Has the Arizona Immigration Law Impacted Cinco de Mayo?

BlogHer Original Post

On April 27th I wrote about the controversial Arizona legislation that has many people in America deeply concerned. This week we are discovering the impact that legislation has on today's Cinco de Mayo celebration, a major event for Mexican Americans.

Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for "fifth of May." It commemorates the Mexican army's upset victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While it is mainly celebrated in Mexico only in Puebla, it is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican pride.

Since last week's announcement of the Arizona legislation, protests have taken place, and sides have been taken.

There are a few events of note today commemorating this occasion that have been directly affected by recent news.

The White House Tonight

Eyes are on the White House tonight as President Obama will host the traditional Cinco de Mayo event at the White House, only a week after he put immigration reform on the "back burner" for Congress, stepping back from his pre-election enthusiasm. He did, however, call the Arizona measure "misguided."

Hate Group Seizes Holiday Opportunity

The National Socialist Party (at a site to which I refuse to link) has declared Cinco de Mayo "National Turn in the Illegal" Day and is actively telling people to "turn in businesses hiring illegals" and the illegal aliens themselves. They end with a curt white supremacist message. This group has been active in large cities promoting their agenda.

Phoenix Sports Team Tonight Makes Visible Statement

The Phoenix Suns tonight will be wearing player jerseys that say "LOS SUNS" to make a Cinco de Mayo statement. Robert Sarver, the team owner, initiated the action.

Sarver, who was born and raised in Tucson, said frustration with the federal government's failure to deal with the illegal immigration issue led to the passage of what he called "a flawed state law."

"However intended, the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question," he said, "and Arizona's already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them."

Liberal PAC Uses Holiday for Satiric Ad

The liberal Americans for America PAC has purchased air time on the radio today for a satiric ad that has a Cinco de Mayo college party busted up by police who "suspect" that the people partying are illegal because they are listening to Mexican music, drinking Mexican drinks and speaking Spanish. It is aimed at the U of AZ community and encourages students to contact John McCain.

They have also purchased a bilingual radio ad to be aired in Las Vegas.

Militia Stocks Up on Bullets

And in a much more frightening development, an Arizona militia group, Arizona Citizens Militia, calls on Arizonans to celebrate “Cinco de Ammo” by purchasing five boxes of ammunition on May 5th.

Rev. Al Sharpton to Lead Vigil in Phoenix

The Reverend Al Sharpton will lead a candlelight vigil tonight in Phoenix, coinciding intentionally with Cinco de Mayo.

The Arizona legislation and Cinco de Mayo are a potentially incendiary combination. We can only hope that frustration does not hit a boiling point on this notoriously alcohol-fueled holiday. Cinco de Mayo has also become a commercial vehicle, much like St Patrick's Day, to promote (among many other more positive things) drinking.

As Teresa Puente says on her blog, Chicanisima :

Cinco de Mayo has become more popular in the United States simply because beer, tequila makers and bars want to drum up business. A friend of mine on Facebook appropriately dubbed today "Drinko de Mayo." But rather than down tequila shots, I'd like to see today be about people doing something meaningful for the Latino community in the United States.

And that strikes me as a very good idea, indeed.


BlogHer does not take a political position. I do, however.

~~ Contributing Editor, Mata H. also blogs right along at Time's Fool

Recent Posts by Mata H


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