Frequently Asked Questions About Cinco de Mayo

Fred Chong Rutherford
2 min readMay 5, 2020
borderline racist image
Considering how and why we started celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the United States, this is a borderline racist image.

Q: What is Cinco de Mayo about?
A: It’s a small holiday in Mexico, commemorating the Batalla de Puebla (5/5/1862). In this battle, 4,000 Mexican soldiers faced 8,000 French soldiers, and won the battle. 462 French soldiers were killed, compared to 83 Mexican soldiers killed.

Q: Okay, why did we start celebrating this holiday in the United States?
A: In the 1950s, Mexican-American activists started promoting the holiday. At this time, there was strong (comparable to now, possibly worse if you can imagine) anti-Mexican and anti-Latino sentiment in the country. This was the environment that led the Eisenhower administration to deport several million Mexican people from the United States in 1954. The idea the activists had with Cinco de Mayo was to help other Americans recognize they were people too, and to help their kids find pride in an environment where that was not forthcoming.

Q: Oh, so, why do so many people get drunk and wear sombreros and stuff today?
A: I think it’s because a lot of ordinary Americans love to find reasons to get drunk, appropriate culture, and make it about them. It’s why you see so many jerks put on a Sombrero and “dress like a Mexican” and stuff today.

Q: So, is it okay if I wear a Sombrero today?
A: Dude, come on.

Q: Why are you being so politically correct? I’m just trying to have fun, it’s not a big deal.
A: Well, I think —

Q: Why can’t I wear what I want when I want? What’s your problem?
A: If you read the part at the top, you’d understand what the —

Q: Why should I have to read about this stuff? I’m just trying to have fun, why are you such a buzzkill?
A: Given how extreme our anti-immigrant xenophobia has become in the last few years, I think it’s important to remind people what this holiday is really about — which is pride for people in our country that are and were oppressed.

Q: Your an idiot this Mexico Innerpenced Days so you like need a big glass of beer and to shut-up juice!
A: That’s not a question.

Q: Why are you such a buzzkill do you wanna beer I like GUAC?
A: I dunno, why are you such a raging alcoholic?

Q: So, hey, like is it cool if I wear a Sombrero today?
A: Dude, come on.