Culture

Here Are 13 Cringeworthy Times That Gringos Totally Ruined Día De Muertos With Cultural Appropriation

First things first: Day of the Dead is a solemn tradition for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Although celebrating it in different ways is great, and culture should be shared rather than zealously kept for oneself, some traditions need to be treated respectfully. 

1. When this model wore this awful jacket and promoted this photo on her Insta.

Credit: Instagram / sophiecochivelou

Seriously, sugar skulls are not always the way to go. And, dear, your face is kinda hidden among all this mess of fabric. 

2. When this poor dog’s owners turned it into a catrina.

Credit: Instagram / izzy_the_chow

Some people just travel great lengths to turn their pets into social media celebrities. News alert: this is not smart, funny or cute. It is just plain weird. Does this classify as near-animal cruelty?

3. When gringos just assume that Day of the Dead is “Mexican” for Halloween…

Credit: Instagram / erin_grant

Dear Erin Grant: what on Earth is this strange melange of traditions? 

4. When they came up with the brilliant idea of making Día de Muertos pumpkins…What the?!

Credit: Instagram / chalkwithlove_insta

Yes, así como lo oyen. Gringos and some gringo-influenced-Latinos have started painting their pumpkins with what looks like a mix between The Nightmare Before Christmas and a sugar skull. Dude, at least make the effort to carve the damn thing! 

5.When they thought making catrinas sexy was cool.

Credit: Instagram / themodelgypsyrose

By eroticizing catrinas, gringos like this super-Anglo model, get it totally wrong. Mexican folklore does not mix sex and death… like, at all! Also, this type of cultural appropriation perpetuates stereotypes of Latinos being hypersexual and lusty (not that there is anything wrong with that…). 

6. When Pinterest and Etsy cultures discovered Day of the Dead and come up with kitschy and horrible ideas.

Credit: Instagram / curiousburrow

First of all, sloths are natives of Costa Rica, not Mexico (despite what some gringos might think, including people in government), Central America is not just an extension of Mexico. Well, we gotta admit this is kinda cute but as far away removed from tradition as possible. 

7. When these boots represented an affront to tradition and to any sense of good taste.

Credit: Instagram / mysugarskulls_com

Gringos tend to throw all non-white things in the same basket. These awful boots are a perfect example: yeah, just have a Native-American moccasin with some sugar skulls. Hey, gringos might even claim that these botitas have mystical powers, hey? Remember that time when white folk hung dream-catchers everywhere?! 

8. When Day of the Dead became Insta-ready.

Credit: Instagram / littlebongbaddie_

Don’t you miss those times when not everything was staged and ready to be photographed? Scenes like these are sorta tiernas, but so far removed from the more rustic and spontaneous spirit of Day of the Dead. Seriously, this looks like out of a Pottery Barn catalog y’all. 

9. When the James Bond franchise fabricated a parade that was full of every single cliche imaginable.

Credit: 007: Spectre / Columbia Pictures

Let’s get something straight: contrary to what is shown in the Hollywood extravaganza Spectre, Mexico City did not use to celebrate Day of the Dead with a huge parade that looks more like Mardi Gras (we love Mardi Gras by the way!) than a solemn celebration. But the city saw an opportunity for tourism and is now organizing a James Bond-style parade each year. Yes, Hollywood cultural appropriation at its peak! 

10. When some racist dudes hate Mexicans but love their best traditions

This tweet captures the sentiment perfectly. On one hand some gringos reject anything that is Latino or the idea of immigration. But if it has to do with colonizing a festivity and do so with low racist undertones, they are all there. Sounds familiar?

11. When brands just wanna make a quick buck.

Credit: Promotional shot / Old El Paso

As if Old El Paso didn’t have a long history of cultural and culinary appropriation, they often use Day of the Dead as a marketing ploy to lure unsuspecting customers. Look, we all love some good Tex-Mex, but let’s not forget that this food is not really Mexican. 

12. When slot machine companies want to fool paisanos into losing their money.

One of the most predatory industries in the world is the gambling entertainment complex, particularly when it comes to slot machines. The practice of including imagery that could trigger a cultural connection with gambling has been widely criticized, as it masks the fact that gambling is potentially dangerous when it comes to issues of addiction. Not cool at all. 

13. And seriously, we can’t get over the Día de Muertos pumpkins

What is this atrocity? Fuchi! At least make a bit of an effort, dude. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

Culture

Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

America’s fancification and appropriation of simple, traditional foods – especially “ethnic foods” – reached another milestone with the news that Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus is now selling gourmet tamales on its website at a pretty astounding price — six dozen for $92, plus $18 for shipping. That’s $110 for 72 tamales.

How have we made it this far without Neiman Marcus tamales? For years, we’ve been relying on handmade tamales from our tías and primas like peasants, unaware that luxury tamales were just a click and a payday away.

The luxury tamales made headlines in outlets ranging from the Dallas Morning News to GQMy San Antonio called it “an outright food foul,” taking this “usually affordable, traditional dish” and tacking on “an outrageous price tag.”

But is it really at all surprising that a luxury retailer is trying to make a buck off our people’s food and culture?

Neiman Marcus is the type of place where you can expect to see a Mexican-inspired jacket, such as this one, retailing for more than $300.

Given the propensity for corporations from around the world to try and capitalize off other people’s cultures, it really isn’t too surprising that Neiman Marcus would launch a line of luxury tamales.

Now the Dallas-based luxury retailer is once again offering up ‘luxury yet tradition’ with their ‘handmade’ tamales.

Although news of the tamales has once again shocked many of us, it isn’t exactly new. It was in 2016 when Neiman Marcus first started offering these highbrow tamales and even then it made headlines. And it’s easy to see why.

An order of six dozen Neiman Marcus tamales will set you back $92, plus shipping. Neiman Marcus tamales might look like regular tamales, but they’re actually very expensive and fancy. They are “handmade from a traditional recipe of fresh stone-ground corn, top-quality meats, lard, spices, and natural flavorings.” Can the food truck by your office honestly claim that its meats are top-quality? Or is your mama using luxury masa?! 

At six dozen (72 total if you’re too lazy to do the math), the $92 price tag isn’t totally off the mark, especially if they’re truly handmade. Anyone who has helped make tamales during the holidays knows that it’s not only time-consuming, it also takes a bit of practice. (And if you screw up too often, you’ll be roasted for it by your mom and tías).

They’re only available in beef, chicken and pork. Sorry, folks, no rajas. Unfortunately for Neiman Marcus customers, they’ll never experience what it’s like to unwrap a tamal, bite into it and realize it’s a random tamal de dulce that got mixed in with a different batch. 

But wait, there’s more! You can also order an “Enchilada Dinner” for $72.

Neiman Marcus didn’t stop with the tamales. Shoppers can also order flautas and enchiladas. In fact, for $72, plus $18 shipping, you get 12 enchiladas: six with beef and six with chicken.

Yup, Neiman Marcus is asking people to pay $90 for 12 enchiladas.

Just curious as to how many people are actually paying these white people prices to get their hands on traditional Mexican foods?

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President Trump Declares Día de Muertos a ‘National Remembrance Day’ For Americans ‘Killed By Illegal Aliens’

Things That Matter

President Trump Declares Día de Muertos a ‘National Remembrance Day’ For Americans ‘Killed By Illegal Aliens’

Photo: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

On October 30th, President Donald Trump released a memo declaring November 1st a “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed By Illegal Aliens”.

Almost immediately, Latinos recognized that Trump’s “day of remembrance” directly coincided with another significant day of remembrance–Dia de Muertos.

The proclamation stated that the purpose of the rememberance day was to honor the lives of Americans who were “so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.” It continued: “As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and as American citizens, these precious lives are an irreplaceable piece of our national community.”

Trump concluded the statement by saying that we “recommit to ensuring that those responsible for these tragedies face justice, while taking every action to prevent these horrific acts from occurring in our Nation.”

Naturally, many Americans saw this as a direct slap in the face to Latinos who celebrate Dia de Muertos on the same day.

It is no secret that Trump has openly derided Mexican immigrants on multiple occasions, calling them “drug dealers”, “criminals”, “rapists”, and “bad hombres”.

Throughout his term, he has sought to limit all forms of immigration from the Southern border–even asylum seekers. His reasoning is that immigrants from Mexico are violent and dangerous, but statistics paint a different story. Studies have shown that crime rates are actually lower among immigrants than they are among native-born Americans.

This type of cultural insensitivity reminds is reminiscent of Trump’s Oklahoma campaign rally over the summer. As a refresher, Trump held the rally in Tulsa on June 11th–also known as Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery. The fact that the rally was held in Tulsa also added insult to injury. Tulsa is the infamous site of the Tulsa Race Massacre, where jealous white Americans slaughtered residents of Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street” en masse. Either Trump didn’t do his homework, or he was blatantly inflaming historical racial wounds. Either way, the decision was thoughtless.

Of course, many people on Twitter were shocked and appalled by Trump’s ‘National Remembrance Day’ proclamation.

This proclamation reeks of blatant race-baiting and overall disrespect for this deeply sentimental Latin American tradition.

This Latina doesn’t seem to be convinced that the date Trump chose for this “Remembrance Day” was coincidental.

The anti-Latino sentiment coming from Trump is undeniable this time.

This Twitter user couldn’t help but point out the hypocrisy of calling certain immigrants “illegal” when the OG illegal immigrants were white colonizers.

Where is the remembrance day for the millions of Indigenous people killed by European colonizers? Or the millions of Africans who were stolen from their ancestral homes and forced into slavery?

This Twitter user pointed out the statistical disparity between Americans killed by “illegal aliens” and those killed by COVID-19.

We wish Donald Trump would’ve used this same energy when it came to containing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus across the United States at the beginning of this year.

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