What People Get Wrong About Cinco de Mayo

For non-Mexicans, Cinco de Mayo should just be May 5. A Chicano activist spoke to Brut about how corporations appropriate the holiday to sell booze.

Cinco de Mayo might not be what you think it is

Cinco de Mayo is a huge Mexican American celebration in the United States. Why is it such a frenzy in the United States?

“I would say 5 de mayo has become this opportunity for alcohol corporations and bars to sell a bunch of booze to folks and to sell tequila and just slap the word Mexico in front of it.” “I would say the majority of folks have no clue about the batalla de puebla or anything whatsoever. I would think they might think it's Mexican Independence Day but, to Mexicans, I would say it's just a desmadre. It's an excuse for folks to get really really drunk.” Jerónimo Saldaña, Chicano activist speaks out about the sensationalized U.S. adopted holiday.

Cinco de Mayo began with the Battle of Puebla, a victory for Mexican forces against the French Army of Napoleon III. But today, it isn’t about that at all.

“Cinco de mayo is hilarious to me. I didn't really notice it at all growing up as a Mexican American in LA. I think the first time I ever really noticed it was when I went to college at UC- Santa Barbara and folks were talking about "Cinco de Drinko". I would see white kids drinking with sombreros and Mexican mustaches and I just did not understand what the hell was going on.” Jerónimo Saldaña, Chicano activist reminds the misinformed.

“The more folks that I met from Mexico, the more ridiculous cinco de mayo was.” Jerónimo Saldaña, Chicano activist. Many people even use the day to dress up like Mexicans. Anything having to do with denigrating folks' identity Anything that dehumanizes people is insanely problematic. So, putting on mustaches, sombreros, and speaking "Mexican" it's not supportive of people. It perpetuates harm.”, according to Jerónimo Saldaña.

“If you want to get drunk and drink, that's awesome. Go do it. You don't need to put on a sombrero and a fake mustache and pretend to be Mexican to do that.”

Through it all, it continues to be…A pinche desmadre.” Jerónimo Saldaña, Chicano activist


05/05/2019 10:22 AMupdated: 05/06/2019 1:08 PM


  • Veronica R.
    05/06/2020 16:31

    Before yuo speak you should learn what is the celebration for the cinco de Mayo ! And why mexicans are so proud to be mexicans "

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    05/05/2020 16:49

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  • Gerald D.
    05/05/2020 15:48

    Thus guy is only half right

  • Gerald D.
    05/05/2020 15:47

    Look the mustaches are probably too much but there's nothing wrong wearing sombreros. It should be a joint holiday with Mexicans and Americans because after thier victory they were able to join forces with the Americans to defeat the Confederates so everyone drink up!!!

  • Juan C.
    05/05/2020 15:15


  • Claudia T.
    05/05/2020 15:09

    The same for St. Patrick's Day!