Thursday marks the Cinco de Mayo holiday for the Mexican community and now is as good a time as any for a refresher on how to be respectful on Cinco de Mayo. First of all, let's clear up a common misconception: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day — that falls on Sept. 16 — rather, Cinco de Mayo celebrates a key victory by the Mexican Army against the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is a chronically misunderstood holiday, and not just in the United States — but we can do our part to change that.
To be clear, I'm not saying you shouldn't celebrate Cinco de Mayo because it's not the "PC" thing to do. It's not a matter of being "PC" — it's really about using common sense, like having enough common sense to not use cultural stereotypes as a means of honoring or celebrating a culture. I'm also not saying you have to be Mexican to celebrate or appreciate Cinco de Mayo — but if you aren't Mexican or have no connection to the holiday at all, then don't be an insensitive dolt about how you celebrate it. Here are a few ways to be more sensitive on Cinco de Mayo, because it doesn't exist just so people can drink tequila.