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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Economy > Commercializing Cinco de Mayo Underscores How Much the Event Doesn’t Belong to Mexican-American Latinos

Commercializing Cinco de Mayo Underscores How Much the Event Doesn’t Belong to Mexican-American Latinos

LatinaLista — One thing mainstream America is good at doing is “commercializing” any special holiday or event  on a t-shirt!

What better recuerdo (memory) than to have the event screen printed on a t-shirt.

We know that event has reached the pinnacle of mainstream acceptance when t-shirts are dedicated to it.

Who doesn’t own at least one Super Bowl t-shirt?

That’s why when I saw the title to a new line of products available at Cafe Press on honor of Cinco de Mayo, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

After seeing the t-shirts, it’s totally commercialized and from an Anglo viewpoint.

What does that mean?

It means the shirts are meant to sell. In the process, some portray stereotypes and make fun of an event they don’t have the slightest idea of what it’s about.

For example:


Words: “Viva la Fiesta 2007”


Words: Cinco de mayo


Words: Be Afraid of the Worm (worm is holding a gun and a tequila shot) Cinco de Mayo 2007

Also, most of the t-shirts would be more suitable for Latinos living in Mexico to wear than in the United States, especially during these touchy times of the immigration debate.


Words: Viva Mexico

Though these t-shirts, in their own way, commemorate a significant Mexican event, a better t-shirt would be one that combines the reverance for that historical event with the reality of those who live in the United States celebrating an event that both belongs and doesn’t belong to Mexican-American Latinos.

Anyone up for the challenge?

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