultures for the sake of business opportunities.”

Her “right not to be offended” trumped raising money to save lives, as well as what sounded like a fun and delicious party.

No. 2: Sombreros, Ponchos, and Nachos Deemed ‘Culturally Insensitive’ at Cornell

A Cinco de Mayo-themed marketing campaign last year to tout the university’s Oct. 5 football game and designed to drum up a festive spirit among students instead apparently prompted angst among “several student groups andMemeMrt Latino community members” who deemed the promo “offensive, culturally insensitive and inappropriate” and forced the school’s athletics department to grovel for forgiveness, the Cornell Daily Sun had reported.

One of the most insulting parts of “Ithaca: Cinco de Octubre,” according to one student quoted in The Sun, was apparently a photo booth designed to encourage students to dress with the theme.

“I was disappointed that this theme was stereotyping the Mexican culture of which I identify,” student Carmen Martinez told the campus newspaper. “I was especially troubled by the ‘photobooth’ activity, especially after one of my colleagues pointed out that the winner [is the person] with the ‘best costume,’ implying the best Mexican costume was going to win a prize. What better way to invite stereotyping of our culture?”

Even campus administrators got in on the action to chide the campaign, telling The Sun the incident “is an important reminder about how we must function as an increasingly diverse community. … Using stereotypes and other people’s cultures to market events is wrong.”

No. 3: Sorority Called Racist For Culturally Inspired Costumes at ‘Olympics’ Party

Members of a Columbia University sorority were dubbed insensitive – even racist – after they donned culturally inspired costumes at an Olympics-themed party. At the mixer, students had the audacity to wear sombreros and pose with bottles of tequila.

The Feb. 22 party prompted politically correct pandemonium at the Ivy League institution – with its interim Dean of Student Affairs going so far as to offer counseling for those who were offended.

A Latino campus group called the party “offensive,” saying “stereotypes are used to oppress marginalized communities.” The sorority in question also begged for forgiveness and promised to launch “social awareness” campus initiatives.

No. 4: Universities Warn Against ‘Offensive’ Halloween Costumes, Including Latino-Themed Ones

Last October, the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Dean of Students Christina Gonzales said in a memo to students that “sombreros … geishas, ‘squaws,’ … cowboys and Indians” all fall under the insensitive category.forshamememe

“Unfortunately, stores often sell stereotypical and offensive costumes,” Gonzales stated. “If you are planning to celebrate Halloween by dressing up in a costume, consider the impact your costume decision may have on others in the CU community.”

“As a CU Buff, making the choice to dress up as someone from another culture, either with the intention of being humorous or without the intention of being disrespectful, can lead to inaccurate and hurtful portrayals of other peoples’ cultures in the CU community.”

And at Ohio University, a student group’s annual Halloween poster campaign called “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” informs students that some of their holiday get-ups – including Latino-inspired ones- are probably misguided and possibly racist.

No. 5: Students Told Not To Drink Tequila, Eat Tacos on Cinco de Mayo

Last May, an open letter to the Northwestern University community from the student government president and leaders of a Hispanic/Latino campus club admonished students not to eat tacos or drink tequila on Cinco de Mayo.

Those who party on Cinco de Mayo, accused the letter’s signatories, would “have fun at the expense of our peers and the cultures and traditions we should cherish.”

It went on to note that “drinking tequila shots, eating tacos, and wearing sombreros do not commemorate Mexican culture; on the contrary, that offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members, and casts our entire community in poor light.”

Thankfully, the effort prompted a backlash from some other natively-Mexican students who said they were offended by the notion and that the request didn’t represent their beliefs.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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Main Image: Joe Penningston / Flickr

Add to the Discussion

  • JoanC

    I think I’m going to protest all the ethnic groups that dress like me, a Caucasian in a tight black dress. And then I ‘m going to ask that all Mexican, Italian, Chinese… restaurants be closed, so we don’t offend anyone. And we’re going to stop selling Coke internationally because it is too American. Get a life.

  • Joseph Muldoon

    You know, it’s high time someone started “raising awareness” of the fact that lots and lots of “Latinos” are themselves white devils. They are the descendants of the conquistadors for crisakes. 95% of the blacks brought to the new world as slaves were brought over by Latins to serve Latin white supremacists. Anglos were the last Europeans to get involved in the slave trade and the first to get out. Spain in fact only quit the slave trade because Britain insisted upon it. Most US whites are descended from people from nations that had no involvement in the slave trade whatsoever.

    Speaking of Cinco de Mayo, it’s worth pointing out that this holiday is not Mexico’s Independence Day, but rather celebrates their victory in a conflict with the French, who were trying to take over the country, and would have succeeded were it not for US military aid. So the next time a ‘Chicano activist’ talks about the US stealing the southwest from Mexico, remind them that were bot for the US there would be no Mexico at all.

    • Zack Y.

      There was also the fact that the USA occupied Mexico City at the end of the Mexican-American war (1848) and seriously considered annexing the entire country instead of just the 1/3 we actually did. Read up on the shenanigans leading to the treaty ending the war- if not for some protests and the US peace envoy ignoring his last set of orders right at the end, Mexico wouldn’t even still exist as a sovereign country.

  • TomNJ

    One of the most hated groups in the history of this country were Irish-Catholics. When they began to immigrate to the US in mass it was not illegal to discriminate regarding jobs or housing. They are now as mainstream as they come and are even considered “white” by WASP’s. Funny their holiday is open to all everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s day.

    • Kathy

      Was going to say the same thing.

    • Brian, CA

      My point exactly. Being Irish, I have to smile at all the Latinos celebrating St. Patrick’s day by drinking themselves under the table with green beer, while wearing ludicrous enormous green top hats with buckles on the front and orange stick-on beards. Talk about offensive. Haha, good-stuff, good-stuff!

      • Carrie Singer

        I’ll drink to that!

  • Zack Y.

    I hate to say this, but I think we need to send more REAL racists and hatemongers into the universities. My thesis is basically the meme (ideas as organisms) equivalent of the allergy hypothesis- a leading theory of the rise of allergies in the modern world is that kids don’t get exposed enough to “hard core” germs, so their immune systems become hypersensitive. We’re seeing the same thing happen here for ideas: people are so unaccustomed to encountering actual hatred or bigotry that their mental software for detecting animus & getting offended has become ridiculously hair-triggered. Once some of these self-serving whiners encounter a real David Duke or radical Imam, it’ll put things in perspective to a degree no amount of lecturing ever could.

    • Joseph Muldoon

      Brilliant.

  • clark

    The College Fix……..I like it.

  • Seriously?

    These restrictions remind me of a conversation I had with an American Indian (I refer to him as an American Indian, because everyone born in the Western Hemisphere is a “Native American”) he bemoaned Caucasians wearing moccasins as being “stealing his culture.” I looked at his feet noticed he was wearing sneakers and told him he was stealing my culture.

  • bobj

    I, as an American, born and raised here in the United States agree with the left wing, mexican students that we are insensitive to their needs.
    Effective this day forward, I will do all I can to preserve, and be tolerant and understand their issues by avoiding all mexican food and restaurants. Additionally, I will do all that I can to repatriate all mexicans in our country, whether legal or not back to their homeland.
    We Americans just don’t appreciate what they’ve done in our country. The solution to our intolerance and lack of diversity is to let them go home to be free again.

    • Anonymous

      FUND IT

    • Karen in Dallas

      Exactly my thoughts!

  • Taquoshi

    Personally, I make it a point not to offend any Latinos simply by not celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It makes life much simpler.