Cinco De Mayo Is The Super Bowl Of Cultural Appropriation » VSB

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Cinco De Mayo Is The Super Bowl Of Cultural Appropriation

“It’s that time of the year again.” (In my Jay Pharoah voice)

The biggest celebration of cultural appropriation is about to go down. Unless of course you had an early start like Baylor University’s chapter of Kappa Sigma, which threw a “Mexican-Themed” party this past weekend. “Cinco de Drinko” was the kickoff event for what was going to be an epic week of cultural appropriation, until the fraternity was suspended. C’mon! Kids will be kids, right? Who would’ve thought dressing up as maids, construction workers, and chanting “build that wall” could be interpreted as racist? Leave it up to those politically correct students and administrators with their damn anti-racist stances and offices of equity and inclusion. Anyways, tonight is the night. Bars, restaurants, and frat houses will be packed with people donning sombreros, dining on authentic Mexican cuisine like nachos, tacos, and burritos while knocking down margaritas and shots of tequila.

I would think Halloween’s “my culture is not your costume” campaign would educate folks that race, culture, and ethnicity are not Pinterest dress-up and party ideas. Seriously, is there not anything remotely close to a moment of clarity where someone in your racist group of friends suggests that maybe, just maybe, dressing up in Black face or as an “Indian Warrior,” “Geisha” or “Pocahottie” (Yes, Pocahottie is a real thing) is a bad idea?

In 2017, ignorance is no longer justification for the racist behavior we have and unfortunately will see this and future “Cinco De Mayos.” I implore you to please remove the sombreros and put down the tacos and alcohol this May 5th. However, if you are still uncertain as to how “Cinco De Mayo” is racist, here are a few points of reflection:

1. If you equate celebrating Cinco De Mayo to the U.S. celebrating the Fourth of July; you are not just racist, but a dumbass as well. Cinco De Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican independence. It commemorates Mexico’s victory over France during the battle of Puebla on, you guessed it, May 5th (1862). It’s a minor holiday that people in Mexico hardly celebrate.

2. Cinco De Mayo symbolizes a victory against imperialism and oppression. So, if you’re celebrating Cinco De Mayo, but do not advocate for immigration rights or against the harassing, inhumane, and oppressive practices of ICE then go fuck yourself. (If you have to google ICE then you know what you can do.)

3. In fact, if you celebrate Cinco De Mayo in a manner that commodifies and exploits culture you are engaging in “imperialist nostalgia.” In Eating the Other, bell hooks discusses that “In mass culture, imperialist nostalgia takes the form of reenacting and reritualizing in different ways the imperialist, colonizing journey as narrative fantasy of power and desire, of seduction by the Other.” In other words, white desire for Latinx culture.

4. Still unsure how appropriating Cinco De Mayo works? Here are a few real-life examples illustrating how your Cinco De Mayo celebration can go terribly wrong. These examples are courtesy of the experts in “racially-themed” parties, Duke University’s Program in Education (PiE). PiE has years of experience in cultural appropriation. Their resume includes Asian, India, Italian, and Latino themed parties. Their Latino-themed party, “Fiesta Time,” is a prime example of what not to do.

A) First of all, in the case of PiE, if you are going to throw a “Latino-themed” party and attempt to argue that it is not racist at least make sure you schedule it on May 5th.

B) Scroll through these slides from PiE’s “Fiesta Time” welcome back party. An all white guest list to a “Latino-themed” party is a clear indication that some racist shit is about to go down.   

C) Brown face is Brown face. Whether you actually dress up or have your image photoshopped with clipart depicting stereotypical Latino caricatures, it’s still racist. However, if you’re going to engage in Brown face at least make sure it’s photoshopped. That way when the images surface on the front page of the newspaper you can blame that one staff member no one remembers from way back when.

D) Whether you purchase sombreros and maracas from Party City or use sombreros, maracas, and chihuahua graphics in your photos, It’s still racist. (Side note: If you are going to Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat think twice before using emojis like ? ?)

E) When your racist images go viral and you have to issue a statement, do us all a favor and just own your racist behavior. Refrain from using words like “insensitive” and “inappropriate” to describe your racism. You know what’s insensitive? When I go to the kitchen to get something to drink and don’t ask my wife if I can get her something. You know what’s inappropriate? When I take my kids (2, 6, and 8 years old) to a restaurant and they are standing on their chairs fighting over the bread as the server places it on the middle of table. Systemic white supremacy refuses to name incidents like “racially-themed” parties for what they are. Fucking racist. I get it; the resistance to name those parties as anything but racist is out of fear of accountability. Also, if you claim that the intentions of your “Latino-themed” party was to “highlight different foods” make sure you have at least one photo highlighting the different food. However, that’s neither here nor there, the real issue at hand is minimizing Latinx cultures to simply food; literally Eating the Other.

My intention in writing this piece is not to convince people to stay home tonight, but think twice before claiming to be Mexican for the evening. This is not some real-life Mexican temporary Facebook profile picture that expires on May 6th. As part of Mental Health month, understand that you will never understand how appropriating Cinco De Mayo contributes to the racial fatigue Mexican communities encounter. This goes to other Non-Mexican communities of color as well. POC can also appropriate Cinco De Mayo. And to all my double standard, reverse racism claiming racist, wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is not equivalent to wearing a sombrero and fake moustache on Cinco De Mayo. By the way, if you assumed I was Mexican for writing this piece you assumed incorrectly. Yo Soy Boricua. However, I do stand in solidarity with Mexican and Chicanx communities working toward dismantling the systemic white supremacy that invades our everyday lives.

¡Ya basta!

Jason Mendez

Jason Mendez, PhD is an educator, author, and co-founder of the arts collective Sons of the Boogie. He received his Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum, Culture, and Change from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests include urban education, critical race studies, cultural studies, arts as social justice, Boricua identities, and South Bronx culture and history. His work focuses on males of color and traditionally underserved and underrepresented populations in postsecondary education.

  • Alessandro De Medici

    I never got Cinco De Mayo and just thought it was a holiday for older white people and others to justify drinking like they were underage and in college again, just like St. Patrick’s Day.

    • Jennifer

      Das it.

  • siante

    My job has us promoting a margarita machine for Cinco de Mayo. They even have us passing out flyers with Sombreros. It’s so awkward.

    • Spicy Kas

      Awkward AF

      • siante

        When they passed us the flyer a few days ago to prep us for this promotion, I asked the Ecuadorian lady in my department if she felt it was racist & her response was basically IDGAF, but something about it is just not sitting right in my spirit :(

        • Kylroy

          I can’t help but wonder if she was like “I’m Ecuadoran, what should I care about a Mexican holiday? Would you guys be offended by marking Canada Day with moose hats and mountie uniforms?”

          • siante

            Good observation, but she heads the Latin division in our department so she’s developed the skill of communicating very well with all of the Latin communities we service, so she understood where I was coming from with my question. I didn’t expect her to be so flippant regarding Mexican culture because we have such a large client base in Mexico, but I guess it makes sense.

            • Kylroy

              OK, “the Ecuadorian lady in my department” is also a Latino community liasion. Attempting telepathy on her, I’d guess she doesn’t think it’s great but also thinks it’s not a battle worth fighting.

        • Spicy Kas

          Keeping it ?. Bills need to paid. Moost of us have or will bend our principles to keep the lights on. But yeah I would be looking for a new gig.

          • siante

            As if that wasn’t enough, most of the upper management proudly wore their “Make American Great Again” paraphernalia this past election day

            -_-

            trust, I’m already looking.

        • CoilyCue

          Lol, why would an Ecuadorian care?

          • siante

            I explained a bit down thread, it’ll make more sense.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Because they’re trying to forge a pan Latin identity in America. Much like Filipino and Vietnamese and Chinese Americans have linked up like Voltron under AZN. Or how all Indians are “Desi”.

        • Diego Duarte

          It would be racist in the extent that you assume Ecuadorians somehow are the same, or even similar to Mexicans. Not your intention, but this is especially racially exhausting to non-Mexican Latinos.

          Other than religion (Catholicism) and the language, most Latin American countries can be radically different. Ecuador is our neighbor to the north. They’ve got almost NOTHING in common with Mexico. Not the music, nor the traditional clothes, nor the food, nor the racial demographic, nor the political system, etc.

          It’s the same as me assuming all countries in Africa are the same. There’s a big difference between Egypt and Sierra Leone, fam. It’s like me assuming a Black friend can speak on behalf of the experiences of all Nigerians.

          Not being confrontational, just dropping my perspective in an informational manner.

          • Spicy Kas

            More context provided in a different response.

          • Zil Nabu

            Are you trying to tell me that Africa isn’t just one big country with Black people who all know each other?
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8143a18ec09742a6146bde4f526eef62f5aced8fd911722a4b8151bd3bc93c5d.gif

          • siante

            I appreciate this so much. I feel really DUMB- but I needed perspective. Reading your comment made me realize how irritated I’d be if someone asked me how I felt pertaining to an offense against Jamaican culture (I’m African American with a Southern cultural background) I’d have no reference & I’d think that person asking me was stupid!! So thank you! I’m so embarrassed!!!! ***I have to go apologize to my Ecuadorian friend now**

            • Diego Duarte

              It’s okay man. It’s how people react when corrected that actually counts.

            • L8Comer

              your response is so gracious and open. :) I have to say, if presented with that flyer or even something similar that was offensive to say, Nigerians, I would be offended even though that’s not my culture. I don’t feel I need to be part of that culture to realize something is offensive, so I never would have assumed you were asking me just b/c I’m black but b/c I’m a thoughtful human being.

              My supervisor recently said something offensive about Arabs and I was angry as fuck. I’m not even a little Arab tho.

              • siante

                Thank you for your perspective as well! I guess everyone takes things differently, but I’d never want to unintentionally be insensitive to anyone’s race or culture, that’s why I had to apologize to my co-worker here (just in case I had offended her). I deal with a lot of insensitive questions regarding my race & culture being that I’m living/working in a mostly white community right now. I mean in 2017 I’m still dealing with comments from white women in my office like “oh my goodness! I love ‘you guys’ hair!!!! can I touch it?” <—& this was said to me verbatim just a couple of weeks ago!!! lol, so dealing with ignorance on a day to day from other people, I don't want to then turn around and be "that" same ignorant person when it comes to other cultures so I really did appreciate Diego Duarte's gentle rebuke :-)

                • L8Comer

                  I understand. You can hardly be too sensitive or thoughtful regarding other people’s feelings. How’d she take it?

                  • siante

                    She appreciated the apology, but said it really didn’t bother her- she understood where I was coming from. So you were right! :)

                    • L8Comer

                      I’m glad it worked out for the best. She must have known your intentions were pure. Its good to hear other people’s perspectives tho, so I appreciate diegos perspective too. I will def think twice with how I phrase things too.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            But this is a post from a Boricua telling folks what to say/how to feel about a minor Mexican holiday.

            The rules of group identity, Latinx, cut both ways.

            This is why I’m generally skeptical of these imagined communities (to paraphrase Benedict Anderson).

            These identity battles are all internecine.

            • Diego Duarte

              Yes, but the author is taking a respectful and neutral approach towards the issue. He’s not culturally appropriating a Mexican holiday, he’s criticizing what amounts to erasure of Mexicans after stealing their culture. This is something anyone can see. This guy isn’t trying to interpret how Mexicans feel or what the celebration should be about, or how it would be celebrated. He’s dropping background information on the celebration and telling people to be respectful of it and Mexican heritage. He’s not actually appropriating anything.

              Again, not trying to be confrontational.

              • Brooklyn_Bruin

                How dare some Puerto Rican say anything about what is an ongoing discussion within the Mexican American and Mexican community (many of whom are divided and conflicted themselves and don’t present a solid front to outsiders,) ?

                This is the very cultural imperialism that he decries.

                He’s giving himself a pass, and the largely black audience here is somehow accepting it.

                I don’t mean to be pedantic about this. I’m not trying to present false equivalencies, but we’re still working out these ideas.

                So with this woman from Ecuador, ignoring her liaison position, can we “the blacks” step in and ask for her Latinx perspective?

                Can we assign her a group membership in the struggle against the oppressor?

                Is her possibly being personally offended relevant to the much greater fight?

                Because some toes are going to get stubbed, some ground feelings are going to get hurt.

                And honestly, I find Ol girl’s response to be lacking, given what we black folks, who aren’t new to the Devil or to group identity serving above individual identity.

                Can my sense of justice supersede hers?

                I don’t see the discussion happening, even though it’s germane and practical to actually getting stuff done

                • Diego Duarte

                  Ok I did not say anything in the author in my response, how you would even interpret that is beyond me.

                  You need to take a step back and pay attention, not doing this to shame you or start sh*t with you, I just want to relay the very Latino perspective you seem to be asking for.

                  It’s okay when a Latino gives you their perspective of another Latin American country, because we actually study and interact with each others cultures ALL the time. Our history is intertwined (plus soccer rivalries are a thing). We are parallel, albeit different.

                  However, as an American and a non-Latino, you might want to be especially careful with your wording when you ask a non-Mexican Latino their perspective on a specifically Mexican issue.

                  Why? Because racism and discrimination are a thing, as you very well know. And to White Americans ALL of us are “beaners” and ALL of us are Mexicans. They LOVE to negate the fact that we are all different and, despite the fact that we love Mexicans, it beyond pizzes us off to be called “Mexican”. It is White, racist, fucksh*t.

                  Now we realize some Blacks do this without any racist intent, unlike Whites. Still, be very careful because this is a sensitive issue. “Mexican” is very much often thrown as a slur itself at any Latino. And White entertainment loves to perpetuate the myth that we are all the same (Fucking mariachis in Peru during Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, are you fucking serious?).

                  Not trying to burn anyone here, just saying Latinos are sensitive about this issue because it’s essentially how American Whites discriminate us all the time.

  • raul

    So is there ever a situation where somebody not of said culture can celebrate said culture’s traditions without it being cultural appropriation?

    Like I’ve got a very white friend who is very big on Mexican culture and throws and actual Mexican independence day party in September. There is tequila, Mexican food, and occasionally a pinata involved. And the Grito is sung at some point. He’s big on authenticity. Is that really offensive?

    • Diego Duarte

      I think cultural appropiation has more to do with erasure than anything else. Adapting another person’s cultural celebrations, whilst neglecting the history, values and people associated with such celebrations. So long as he’s upholding the meaning of holiday (and not using it as a mere excuse to get drunk) I can see how it could be feasibly done. Though I imagine we’d need more details in this case.

      • Kylroy

        Generally speaking, the kind of person who’d be willing and able to do it right is the kind of person who would *not* want to do it on May 5th.

        • raul

          That is a pretty good description of him. He rolls his eyes at cinco de mayo.

    • CoilyCue

      It’s harder to completely “appropriate” Mexican culture because of the language barrier, and the 100+ million Mexican nationals that share a border with the U.S. Black culture is basically anti-white culture (we share a history and a language) so it’s easier for whites to erase black identity. Sort of like how white blood cells gobble up pathogens.

    • OweMeOne Kenobi

      I think the fact that it’s a celebration on the appropriate day, and not just a themed party makes it much less likely to be considered offensive.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      Personally, I hate authenticity-oriented themes in general. That doesn’t mean I find them offensive, just dumb.

      I like Dominican Food for instance. I have friends who are Dominican, so I always go to them and ask why the hayle are they always watching Telemundo in every Dominican or Colombian Restaurant I go to. All in all, I don’t feel like I have to show some kind of reference or solidarity with the culture if I like the food, the booze or anything else that comes with it. It’s the same gaddamn thing with Pizza, I don’t need to be or act Italian or listen to Godfather theme to enjoy the products of that culture.

      I don’t get it to be honest. These “cultural holidays”, or this desire to wear costumes of other cultures, in the name of authenticity? If you want to know a culture, you don’t need to dress up or throw parties, all you have to do is spend sometime on google, ask questions and boom. But it’s this desire to “show” others that you’re “progressive” or that you’re “cultured” and the inherent phoniness and narcissism that it exudes that I think gets on the nerves of other people.

      • Spicy Kas

        Preach

      • raul

        Well I mean on some level he likes throwing get togethers and thinks they’re more interesting if there’s an event attached. This started with Bastille Day because he’s half French.

        His core crowd is very multinational so they tend to really dig cultural events provided that culture’s not American. So he kind of sees it as a learning party which is the kind of thing he’d be interested in going to.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          How much learning really goes on at a party though lol.

          I mean we did a lot potlucks awhile back in college and different people brought different foods from different cultures. You had a taste of this, a reminder that some people’s culture’s are the business, and other aren’t. But such things aren’t learning experiences, they’re by their nature superficial, because a culture is a holistic thing, by definition, it’s a way of life. So if you’re actually intending to learn about a culture, then that’s not the way you go about doing it.

          It’s whatever to have a cultural themed party; but to pretend you’re actually learning about it, is the problem…it’s phony and it’s trying to reward yourself for something, that in reality, you aren’t doing.

          • raul

            At the actual party there’s not a lot of learnin’ going on but they’ve been the sort of thing to get me on the Google either before or after because it piqued my interest. Kind of a didn’t know what I didn’t know versus a know what I didn’t know sort of thing.

            Had I not been invited back in the day I might well still be confused as to what’s wrong with celebrating Mexican independence day today.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              People are talking about cultural things right?

            • raul

              To some degree, my friend is very well versed in history and is happy to talk your ear off if you’d like but he’s also aware that folks aren’t coming to the party for a lecture so he’s sensitive to that. He’s also well traveled things like how the food at the party compares to what it was actually like in Mexico is a popular conversation.

              And all the food and whatnot come from local Mexican places which he tries to patronize as much as possible.

          • MsSula

            I personally think they can be.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      If you’re trying to figure out what can a white person do without making someone else mad – give up.

      White people can’t even celebrate Thanksgiving, something they came up with.

      Memes, think pieces, and dirty looks are a small price to pay for overall privilege.

      • Zil Nabu

        In other words…y’all will be otay.

  • AzucarNegra
  • WenzelDashington

    Shoutout to Mexico for removing France. Imagine French-Canadians to the north and French-Mexicans to the south.

    • miss em

      tabernac!

  • AzucarNegra

    I do not know why people just assume because alcohol is involved it is no longer racist.

  • Dopamine

    East Oakland about to be so lit today!

  • CoilyCue

    I just realized that there are no “black” historical events that are largely embraced by mainstream American media. MLK day, and Kwanzaa doesn’t count, for obvious reasons. When I say “black” I’m speaking of all the descendants of the African diaspora (Haitians, Jamaicans, Bajans, etc.). Yet black American culture is more similar to white American culture than Mexican culture.

    Why not?

    • Spicy Kas

      The only option for that would be Juneteenth. I just realized that was a thing in the last couple of years.

      • CoilyCue

        Yea but what about the Haitian revolution? The same revolution that made it possible for the Louisiana purchase? Haiti was the first republic in the New World. I already know the answer to my question. It’s the same reason why we get new slave and MLK movies every decade but have yet to see anything about the Gullah Wars, Denmark Vesey, or any of the successful anti-slavery campaigns won by our ancestors. It’s also the reason why Nate Parker became a “rapist” after he decided to release Birth of a Nation. Black power is more threatening than Mexican power, because Mexican power is bedfellows with white supremacy.

      • miss t-lee

        You’re not alone. It wasn’t celebrated outside of here except for maybe the last 20 years or so

    • Alessandro De Medici

      I think that’s a good thing…it’s like the mainstream media caring about carnival, outside of the occasional stabbing or shooting here or there lol. Who needs the whitewashing and dulling of such types of events?

      • Kylroy

        I think the current nature of St. Patrick’s Day shows what those holidays end up becoming when they’re truly embraced by the mainstream – nothing more than a costume theme and an excuse to drink.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Well. to be honest, why shouldn’t it be?

          The definition of “culture” is a way of life, so the people who truly ever understand that life and the several products that come out of it, whether it’s music, arts, food etc, are those who well, live it. Culture has to do with day-to-day actions. So technically, even if the mainstream media wasn’t racist, white supremacist, or biased, it would still suck as a platform for expressing other cultures.

          If you want a proper understanding of the culture, you go to the source. If you want something superficial you go to a third party i.e. the mainstream media, always been the case, always will be.

          We’d get so far in this country, if people didn’t lie and pretend that they want to “understand” other people’s cultures. Most of us don’t, at least not on an intimate level; mostly because it’s not humanly possible.

        • CoilyCue

          To outsiders, yes..but to the Irish, I’m sure it’s deeper than that.

          • Kylroy

            Honestly? Not really. To people actually living in Ireland, the holiday’s mostly a footnote. It was an opportunity for Irish-*American* communities to celebrate and be visible…until almost all of them disappeared into the American mainstream. Beyond a few ethnic enclaves (like in Boston and NY), it’s just wearing green and getting wasted – plus a chance for folks to remember what tiny sliver of they’re ancestry is Irish (personally, I’m 1/16th!). It’s hard to culturally appropriate from a culture (by which I mean specifically Irish-*American* culture) that’s largely gone.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              This is one of the reasons why I often refrain from using the term “cultural appropriation” It’s usage, even among academics, is often used to mean or refer to things that sometimes are contrary in nature, or just not accurate.

              Much of the history of the world, and of cultures themselves, have been greatly influenced by the trade of goods, services and ideas. Usually cultures put their own spin on this and make it their own, integrating it with what already existed in theirs and matches with their sense of life. It explains why multiple cultures, in multiple parts of the world have a “Flood myth” or why there are so many similarities in mythologies from one culture to the next.

              A lot of people who argue from the perspective of cultural appropriation are arguing from the standpoint that there is a fixed and pure culture that existed, independent of trade, exchange of ideas etc, and much of their belief is based off the ignorance of those in question, in terms of addressing how a certain cultural thing evolved over time. It’s okay to check people who disrespect a culture or who wrongly present it, but the moment you start arguing from a standpoint of originality or purity, you really need to expand your scope of history over a period of thousands of years to make sure, if the claim you are making is indeed correct or not.

              • I think it’s easy to say cultural appropriation than it is to say disrespect for some. Disrespect means something is fighting words, while appropriation doesn’t have that heightened sense of drama behind it. The euphemism treadmill is real.

              • LMNOP

                Interesting perspective, I never really thought about it like that.

      • CoilyCue

        Yeah but Carnival is like a big party (especially here in NY), with roots in Catholic Italian culture, not African culture.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          So you mean to tell me that all my brothas and sistas in Trinidad and Tobago, be culturally appropriating Italians, every once a year while turning up to some calypso and drinking rum?

          • CoilyCue

            I’m sorry, I meant French culture. But yes…African culture was superimposed onto French culture.

            • Alessandro De Medici

              Welp, silver linings and sheit I guess…

        • Hugh Akston

          which one?

        • Nah. I wouldn’t call it Italian culture. There is a notable Catholic diaspora influence, mixed with the syncretization of West African cultural influence.

          And besides, the hipsters discovered carnival around 2003 anyway. We GOOD.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Are you talking about Jouvert? Cause most of us will disagree with you

          • CoilyCue

            Isn’t Jouvert the night before the parade? Jouvert is a French term, West Indian Carnival is French in origin. The word Carnival is Italian in origin as well….

            • The term Jouvert is French. The actual practices are more African oriented, though using instruments of European origin. Simply put, Carnival (in the Caribbean sense) be complicated and ish.

              • CoilyCue

                Wouldn’t that be considered cultural appropriation (albeit for the better, but nevertheless)?

                • I would posit that it’s closer to syncretism, similar to vodoun and santeria. It’s an alternate way of expressing an indigenous idea.

                  • CoilyCue

                    I’m 50% with you on that one. But I appreciate the thoughtful response.

                • AzucarNegra

                  Agree with Todd on the ideas of syncretism, especially if you know the history of Carnival and how it struggled to survive.

                  • Spicy Kas

                    So tired of looking up words. I refuse this time.

                    • AzucarNegra

                      My whole face is essentially hurting me, so I can not properly join in the discussion. But do it.

                • MsSula

                  Well, you appropriate a culture when you can. The Africans brought in the Caribbeans couldn’t “appropriate” nothing. They just had to make do with what was available and made it into THEIR culture.

                  So no, it’s not appropriation, it’s a new culture that emerges from circumstances. The way culture tends to work.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              I don’t think anyone is being swayed with your etymological arguments.

              • Word. In a nutshell, Carnival took the practices of well off European slaveholders and put a distinctly West African influence. People have written whole books about the joint African and European influences of carnival. Perhaps she should read a few.

              • CoilyCue

                The truth doesn’t need to be proselytized. As one of my favorite professors used to say, “the history is in the language.”

                • Brooklyn_Bruin

                  That’s the most unsupported and asinine thing said in this thread.

                  We’re already conversating in the language of the oppressor. Not Twi, Lingala, or Swahili

                  Could English ever deliver us from evil?

                  • Hugh Akston

                    Lmao

                    I was going to ask which language but imma let yall handle this one lol

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      I mean if we take the idea that Jesus is a sub Saharan looking Black African, that dark skinned black people built the pyramids, then Christianity and lots of western culture is big lipped kinky haired African – everything about Christianity is essentially OURS. That’s what the Rastafarians believe. So adding back West African traditions to Christianity is pouring hot fudge on chocolate ice cream.

                  • CoilyCue

                    Has it thusfar? Most of us don’t even know Latin (with the exception of lawyers and scientists) which is why we don’t understand the magnitude of our oppression since the Inquisition. The history of the world is not written in English…

                    • MsSula

                      Girl, (or Boy) stahp.

    • You think Black American culture is more similar to White American culture than anything else? I’d have my doubts behind that. Plus in terms of the diaspora, Pan-Africanism hasn’t really held up well over time.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        Ugh, don’t get me on Pan-Africanism lol.

      • CoilyCue

        Culture is in the language, the diet, the music, the shared history, etc…so yes black Americans are very similar to white Americans in that regard. But we have to remember the law of opposites…the black/white, red/blue paradigm is not a coincidence. There’s a method to the madness.

        Pan-Africanism hasn’t worked because black Americans do not have an African culture, they know it and we know it. We have to call a spade a spade. Many Africans are completely ignorant about black American history and largely benefit from remaining as such.

    • miss t-lee

      I don’t need anyone appropriating Juneteenth. I’m all the way good on that

      • Even other Black folk?

        • Alessandro De Medici

          I mean as long as food is good, I’m gonna be alright.

        • miss t-lee

          Idk. It’s kind of our baby. I still feel a kinda way about non Texans celebrating it.

          • Spicy Kas

            I get that.

          • fedup

            Texan by heritage, Californian by birth.

            Our Juneteenth is lit…for tha culture.

            • miss t-lee

              Indeed.

      • CoilyCue

        But Juneteenth is also white American history, as controversial as that may seem. Memorial day and Labor day are also products of the black American experience that’s been easily absorbed into the mainstream because of how we’ve integrated into white society.

        • miss t-lee

          Juneteenth might be a part of American history, but it definitely isn’t be celebrated outside of us.

  • Lara

    Today is the Kentucky Derby.

  • LogicalLeopard

    This is probably the truest article title I’ve seen here. *LOL*

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