Look guys, this year I’ve been making a huge effort to be less problematic, and because of that, I’ve stopped “celebrating” Cinco de Mayo because I know, as a white person, there’s no way I can do it without it being racist. If I get drunk on Mexican beer, it’s racist. If I wear a sombrero, it’s racist. If I call everyone cholita and ask latino men if they’ll cheese my taco, it’s welcomed, but it’s racist.
So, I stopped. Don’t get me wrong, I still get drunk as shit on Cinco de Mayo, I just make sure to do it with domestic beers, and I don’t eat anything that contains beans or cilantro. It’s just like any other day for me. I go out and get trashed, but I try to keep the idea that it’s Mexican Independence Day thoroughly out of my consciousness.
But equality is all about give and take. Think about it. Every time we’ve had some sort of advancement in racial cohesion, there’s been a little bit of a reaction to balance it out. That’s how equality works. In the 1800s, we abolished slavery. That was great! But in turn, whites grew more resentful of blacks, which manifested itself in segregation and violence. Later, blacks got the vote. That’s great! But, we had to balance it out with some Jim Crow laws and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan. In the 1960s and 1970s, the civil rights movement saw black people move past cultural boundaries and really achieve great things. And, as expected, the GOP and the CIA created the crack epidemic, AIDS, and the war on drugs to incarcerate and kill as many people of color as possible. This ebb and flow is what makes America great. This is American equality.
And in that spirit of give and take, all I’m asking is that since I had to give up my precious Cinco de Yolo, people of color should stop appropriating the fourth of July: a truly white holiday in which we celebrate the slave owners that founded this country declaring their independence from tyranny and oppression. It’s the day we celebrate the fact that all white men are created equal in white America. It’s a day we use fireworks to simulate and signify the violent war that was necessary to deliver us from evil. All the while demanding that currently oppressed people sit quietly and resolve their issues with dialog and hashtags.
If you’re white – or at least partially white, enjoy this Fourth of July as you normally would. Get drunk, blow something up, and eat from the breast of at least three animals. Wave your flag, and be proud of your cultural heritage and everything that this country stands for.
If, however, you’re not white, you need to take today to do some serious reflection. Before you crack a beer or smoke some ribs, ask yourself: is this really your country?
Is this really a holiday that represents you?
Was there ever any hope for your people? Or were the nascent indications of any real equality mere illusions, quickly extinguished, fizzling out like a sparkler that failed to ignite? Are those your colors on that flag?
The answer is no, mi amigos. The Fourth of July is not for you. And I humbly ask that you refrain from appropriating the symbols and images of the violent white men that died, but more importantly killed, for this country.
Don’t wave that flag, it’s offensive.