Don’t you Cinco-de-Mayo Me! A guest-blogger’s report

5demayo1

Photo and text by © 2009 Elianne Ramos. All rights reserved.

Well, the scores are in, and judging by the furor with which people were commenting on the article, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is a pretty big deal in this country. Why else would my guest post rank as one of the most commented at the Orlando Sentinel’s blog?

The article apparently stroke a nerve, with comments ranging from “Oh, let’s just drink our heads off”, to others that were just plain offensive. While I wasn’t surprised to find a few party-goers tagging me as the “Grinchita-who-stole-Cinco-de-Mayo”, I was actually shocked to see so many flares of blatant ignorance (do they know that, to a certain extent, they proved my point?  Hmmm.)

Yes, such is the blogging playfield, isn’t it?

So in the spirit of openness and full disclosure, I would like to share some of the comments I got, not from the newspaper itself (you can read those at the Orlando Sentinel’s Blog) but the comments I got from sharing the article on Facebook and LinkedIn. Private information about those commenting has been edited for privacy reasons only.

COMMENTS RECEIVED ON LINKED-IN

I saw your guest post on Orlando Sentinel and found my way over to your site/blog and twitter page. :)

- Melanie Edwards

*****
Hi Elianne.
Yes. I did get a chance to read your article. Very well put. I think the celebration of Hispanic culture (even though it is currently being celebrated on a less significant date) is a great start. I don’t know if it is just me, but I find that in mainstream media there is a sense of denial of the biggest minority in the U.S. I do not see that many Hispanics being feature on mainstream ads, which is quite puzzling. Rather, I see the over representation of the Asian culture (in my opinion), which only a small minority compared to two largest majorities: Black and Hispanics. Granted, Asians have substantial purchasing power, but on collective basis the Hispanic purchasing power is higher.

I don’t know the reason for this, but I think marketers are clearly not inclusive of the Hispanics in the U.S. Again, this is puzzling, because if Hispanics are not prominently featured in mainstream ads, there would be a sense of a subculture, and not an American culture. More importantly, however, is that by systematically reducing Hispanic culture exposure from mainstream ads, ultimately the public at large may developed a sense that Hispanics are foreigners in this country, which is totally ignorant. But, this is the way the public works. If anything, the Hispanic culture (Mexico in specific) has been part of the U.S. since the country took about of Mexico’s land as part of its lost war.
Just my thoughts. Please keep in touch, and hopefully we can work together in the future.

- Jose Torres

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Súper buen artículo Elianne! Gracias por compartir! Saludos desde Beantown!
– Hernán Amabilis

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Elianne, I love your column!!! I’m with you a 100%. Gracias por recordarnos a todos lo que realmente significa ser Latino!

- Maria E. Amezaga

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Nice article on the Sentinel! I posted it as a news item in my group.
Orale… I guess I should take off my sombrero and fake mustache? Just kidding! :-)

Great article; thanks for sharing it! I do feel, however, that even though the holiday is highly commercial, it has become a great excuse for all of us to jump in and remind everyone about the rich Mexican heritage and culture.
– Ricardo López

****
Interesante tu artículo. Me gustaría saber más de ti y tus servicios. Por favor llámame cuando puedas. Gracias.

- Gustavo Gruber

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“Well done Elianne!”

-Bayard Koch

******

Mainstream US commercialism unfortunately has turned Cinco de Mayo into the Spanish-language version of St. Patrick’s Day. You can weep about this hijacked cultural observance with your amigos & amigas of Irish ancestry. I don’t even mind a toast in observance, but it’s sad to see the meaning of either day lost in a national excuse to get stupid drunk!
– Donna J. Gamache

*****
Well put, Elianne. Thanks for sharing!

- Pablo Ponce de León

*****

COMMENTS RECEIVED ON FACEBOOK

“que buen artículo… !!!”

-Alex Fernández-Casais

*****

“I did enjoy your article very much.”

-Jeanne M Robinson

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“elianne i love it!  big hug my sister.  xo”

-Daisy Cabrera

**************************************************

Thanks to all you who shared, both your positive and negative comments. I see it as opening the door to discussion and hope that with it comes understanding. The beauty about diversity is that, once we welcome it, it gives us the freedom to accept the fact that we all hold different opinions and still respect one another for what we are, without resorting to petty insults or name-calling.

On this holiday, I hope everyone found a way to celebrate the wonderful freedom we have to be both different yet equally human. I think President Obama’s Cinco de Mayo address captured my feelings almost perfectly: “Feliz Cinco de Mayo. Thank you very much for being here. And party on.”
To which I would only add, “just do it right.”

Agree? Disagree? There’s still time to join the conversation here: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_hispanicaffairs/2009/05/writer-dont-you-cincodemayo-me.html#comments

I am now looking for another conversation to start up about the current situation with Latinos. Please share your ideas, all are welcome!

© 2009 Elianne Ramos. All Rights Reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t you Cinco-de-Mayo Me! A guest-blogger’s report

  1. Elianne, your essay was interesting and timely. The response we’ve gotten shows it was also relevant. I am glad I invited you to write for us. I’m sure those readers can’t wait for your next one.

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