David Hayes-Bautista, a professor at U.C.L.A., published a book in 2012 titled “El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition.” In the book, he called “Cinco de Mayo” a “fake holiday recently invented by beverage companies.”
The holiday’s evolution from an earnest show of patriotism to a chiefly corporate celebration has been fitful, to say the least.
“I’m trying to get a better sense of how that became so thoroughly lost,” Dr. Hayes-Bautista said in a phone call from Puebla, the site of the 1862 battle, adding, “It’d be like if the Fourth of July were reduced to beer and hot dogs.”
Do Latinos still celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Dr. Hayes-Bautista said many Latinos specifically avoid observing the holiday, partly because of a generational forgetfulness about the holiday’s Civil War origins.
Another factor: Cinco de Mayo celebrations have recently set off moments of racial insensitivity across the United States.
Recent episodes have included an offensive tweet last year by former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas; a Baylor University fraternity party called “Cinco de Drinko,” which eventually got the fraternity reprimanded by the university; and a series of on-campus holiday-related incidents at the University of New Hampshire that led the university to create a racial task force.
Asked to imagine an improved Cinco de Mayo, Dr. Hayes-Bautista said that partying could still play a role, but that there would be greater emphasis placed on the date’s historical context. “Let’s bring it back to its roots as a civil rights and social justice commemoration,” he said.Continue reading the main story
Source link : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/05/business/cinco-de-mayo-facts-history.html
Publish date : 2018-05-05 11:09:10