Cinco De Mayo: Why Kids NEED to Respect It


Christian Santiago

Yesterday was Cinco De Mayo, and a few students purposefully wore Red, White and Blue and American Flag attire to school. The students did this because five years ago, students from a high school in Morgan Hill who did this and were sent home because the Latino kids felt offended and reported the students to the administration. The case made its way to the Supreme Court who sided with the students who were sent home, which allows these Miramonte students to don their Red White and Blue and American Flags, despite the offensiveness of their actions.

When I heard that these students were going to do this I immediately told them that they shouldn’t do it; it’s inappropriate and offensive. What was their response? No one cares Christian. What country is this Christian? It’s America Christian. We speak English here Christian. Mexicans don’t celebrate this day Christian. It’s not a real holiday Christian.

Cinco De Mayo is a holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. More than that, this is day where Mexicans come together and celebrate their culture in America. Mexican culture is very prevalent in the United States, and particularly in California (as of 2014, 39 percent of California’s population is Hispanic).

Although these few students are legally allowed to flaunt their red, white, and blue, their decision to do so is offensive and disgusting. I understand that “no one here is Mexican,” but the fact is, six percent of Orinda residents are Hispanic (according to a 2013 report from That’s not no one. The fact that at least one person is offended by this should tell them this is wrong and that they shouldn’t do it. America is diverse – just because you speak Spanish doesn’t make you less of an American. Hispanics celebrate Cinco De Mayo; it’s a representation of their culture in “The Land of the Free.” So why would kids wear these colors on a day that’s not theirs?

The worst part is about all of this? No one I have spoken with seems to have a problem with these students’ actions And that is what angers me most. That I am the only one that is speaking up for a culture that is not adequately represented in Orinda, and I’m not even Mexican.

This is another example of privileged Orinda kids getting away with a cultural atrocity again. And no one seems to care.