Author Topic: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")  (Read 9227 times)

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Jones

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #60 on: May 06, 2013, 08:25:17 AM »
Rainbow unicorns represent drugs, which are sold to US illegally by Mexican gangs.

Otherwise, I got nothing....

Kariachi

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #61 on: May 06, 2013, 09:19:44 AM »
I have, recently, watched some Bugs Bunny cartoons and going "...I was allowed to watch this?".  However, you can easily see the stereotypes and how they make fun of them in those (Southerners, hunters, and so on).  Plus, the violence.  I know it's cartoon violence, but those cartoons were violent back then.  They would be so much uproar if they tried to release those type of cartoons today.  Or they would be on Adult Swim or something.

Actually, they put the old cartoons back on Cartoon Network a few years back, in the mid/late morning slot. Been a while since I've watched that daytime CN, so they might have been taken back off, but they were there.
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ettiquit

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #62 on: May 06, 2013, 10:51:17 AM »
I think the average American celebrates Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day with the same amount of respect to the reason the holiday exists - none at all.

However, the manner in which these holidays are normally celebrated is very common and widely accepted.  I kind of view it as the Americanized version of these foreign holidays.  Some people will always be offended by it, but...none of us have a right to go through life not being offended.  The guy in the OP's story could be more pro-active and help to organize a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration that includes information on the history of the day and what not.  You can't stop people from celebrating the way the OP's house did, but you can help raise awareness of what the day actually means.  Or..just sit on the internet and complain.  :P

I would not have assumed that the man laying down with a sombrero was lazy - I would assume he was vacationing.


Mental Magpie

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #63 on: May 06, 2013, 11:20:50 AM »
I think the average American celebrates Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day with the same amount of respect to the reason the holiday exists - none at all.

However, the manner in which these holidays are normally celebrated is very common and widely accepted.  I kind of view it as the Americanized version of these foreign holidays.  Some people will always be offended by it, but...none of us have a right to go through life not being offended.  The guy in the OP's story could be more pro-active and help to organize a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration that includes information on the history of the day and what not.  You can't stop people from celebrating the way the OP's house did, but you can help raise awareness of what the day actually means.  Or..just sit on the internet and complain.  :P

I would not have assumed that the man laying down with a sombrero was lazy - I would assume he was vacationing.

I would have thought he was vacationing, too; it never occurred to me he was being "lazy".

I also want to add that just because one person finds it offensive doesn't mean it is offensive for everyone else, not because that person is insensitive, but because that person probably doesn't assign stereotypes to every thing they see.  That is, at least for me, why I don't find it offensive.  I see vacationing while others see lazy.  That's why I don't find it offensive.
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Twik

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #64 on: May 06, 2013, 11:35:54 AM »
While I can see the objection to the sombrero stereotype, I can't say I agree with arguing that celebrating Cinco de Mayo is racist.

This holiday, like St. Patrick's, has not been co-opted, it has been introduced. The US is a country of immigrants, and people of Mexican descent are now a large part of the population. It is only reasonable that many of their ancestral traditions will be carried along with them. And it is a good thing that other people who don't share that ancestry are willing to celebrate with them.

Let's say certain members of Chivewarrior's group have Mexican/Latino ancestry (as is statistically probable). Should they be banned from organizing a holiday that is relevant to them? Or should they be prevented from attempting to share it with their friends who are not of Mexican descent?

Of course, most college fraternity/sororities will use it as an excuse for general frivolity and hedonism. That's what such groups do. But that does not mean that it is disrespectful to the originating culture. It's a sign of growing acceptance, and I think it's all to the good.
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whatsanenigma

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #65 on: May 06, 2013, 12:15:25 PM »
I think the average American celebrates Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day with the same amount of respect to the reason the holiday exists - none at all.

However, the manner in which these holidays are normally celebrated is very common and widely accepted.  I kind of view it as the Americanized version of these foreign holidays.  Some people will always be offended by it, but...none of us have a right to go through life not being offended.  The guy in the OP's story could be more pro-active and help to organize a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration that includes information on the history of the day and what not.  You can't stop people from celebrating the way the OP's house did, but you can help raise awareness of what the day actually means.  Or..just sit on the internet and complain.  :P

I would not have assumed that the man laying down with a sombrero was lazy - I would assume he was vacationing.

I would have thought he was vacationing, too; it never occurred to me he was being "lazy".

I also want to add that just because one person finds it offensive doesn't mean it is offensive for everyone else, not because that person is insensitive, but because that person probably doesn't assign stereotypes to every thing they see.  That is, at least for me, why I don't find it offensive.  I see vacationing while others see lazy.  That's why I don't find it offensive.

Honestly, I probably would have thought he was being lazy.  The key word here, though, is "being".  I wouldn't have thought that he "is" lazy, as a fundemental character trait.  Doesn't everybody, from every country, deserve some time, such as when on vacation, to act in a lazy manner? It is probably true that when being lazy on a Mexican beach, one is more likely to be wearing a sombrero than if someone is being lazy in another place, but that is independant of race or national origin, I believe.

So I agree, some people just don't assign those stereotypes.  My thought might be "There is a Mexican person being lazy on a beach" and that is so close, yet so far, from thinking "There is a lazy Mexican on that beach".

(Actually, I would probably be thinking "Oh dear, I hope he doesn't fall asleep and have that second hat blow away...sunburn on such personal parts of the anatomy must be terrible" but that is beside the point I suppose.  ;D )

DavidH

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #66 on: May 06, 2013, 01:00:35 PM »
I can see how the picture described could be racist or not.  If the person in it is a stereotypical looking Mexican, it would have a very different connotation than if it were a white college age American sleeping on the beach in a sombrero.  For the latter, I'd think hung over on spring break, but maybe that's just me. 

I don't know why a Cinco de Mayo party is inherently racist any more than a St. Patrick's day party, or for that matter Bastille Day or July 4th. 

Racist unicorns?

The costumes someone posted the link to were pretty offensive, but just because you can find an offensive image to associate with the holiday doesn't mean that the holiday itself is inherently offensive.

The polite way to express being offended is the write a private email saying that he is sure you didn't intend it that way, but he finds the whole concept of your party offensive and here are some constructive suggestions to make it less offensive.  The polite way to make a public point, is to write the same thing in an open email or post it on your facebook.

Mental Magpie

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #67 on: May 06, 2013, 01:19:59 PM »
I think the average American celebrates Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day with the same amount of respect to the reason the holiday exists - none at all.

However, the manner in which these holidays are normally celebrated is very common and widely accepted.  I kind of view it as the Americanized version of these foreign holidays.  Some people will always be offended by it, but...none of us have a right to go through life not being offended.  The guy in the OP's story could be more pro-active and help to organize a traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration that includes information on the history of the day and what not.  You can't stop people from celebrating the way the OP's house did, but you can help raise awareness of what the day actually means.  Or..just sit on the internet and complain.  :P

I would not have assumed that the man laying down with a sombrero was lazy - I would assume he was vacationing.

I would have thought he was vacationing, too; it never occurred to me he was being "lazy".

I also want to add that just because one person finds it offensive doesn't mean it is offensive for everyone else, not because that person is insensitive, but because that person probably doesn't assign stereotypes to every thing they see.  That is, at least for me, why I don't find it offensive.  I see vacationing while others see lazy.  That's why I don't find it offensive.

Honestly, I probably would have thought he was being lazy.  The key word here, though, is "being".  I wouldn't have thought that he "is" lazy, as a fundemental character trait.  Doesn't everybody, from every country, deserve some time, such as when on vacation, to act in a lazy manner? It is probably true that when being lazy on a Mexican beach, one is more likely to be wearing a sombrero than if someone is being lazy in another place, but that is independant of race or national origin, I believe.

So I agree, some people just don't assign those stereotypes.  My thought might be "There is a Mexican person being lazy on a beach" and that is so close, yet so far, from thinking "There is a lazy Mexican on that beach".

(Actually, I would probably be thinking "Oh dear, I hope he doesn't fall asleep and have that second hat blow away...sunburn on such personal parts of the anatomy must be terrible" but that is beside the point I suppose.  ;D )

I actually agree with you, whatsanenigma, I just didn't delve into the semantics quite as efficiently as you.
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Van down by the river

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2013, 02:07:23 PM »
While I can see the objection to the sombrero stereotype, I can't say I agree with arguing that celebrating Cinco de Mayo is racist.

This holiday, like St. Patrick's, has not been co-opted, it has been introduced. The US is a country of immigrants, and people of Mexican descent are now a large part of the population. It is only reasonable that many of their ancestral traditions will be carried along with them. And it is a good thing that other people who don't share that ancestry are willing to celebrate with them.

Let's say certain members of Chivewarrior's group have Mexican/Latino ancestry (as is statistically probable). Should they be banned from organizing a holiday that is relevant to them? Or should they be prevented from attempting to share it with their friends who are not of Mexican descent?

Of course, most college fraternity/sororities will use it as an excuse for general frivolity and hedonism. That's what such groups do. But that does not mean that it is disrespectful to the originating culture. It's a sign of growing acceptance, and I think it's all to the good.



I couldn't agree with you more. I'm half Irish, and I enjoy seeing everyone party together! I did tequila shots with a very handsome Mexican one year on St. Paddy's Day. I have thrown down with my Irish, black, Jewish and mixed race white friends on Christmas. It's a celebration if all the different cultures celebrating a particular cultures holiday. To insist that you can only celebrate a holiday if its your personal holiday, that would just increase the segregation of our cultures. And nothing brings different groups of people together like good ol' alcohol. :-)

magicdomino

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #69 on: May 06, 2013, 04:14:13 PM »
The only thing that I can think of for the unicorn pinata is that it isn't a traditional pinata design.  I wonder if the complainer would have said something similar about a Cinderella pinata (Is anyone else distrubed at the thought of smashing Cinderella in the face at a children's party?   :o  )

Unless the gentleman on the beach had a stereotypical handlebar mustache, I'd think he was a Cancun tourist who had one Corona too many.  Come to think of it, even if he did have a mustache, I'd think "Tacky tourist."  In the bad old days of stereotypical kitsch, the Mexican was always depicted wearing shirt, trousers, serape, and sandals as well as the sombrero. 

Holidays in the United States either get overblown or ignored.  St. Patrick's Day gets leprecahns (sp?) and green beer (Guiness if you're classy  ;) ), Cinco de Mayo gets margaritas and 7 layer dip, Bastille Day get racing waiters, Halloween gets full grown adults in costume, Christmas gets dancing Santas and houses engulfed in lights.  Arbor Day is doing good if the local Arbor Day Foundation chapter plants a tree.

Wordgeek

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #70 on: May 06, 2013, 04:43:17 PM »
No, based on what you've said so far, it doesn't seem like you will be able to understand.

Courtesy of this comment, Sharnita is taking a break from the forum.  Everyone else, carry on.

LadyL

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2013, 04:48:11 PM »
First of all, I don't think celebrating Cinco de Mayo is racist, at all.

However, I do think many celebrations of it draw upon negative stereotypes which are distasteful and ignorant. For anyone wondering what these stereotypes are and the impact they have, here is a good resource:
http://www.nhmc.org/sites/default/files/LD%20NHMC%20Poll%20Results%20Sept.2012.pdf

Note that the negative adjectives they test for endorsement as a Latino stereotype include "lazy."

I know that members of Ehell are not likely to form negative impressions of an entire ethnic group due to a caricature, but clearly on a population level these images have an effect on people's views.

Yvaine

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #72 on: May 06, 2013, 05:00:28 PM »
If the picture is the one I think it is, I don't think it's intentionally evoking the "sleeping Mexican" stereotype--the pose is so completely different, for example, that a connection didn't even occur to me until I read this thread. I think it's just meant to be a sexy "eye candy" pic. I've seen the stereotypical "sleeper," mostly on restaurant murals and tourist kitsch, and it's a completely different image. If the creator of the image did evoke the stereotype, I suspect it was by accident.

That aside, I think there are racist ways of celebrating CdM (I've seen some really disgusting costume "ideas"), and non-racist ways of celebrating it.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #73 on: May 06, 2013, 05:19:50 PM »
Being 1/2 Irish I love St. Patrick's day but don't partake in the Green beer (ew) or green bagels (ew!) but oh I do love my Guinness with corned beef and either potatoes or cabbage! Yum yum! :) I also watch QVC that day to hear the Irish accents and see the beautiful goods offered by the Irish merchants.  Not to mention I have 3 pieces of Connemara marble jewelry bought from QVC. :)

And wear Irish made perfume (Inis)

I do tend to roll my eyes a little when folks use it as an excuse to get trashed but I'm not really offended by it.
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Chivewarrior

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Re: That Party is Offensive! (Or, "Those Racist Unicorns")
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2013, 09:45:15 PM »
This is a little off the main topic, but  I just want to be sure I'm clear.

It was REALLY a unicorn the guy was objecting to??  I thought maybe that was a stand-in for something.  A unicorn?  I can't think of any way at all a unicorn could be offensive to anyone - except maybe horses, who would, of course, be jealous.
Yes. It was an actual unicorn, which the next day was prominently displayed broken on the lawn. I kept thinking the whole time that getting upset about the unicorn was *really* diluting the message because people were rolling their eyes about the unicorn complaint and not stopping to consider whether or not the rest of it was valid.

And for a slightly updatey part of things:
There was more drama! (Big surprise; we're college students.)

Because, you see, he had a Tumblr that he didn't want people who had the username to share around, and he was clear to people who knew his username that he didn't want it shared around... and somebody got ahold of said username somehow and posted it on the house's private locked Facebook group. Largely because he'd gone and posted his anger at the house's racism on the tumblr-- I don't think anybody looked at posts other than what was about the party. So he knew that we were looking at his Tumblr because of IP logging, but had no idea what was being said about it. (I, being in the house, could see it. It wasn't really anything they hadn't also said publicly.) And got very angry at the rest of the group for the violations of privacy involved in sharing his publicly-accessible Tumblr on our Facebook group since he'd made clear he didn't want it involved in school drama.

He deleted the Tumblr, people in my house were sarcastic, and now that the party is over everything seems to have died down. And I'm still the odd bridge in that I'm the only person on good terms with both sides of this discussion.

But there's a distinct element of "Ye gads, to ehell with all of you!" in my thoughts about it.