Northwestern University students were told how to celebrate Cinco De Mayo this year: no tacos, tequila or sombreros, because it “offends, marginalizes, and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community members, and casts our entire community in poor light.”
That demand came from several sources including an Hispanic student organization.
A Latino student group, Alianza, and the school’s Associated Student Government (ASG) sent a letter to students warning them to be “respectful” in celebrating Cinco de Mayo, an occasion in which Mexico commemorates its defeat of French forces on May 5, 1862, in the Battle of Puebla. In the U.S. it is seen as a celebration of Mexican pride and freedom.However, international students at the Illinois University who actually hail from Mexico did not share those same sentiments.
Alianza held a Cinco de Mayo celebration Saturday by roasting marshmallows.
“Unfortunately, instead of partaking in these cultural celebrations and enriching their Northwestern experiences, some of our peers choose to throw ‘Mexican-themed’ parties that are culturally insensitive, offensive, and detrimental to the Northwestern community,” the letter said.
“I’d like to say that I proudly embrace my tacos, tequila and sombreros,” wrote Ruben Antonio Marcos Bours, a Northwestern student, in a statement. “To me, they are a key part of my childhood, growing up in Monterrey, Mexico.”Interesting to note, two of the writers of the email that was sent to Northwestern students are not Mexican, but you can bet they're liberal.
“People think Alianza is representing Mexican culture on campus,” student Garcia Romero said. “I see them as representing U.S. hispanic culture. Very few of them have actually been to Mexico. (Mexican international students) don’t have an official student group, but that doesn’t mean we are represented by Alianza.”
One would think that those who are ethnically diverse would appreciate sharing their cultural heritage with others. I guess not. Maybe we should just ban Cinco De Mayo altogether, so we don't offend the Chicanos.