Recently, a long standing philanthropic event at Dartmouth College was cancelled because one student chose to portray it as “the Americanization of Cinco de Mayo and its construction as a drinking holiday in the United States”. It doesn’t matter that Cinco de Mayo was not mentioned anywhere in the event. Or that it wasn’t even happening in May. Or that no alcohol was actually being served at this event. Or even that it was a charitable function for cardiac care and a worthy cause.
The event in question was to be called Phiesta (pronounced like the traditional Spanish word “fiesta”) as it has been for years. It was to feature Mexican inspired cuisine such as burritos, and virgin margaritas and daiquiris. The proceeds would have gone to aid people undergoing cardiac care.
The blowup was caused by a single email from Class of ’15 student Daniela Hernandez, who also railed against “cultural appropriation and the inappropriate usage of cultural clothing, and the exploitation of groups of people and cultures for the sake of business opportunities.”
Phi Delt president Taylor Catchcart explained why the Greek organizations folded. “We felt that the possibility of offending even one member of the Dartmouth community was not worth the potential benefits of having the fundraiser,” he said.
While she may be personally offended, there is no law protecting one from offense. Other things people seem to think they have a right to but don’t are detailed in The Bill of No Rights by Lewis Napper. I would be willing to bet she has also not read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury about a futuristic dystopia where all books are banned because any of them could offend someone.
I won’t go into the hypocrisy of the fact that most of the people seeking the “business opportunities” Hernandez spoke of are Mexican owners of Mexican restaurants. I have decided instead to play her game by her rules, and lay out some things from other cultural backgrounds she should avoid to prevent the offense to others she feels entitled to herself.
I am predominantly Irish by descent, so I have decided she is no longer allowed to drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Up until the 1970′s, this day was considered a Holy Feast day and pubs were closed in Ireland. Also, she clearly does not consider herself Irish. I must admit, it really bugs me that people who have no attachment to Irish culture go out and use this as a day to drink themselves stupid. However, I would never impede another’s choice of evening, regardless of how boorish they intend to act.
There is a long list of other things, to prevent Miss Hernandez from offending others, that should cease immediately. They are listed below.
I also happen to be of Norwegian descent. Miss Hernandez should no longer see any movies produced with the character Thor in them, as Marvel has inaccurately depicted the ancient stories of Norse mythology for commercial gain. Also, she should not see any of the How to Train Your Dragon movies as it is set in a Norse environment but most of the characters have a clearly Scottish sounding accent.
Miss Hernandez should no longer be allowed to consult astrology, as it was invented by cultures not her own, such as China. Astrology has been twisted and altered for thousands of years for financial gain of charlatan fortune tellers and should not be patronized.
Miss Hernandez should not be allowed to fly a Mexican flag on the fifth of May unless she is actually on Mexican soil, as this may offend people born and raised in the culture of the United States. Especially United States veteran groups like The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I mention this because I am a veteran who spent time protecting the First Amendment for everyone, not just those who choose to get offended and want to curtail other people’s rights.
Finally, Miss Hernandez should no longer participate in Easter as it was co opted from the worship of the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess, Ishtar, by the early Catholic church to get pagans to come over to their faith. That is why we say the Easter Bunny hides eggs. Rabbits and eggs are both fertility symbols of the goddess, Ishtar.
I could go on but I think I have made the point that cultural hijacking by others is not unique to the Mexican experience in this country. Miss Hernandez is trying to fight what she sees as oppression of her culture by oppressing others. Sadly, the charity organizers caved in to the childish rant of one person, hampering a worthy effort to raise money for cardiac care. The more this happens, the more we head to the world depicted by Ray Bradbury where everything offensive is outlawed and destroyed.