If I get one more email message or text message saying "Happy Cinco de Mayo" I think I'm just going to buy me a bottle of Tequila. After all, that is actually the main purpose of this useless holiday, right.
As a Spanish-speaker Indigenous man, I never understood the so called "Hispanic" culture promoted in the United States, until I learned more about my own Indigenous heritage and history. Then I realized why most Native peoples of "Latin" America are classified as Hispanics in this country.
I realized that most of the cultural expressions promoted in the U.S. as "representation" of our racially diverse communities [of Spanish speakers], are motivated by profits and political interests, and that they are based on a Euro-centric vision of human history.
This is important to mention, especially now that we see racist actions and laws being promoted in Arizona and the rest of the United States, against our mostly-Indigenous immigrant communities.
A couple of days ago, I received an email with a report of the Pew Hispanic Center about "Hispanics and Arizona's New Immigration Law" (Read here). This report is actually discriminating because it's hiding the enormous presence of Native Americans who speak Spanish in the state of Arizona and other border states.
I called the Pew Hispanic Center to asked about their reasons to promote this false image of our communities, just like the Cinco de Mayo celebration. The PHC's Associate Director Mark Lopez couldn't explain the reasons that motivates his organization to manipulate our Indigenous history, identity and heritage:
The Cinco de Mayo celebration is a forced tradition, created with an intention of manipulating the cultures and history of Mexicans in the United States, while making profits. Thus, a celebration is forced to all the communities that came from south of the border.
Because we all "look Mexican", remember. Of course we brown people look Mexican, and that's because we share the Native heritage, because we are in fact American Indians.
This is exactly the case with most of the expressions of the Hispanic identity in the U.S. it's forced, motivated by a minority of powerful interests. It's what the "gringo" mentality wants "Latin" America to look like.
By recognizing our Indigenous roots, we are not separating ourselves from our relatives who are of mostly European heritage. We are all related in this planet after all. But we must respect and honor every community, and need learn about our roots because they give us ground to walk in life.
It's unfortunate that the "Mexican holiday in the U.S." is a synonymous of alcohol consumption. This is intentional, let's remember the role of alcoholism as another form of colonization of our peoples.
Ok. I'm thirsty now, but of knowledge. What about learning how to count in Nahuatl?