Cinco de Mayo invokes a variety of emotions — depending on whom you ask. For the majority of people, Cinco de Mayo is just another day to celebrate Taco Tuesday or drink too much tequila. For woke Latinos, however, it’s a day that involves eye rolls and facepalms to those who exploit the holiday that seems to be overtaken by American brands.
Here’s how companies and brands prepared to honor Mexico’s victory over the French in the 1862 Battle of Puebla.
So…..Hirons ……. this …sigh….
Come on … you try really hard to present yourself as some sort of progressive northwest option pharmacy
“I just had a convo with one of the guys putting the event together,” Azucena Rasilla tweeted. “He was open to learning why this imagery is tone deaf and promise to change the flyer. If I can educate one person out of their shame, then I call it a successful Cinco.”
The Latin Recording Academy continued to dismiss valid criticism from the Latinx community by nominating Spanish artists Alejandro Sanz and Rosalia. The two European artists received the most nominations, in the most prestigious categories of the bunch, while urbano artists were shut out our relegated to niche categories.
“The Latin Recording Academy is privileged to see so many talented and diverse artists join the milestone 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards season,” writes Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President and CEO of The Latin Recording Academy.
“Since our inception, our international membership continues to be our driving force in the pursuit of excellence. Whether they are a sound engineer, a performer, a songwriter, or a music arranger — regardless of their gender, age, national identity, or musical genre — the nominees are the product of a voting process where every vote counts. Latin music continues to grow internationally and we’re excited to celebrate the music that unites us all.”
Justifying whitewashing by calling it diversity is really something.
Rosalia and Alejandro Sanz: the conquistadors of music.
Two white Europeans from Spain, Alejandro Sanz and Rosalia, have swept the Latin Grammys. Sanz received the most nominations of anyone with eight nods, while Rosalia received five.
Sans was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Pop Album for #ELDISCO. He and Rosalia were both nominated for Song and Record of the Year. Many artists and actual Latinxs are fuming.
What makes these artists Latinx other than that they descended from the folks that colonized the Americas, raped and ethnically cleansed indigenous people, initiated that Trans-Atlantic Slave route, created the casta system, then subjugated the resulting multi-ethnic communities they denied self-determination from for centuries? That is a rhetorical question.
This is like white people saying they’re African American because both groups speak English and share some cultural elements while ignoring why that cultural diffusion occurred (slavery and oppression).
Rosalia feels 100 percent Latina
Earlier this year, Billboard featured Rosalia in their “Growing Up Latino” series where she says she feels a hundred percent Latina and that she is at home visiting countries like Panama and Mexico. Except Rosalia is from Barcelona.
This is cultural appropriation: a member of the dominant culture (Spain) is stealing elements of the oppressed culture for profit. In this case, it is her use of Colombian rhythms, guajira, and rumba — which no one was even really upset about until Rosalia began identifying as Latina. The United States census would not identify Rosalia as anything but white or European so why should Latinxs?
Rosalia says she is representing her culture
Rosalia courted controversy by stepping into Latinx spaces again when she won a Best Latin VMA this year. She further alienated Latinxs by accepting the award but also saying she was representing her culture when the reality is she is appropriating ours.
“I come from Barcelona. I’m so happy to be here representing where I come from, and representing my culture,” she said in her speech.
Artists call out the conquistadors
Artists like Nicky Jam, Karol G, and J Balvin have posted a photo reading “Sin reggaeton, no hay Latin Grammy,” to call out the nominations and disregard for reggaeton and urbano artists. Artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Sech and De La Ghetto received nominations but they are standing in solidarity with real Latinxs.
“Despite being nominated, I don’t agree with the way they treated the genre and a lot of my colleagues. Remember one very important thing: Their platform was not the one that created this movement. This goes beyond a prize. This is culture, credibility, relevance, and RESPECT,” Daddy Yankee wrote on Instagram.
Maluma was also upset that he did not receive a single Latin Grammy nomination for this album 11:11.
“It is a disappointment to not even have one Latin Grammys nomination. So much effort, the best album I’ve ever made in my LIFE,” Maluma said.
The Latin Grammys now must justify why they have excluded real Latinxs while including white Europeans. Urbano music is basically some of the most popular on the entire planet, artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, and J Balvin have had explosive chart numbers and broken world records yet they were relegated to Urban categories.
This is not unusual in the Grammys either — Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar have both had culturally monumental albums snubbed from major categories. It is clear Grammy voters have their own caste system where white people deserve the highest recognition. One where black and brown people are consistently sent the message they should “stay in their lane” and that their music cannot speak to universal themes (despite the numbers indicating otherwise).
If Macklemore can win Best Rap Album, then, of course, they will justify Spanish artists winning Latin Grammys. This is what colonizers do.
Ah, poor Mexican food. It often falls in las garras of unscrupulous gringos that wish to make the authentic thing, the real deal, but often end up coming up with dishes that make us go no mames instead of yummy. On other occasions these restaurants, people and brands just do a blatant and half-assed attempt to use some Mexican ingredients (or Tex-Mex!) and call that authentic Mexican.
Here’s some of the most horrible but hilariously wrong attempts to recreate one of the most complex cuisines in the world, which has been recognized by the UNESCO as world heritage, as Herald Sun reported recently: “Mexican food is one of the more nuanced cuisines of the world. It’s also one of only two national cuisines to have been listed by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The other is French gastronomy”. So whenever someone damages the reputation of Mexican food, they are in fact conspiring against humanity as a whole!
Oven fresh burritos = frozen atrocities.
Credit: Instagram. @tysonmitman
No disrespect to our British friends, but food is not their strongest suit. This atrocious sign is trying to hide the fact that perhaps the burritos they are selling come out of a freezer and probably have that plastic aftertaste so familiar for those who survive on microwave food. No, gracias.
This hipster monstrosity that gives pumpkin a bad name.
Credit: Instagram. @bigblack1911
OMG! What on Earth is this? We have enough with pumpkin latte season for hipster companies to appropriate our venerable tortilla chip and turn it into this Thanksgiving nightmare. Seriously, dudes, pumpkin tortillas sound just kind of OKish, but adding cinnamon and nutmeg. Gua-ca-la.
This bad translation, un poquito de esfuerzo mijos!
Credit: Instagram. @roymeyer
What do they take us for? Really, can’t you just do a better job and simply say “slow cooked pork meat” rather than “little meats”? You are not doing a very good job at selling your product, bro.
We feel for this person whose burrito will just collapse.
Credit: Twitter. @cocoterito
Oh, my! Multiculturalism certainly brings joyful moments of pena ajena. Twitter user Susanita just witnessed her coworker commit the ultimate crime: eating a cold tortilla that will taste like cardboard and that will just crumble before the first bite.
We can’t even… Seriously, ranch dressing as a hot sauce?
Credit: Instagram. @ArielleMartin
Seriously, who can even consider Ranch or Sriracha to be Mexican condiments? Well, to be honest Sriracha is kind of fine, but ranch dressing? Puaj.
Crackers as salsa dipping snacks… what fresh hell is this?
Credit: Twitter. @LauraSievert
We can live with stale tortilla chips if the salsa is acceptable… but…. really… crackers? This is just an insult to overall good taste!
No beans, no life, manitos.
Credit: Instagram. @mrshappyhomemaker
Come on, how can you call yourself a Mexican restaurant and have no refried beans! To see this is levantarse con el pie izquierdo.
This San Antonio joint that gave Mex food a bad name (and possibly gave gastro to a few customers)
Earlier this year food inspectors shut down a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, as News4SA reports: “After finding dead roaches and dirty appliances, a traditional Mexican restaurant here in San Antonio fails its latest health inspection. Maria’s Cafe located off Nogalitos Street just south of downtown scored a 62, a failing score”. We can only say “Qué pinche asco“.
A frozen tamale with cheese? Nah! There’s limits that should never be crossed.
We thank the attempts to take Mexican cuisine to the supermarket aisle… but, and this is a big “but”, you gotta do it right. This bad attempt at authenticity is self-incriminatory in its official description: ” Amy’s Cheese Tamale Verde starts with corn masa made from organic white corn and blended with Monterey Jack Cheese, chiles and jalapeños. Then, it is topped off with our slow-simmered verde sauce and served with a side of Spanish rice and organic black beans”. Who on Earth blends masa with cheese? No one!
Please, just stop it with the cheese tamales!
And of course, these ones are presented over a bed of sweet corn… Very authentic…. NOT! This can really work if you want to get on a diet: we are guessing you won’t take a second bite. Well done, Lean Cuisine!
This overpriced restaurant that doesn’t look like a fonda at all!
Credit: Photo by the author
Fonda Mexican is an Australian chain that claims to make authentic food from South of the Border. Problem is, it ends up being a weird fusion joint that pretends to be authentic. We would be OK with it if it wasn’t so damn pretentious!
The place tries to look like a traditional family restaurant but ends up being un adefesio.
Credit: Photo by the author
The decor tries to imitate the look and feel of a traditional fonda, but it fails horribly. It all tastes like cultural appropriation, quite frankly.
And just look at the price of those tacos!
What? Chimichurri (which is Argentinian) on a taco? And aioli? And pepitas? Give us a break and stop gentrifying everything!
This banana buñuelo in Tokyo that is just a deep fried tortilla.
At least we appreciate the honesty. Buñuelos are a tradition of Mexican street food. It is a huge sheet of deep fried pastry that is just crunchy and sweet and delicious. We are sure your abuelitas remember eating them after mass on Sundays, as buñuelos vendors usually congregate around churches. Well, the Chiles Mexican Grill in Tokyo serves this blasphemy: a deep fried tortilla with banana and walnut inside. Herejes!
The Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is just otra cosa.
Credit: Google Maps. @Lora Versus
Reading through the menu of the Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is like witnessing a car crash. The squid salad is described as follows: “Squid from the grill, fresh veggies, Mariachi, fried corn and a dressing of chipotle and mayo”. What do they mean by “Mariachi”? We hope this doesn’t involve some sort of cannibalistic practice!
And does this sound Mexican at all? “Ensalada de Pato. Juicy duck breast with lettuce, corn, pear and cherry tomatoes with a creamy honey dressing”. Damn, it does sound OKish but not Mexican like at all. And what about this atrocity? “Ensalada Yucateca. A traditional Mexican salad: fried ground beef, iceberg lettuce, corn, avocado, lime dressing and pico de gallo”. Really? That just looks like nachos minus the tortilla chips! We mean, would you eat the weird looking thing in the picture? And who puts jalapeños and black olives together anyways?
And the one we hate most of all: the abominable taco salad!
This particular salad comes from the Habaneros Mexican Grill in Edmonton, Canada. This has NOTHING Mexican about it. It is just an overprices Taco Bell-like Tex-Mex… thing.
We are probably being too harsh on the humble taco salad, but we have had nightmares since POTUS celebrated 5 de Mayo by eating one…
Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.
We are so sorry for el susto.
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