Author Topic: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")  (Read 9200 times)

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Chivewarrior

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That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« on: May 04, 2013, 01:17:20 PM »
What is a constructive way to register that one is offended by a campus event?

I ask this because my house just threw a Cinco de Mayo party and a member of campus decided that this was racist of us. He took special offense to our unicorn pinata, which was hung out the window for display for most of the day before the party, because unicorns are apparently especially racist. (The whole sequence surrounding the unicorn, which included pictures on the internet and angry ranting, made me flash back to the old ehell tale of the Racist Bagels.)

I'm not challenging his right to be offended by the party, but he expressed this offense by calling us names and swear words on our Facebook event, defacing our advertisement posters, and yelling, and then on being told that this wasn't appropriate behavior, doing a lot of implying that being rude is necessary to get people to pay attention. I think we can all agree that none of the above are appropriate behavior. So, as an intellectual exercise, what would have been a way for him to express his sentiments about the party and try to get people to pay attention without being rude?

citadelle

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 01:31:18 PM »
If he had posted simply that he was offended by the theme of the party and left it at that, I would think his comment was appropriate.

gramma dishes

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 01:39:33 PM »
Why is a Cinco de Mayo party racist?   ???

Even our elementary schools here celebrate it!  (And we have very, very few Hispanic students.)  It's fun to learn about other countries' cultures and what better way to do that than having a party?

artk2002

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 02:10:02 PM »
Why is a Cinco de Mayo party racist?   ???

Even our elementary schools here celebrate it!  (And we have very, very few Hispanic students.)  It's fun to learn about other countries' cultures and what better way to do that than having a party?

There are a couple of things in play. In part because CdM has, much like St. Patrick's Day, become commercialized and divorced from its roots. Almost cartoonish in some cases. The second thing is a strong belief that ethnic/national celebrations belong only to members of those ethnicities/nations and anyone else is a usurper. We've had a few lively discussions on related topics.

That said, the gentleman is entitled to find the party offensive. He's entitled to post that, or to put up signs or even go to someone in authority like an ombudsman or a dean. He's not entitled to swear, threaten or destroy property.
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ladymaureen

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 02:10:27 PM »
All I can think of re: the racism issue is that a lot of people use it as an excuse to drink. A lot. So I can see that someone might think that is undercutting the historical reason for the event.
Other than that, I got nothing.

citadelle

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 02:18:33 PM »
Here is one take on why it might be offensive:

http://hellogiggles.com/cinco-de-mayo-and-cultural-sensitivity

Minmom3

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 02:23:14 PM »
Out here in California, Cinco de Mayo is the American's excuse to party and drink excessively, and not actually hugely celebrated by a lot of the Mexicans living here - unless they just want an excuse to party with their friends of non-Hispanic origin.  A party is a party is a party.....  The September 16th Independence Day is when they dumped the Spanish rulers successfully, and is MUCH more important to all the Mexicans I've ever met.

None of that makes it racist to celebrate May 5th, IMO, unless somebody is making cartoons in bad taste, or saying derogatory things, etc. about Mexicans. 
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Thipu1

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2013, 02:32:49 PM »
Here is one take on why it might be offensive:

http://hellogiggles.com/cinco-de-mayo-and-cultural-sensitivity

I agree that the Party City costume examples are not in the best of taste but just about any observance by an ethnic or national group lends itself to stereotypes and can be used as an excuse to drink yourself blind.  College students are especially creative about this sort of thing. 

Because immigration is now a hot-button issue in the USA, I can see the potential for indignation. I also don't see where unicorns enter into the mix.

cicero

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 02:45:58 PM »
Was this actually a CDM party with a unicorn or is that code for something else?

At any rate- what /Art said.

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Drunken Housewife

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 03:07:39 PM »
It would be one thing if the OP and her friends were doing outrageous things (using racial slurs, dressing up offensively in Latino stereotypes, etc..), but having a piñata and a party seems normal.  I understand that some people will always be offended at pretty much anything, but it's pretty normal for Americans to pretend to be Mexicanish on Cinco de Mayo and Irish-ish on St Patrick's Day.  It actually strikes me as flattering to the ethnicity/nationality concerned:  we want to celebrate a day we associate with them, we want to drink their trademark alcohol, we want to eat what we think of as their trademark food. 

Things have sure come a long way from "No Irish Need Apply" to everyone wearing green on St Patrick's day. 
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ilrag

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2013, 03:20:49 PM »
5th of may parties aren't racist.  I used to have one every year and tell the real story of the holiday. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Puebla

Lady Eboshi

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2013, 04:10:06 PM »
None of this really explains why the unicorn was considered racist. ::)

HorseFreak

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2013, 04:42:12 PM »
Cracked.com has a funny take on why it's not so insensitive to celebrate it (warning: language).
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-cinco-de-mayo-most-american-holiday/


*inviteseller

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2013, 05:18:37 PM »
Unicorns are racist??Explain that to me, someone???  Unless you were dressing up and making fun of Mexican people, I cannot see what this guys problem is.  And the fact that he defaced your posters and is using foul language on FB to describe your event makes him Mr. Rude.  OK, gonna throw this question out there...was he not invited or scorned by one of the people in your house and now he is trying to get back at them/your house?  The man's behavior is just so over the top over something every Mexican themed restaurant does every year. 

TootsNYC

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2013, 05:30:10 PM »
None of this really explains why the unicorn was considered racist. ::)

Or what in the world a *unicorn* has to do with Cinco de Mayo!