'Cinco de Drinko' parties are cultural appropriation, say RA's

Residential Advisers at an on-campus apartment complex at California Polytechnic University recently handed out instructions for avoiding cultural appropriation on Cinco de Mayo.

The flyers, which were handed out door-to-door at Poly Canyon Village, prominently feature two photographs, one depicting a Cinco de Mayo parade with revelers in sombreros, and the other showing college students with similar headgear under the caption, “Wearing a sombrero is not culturally appropriate.”

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Below the pictures, the flyer provides a list of dos and don’ts for the holiday, recommending for instance that celebrators not wear “a sombrero, fake mustache, or serape,” and that they abstain from calling their parties “Cinco de Drinko.”

It also asks students to avoid “perpetuating harmful stereotypes” and using Spanish “disrespectfully,” specifically advising that they not “visit party stores for costumes and accessories.”

On the other side of the ledger, the flyer does recommend that celebrators educate themselves on the history of Cinco de Mayo and support “AUTHENTIC” Mexican businesses, though it offers no guidance for identifying inauthentic Mexican business.

“Hold your friends accountable,” it continues. “Be respectful if someone calls you out for being disrespectful.”

It then encourages students to learn about Mexican Americans in the US, suggesting that they read a classic Mexican novel.

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Campus Reform reached out to the Residential Advisers who passed out the flyers and were referred to University Housing, which did not respond in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @elias_atienza