This weekend, I had the unfortunate Chicago fate of wading through the hordes of Wrigleyville patrons as they “celebrated” a culture they clearly know almost nothing about. I would have eaten my shoe if any of those drunk oranges could name five Mexican actors off the top of their head. Actually Mexican — and no, you couldn’t say “Jay Hernandez” five times. It’s not playing Bloody Mary at summer camp. That’s not how it works.
Every year, Cinco de Mayo finds white people at their most drunk and offensive, and this year was no different. From Whitey to Whitey, this is a guide to not being an asshole to all of Mexico next year, and all of these behaviors are now officially illegal. Punishment involves making you listen to Nickelback on repeat until your ears burst into flames.
As you have that fifth margarita, please celebrate responsibly. Know the consequences.
1. No playing Jennifer Lopez. She’s not Mexican. She’s Puerto Rican.
2. Do not throw up on the sidewalk. Also, please don’t do this any day. I have to put my foot there.
3. No sombreros. I don’t understand who told white people this is okay. Do you wear a yarmulke around on Yom Kippur or sport a dashiki on Kwanzaa, while you chug your bottle of patron? No, so what makes it okay with Mexican culture? If you’re going to throw up all over someone’s heritage, at least have the decency not to appropriate it, too. It’s someone else’s culture. It’s not your costume.
4. No Cheech and Chong impressions. I’m pretty sure that Cheech Marin is the only thing white people know about Mexico — which scares me, because (fun fact!) Marin was actually born in the U.S. His accent is about as real as Michelle Bachmann’s marriage. The more you know.
5. Celebrating ‘Mexican independence.’ You’ve got the wrong holiday, buddy. That would be September 16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the surprise Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla and serves more as a celebration of Mexican heritage. It’s like Latino Pride day — but with less Robyn, sadly. When desecrating someone’s heritage, it’s best to keep your facts straight.
6. No Shakira. Once again: Colombian. Try Paulina Rubio or Selena instead. BUT NOT THE JENNIFER LOPEZ MOVIE. Don’t even say things that rhyme with Jennifer Lopez. I know it will be difficult to get through a conversation without saying “Fennifer Popez,” but you’ll manage.
7. Don’t go to Taco Bell. Pretend this is Mean Girls and you’re on an all-carb diet. You can’t go to Taco Bell. You know how embarrassed Americans get when you go to another country and can’t escape McDonalds? It’s like that, except that French MacDo was way better. They have goat wraps.
8. Your car is not a lowrider. Your bicycle is not a lowrider. The train platform is not a lowrider. The sidewalk is not a lowrider. The stool on the bar is not a lowrider. Your body is not a lowrider. On Cinco de Mayo, you’re not allowed to ride low. Well, you can. You just look like a big sombrero full of douche juice.
9. Cinco de Mayo is not an excuse to grab women’s asses in public. If you did this yesterday, I want you to repeat this statement until it sticks in or you magically become impotent.
10. Step away from the accents or phrases like “homes” and “ese.” Those are not your things. Please put them down and think about your life. Think about your choices. Would you start doing impressions of Long Duk Dong to celebrate Chinese New Year? Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know. Next time on Cinco de Mayo, just celebrate Star Wars Day again. If you’re offending someone, at least it’s only George Lucas. After the last Indiana Jones movie, he has that coming.