“Drinking tequila shots, eating tacos, and wearing sombreros do not commemorate Mexican culture; on the contrary, that offends, marginalizes and isolates many of our friends, classmates, and community leaders and casts our entire community in poor light,” wrote members of the group Alianza in a letter that was published in The Daily Northwestern.
The letter was signed by members of the university’s Associated Student Government as well as members of the Latino group in response to Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
“Some of our peers choose to throw ‘Mexican-themed’ parties that are culturally insensitive, offensive and detrimental to the Northwestern community,” they wrote.
Instead, the group wanted students to celebrate Mexico’s “rich history” through parades, family gatherings and “folk dances.”
However, a number of students who actually grew up in Mexico, said the student government association and the Latino group are way off base.
“To whomever wrote and signed that letter, I’d like to say that I proudly embrace my tacos, tequila and sombreros,” said Ruben Antonio Marcos Bours. “To me, they are a key part of my childhood, growing up in Monterrey, Mexico.”
And it turns out that the two co-presidents of Alianza are not even Mexican.
“People think Alianza is representing Mexican culture on campus,” student Garcia Romero told the campus newspaper. “I see them as representing U.S. Hispanic culture. Very few of them have actually been to Mexico.”
Romero said his friends back home probably celebrated Cinco de Mayo by drinking tequila and eating tacos.
After generating widespread campus ridicule, the student group backtracked and said they were not trying to tell students how to celebrate the holiday.
“We don’t even know how to celebrate,” co-president Darlene Reyes told the campus newspaper.
As for their group – the Alianza marked Cinco de Mayo by roasting marshmallows.