Is celebrating Cinco de Mayo cultural appropriation? | The Tylt

Is celebrating Cinco de Mayo cultural appropriation?
Cinco de Mayo is meant to celebrate the Mexican Army's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but for many Americans, the holiday is synonymous with tacos, tequila and sombreros. Some feel that the typical American celebration of Cinco de Mayo has much less to do with honoring Mexican-American culture and more with cultural appropriation. Some critics say Cinco de Mayo has become a day of outward racism. Others argue against this criticism, calling it political correctness run amok. What do you think? 
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Is celebrating Cinco de Mayo cultural appropriation?
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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo can quickly escalate from something innocuous to outright racist behavior. According to 90.9 WBUR's Maria Garcia, the celebration itself is a slippery slope for Americans who never otherwise engage in Mexican culture. Garcia writes:

...I try to avoid celebrations in which people who otherwise do not at all engage with Mexican culture merrily wear sombreros and serapes and chug tequila on this day.

Garcia reminds readers that the purpose of Cinco de Mayo is to commemorate a battle in which the Mexican Army defeated the French against all odds. According to Garcia, Mexican-Americans living in California viewed this victory as essential to the success of the Union and putting an end to slavery. The holiday, Garcia points out, has Mexican-American roots. Now, the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo has been overtaken by commercialism, particularly among beer companies.

If you don't know or care what Cinco de Mayo really celebrates, if you haven't spent some time thinking about your own biases against Mexicans, if you don't know the history of lynchings and systemic discrimination against Mexicans in this country, if you avoid conversations about immigration or enter them in bad faith, if you don't know the human cost it took for Mexicans to change some fundamental labor laws in this country, or if you don't have any Mexican friends in your life, maybe you shouldn't celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
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When celebrating Cinco de Mayo only involves stereotyping Mexican culture without any context or understanding, it amounts to nothing more than cultural appropriation and racism. 

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Some push back against these criticisms, saying there's nothing wrong with celebrating Cinco de Mayo and by partaking in some of their favorite Mexican dishes. 

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For some, criticism of Cinco de Mayo celebrations amounts to nothing more than political correctness wreaking havoc on free speech. The holiday commemorates an important moment in history. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is celebrating Cinco de Mayo cultural appropriation?
#LoveCincoDeMayo
A festive crown for the winner
#CincoDeMayoRacist