MSNBC's Racist Cinco De Mayo Celebration Is Not Okay

Seriously, MSNBC

The news station celebrated Cinco De Mayo in the most stereotypical way possible, airing a segment featuring a reporting stumbling by the camera, donning a sombrero and guzzling tequila straight out of the bottle. 

Way Too Early host Thomas Roberts explained the background of the holiday, and as he spoke Louis Burgdorf wandered around the newsroom shaking a maraca.

"It's also an ecuse to drink tequila on a Monday morning at work for Louis," Roberts said, adding "you have to drink the whole thing, and eat the worm." 

Unfortunately, it didn't stop there. The team at Way Too Early continued to weave the theme of Cinco de Mayo into their programming. Roberts introduced "The Cooler" segment, standing before a table with a bottle of mass market tequila. Burgdorf began his segment by taking a shot of tequila, which Roberts referred to as his "go-go juice."

"Olé!" Burgdorf said, after taking the shot. There was more dancing. And more maracas. 

Ok, let's break this down for you, MSNBCIt's ok to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. Really, let loose and have a great time enjoying the things that make Mexico unique: the food, the drink, the music. It is not okay to have a margarita while wearing a sombrero, serape, or fake mustache. It's even ok to take tequila shots and hit a piñata. It's not okay to dress up as a "Mexican" and make stereotypical jokes about the country or the people. There's a difference between celebrating culture and mocking or stereotyping it. In case you're confused: here's a handy guide written by the team at Buzzfeed.

Let's do better next year, MSNBC. How did you celebrate the holiday? 



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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

Cristina Mari Arreola is the Associate Editor. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to New York City. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or frantically reading a novel from her (extremely lengthy) reading list. See what she's reading now on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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