‘Fiesta’ theme declared racist at Dartmouth; fundraiser canceled because of one Mexican student

Madre di Dios! Where will it end?

Dartmouth students canceled a fundraiser this weekend because the festive name of the event gave one student fits, according to the campus newspaper, The Dartmouth.

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Photo: Fox News

The Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority had planned a “Phiesta” event on Saturday, a week before Cinco de Mayo, inviting paying guests to hear music, sip “virgin pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris” and enjoy Mexican-themed snacks like chips and salsa, guacamole and burritos, The Dartmouth reported. The event was to raise money for “cardiac care,” according to the newspaper, but it didn’t offer more specifics.

It sounded like an innocent way to raise money for a good cause, but the Cinco de Mayo theme didn’t sit well with one Dartmouth student of Mexican heritage who decided the whole affair was a personal insult.

“As a Mexican-born, United-States-raised, first-generation woman of color, it was sadly unsurprising that a culturally-themed party was seen as a casual venture for such a privileged institution such as Dartmouth,” she wrote in an email to various college administrators and Greek association officials.

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“There are various problematic structures and ideologies regarding a Cinco de Mayo-inspired event, and I am sure that we, as a Dartmouth community, could learn from the extensive literature written about the Americanization of Cinco de Mayo and its construction as a drinking holiday in the United States, cultural appropriation and the inappropriate usage of cultural clothing, and the exploitation of groups of people and cultures for the sake of business opportunities.”

Hernandez called the planned event “exploitive,” “inappropriate.” Or, in a word, racist.

Granted, that’s an odd way to describe it when one undergraduate is offended by fundraising for cardiac care that plays on a made-up American holiday that commemorates an 1862 battle between the Mexicans and the French and is mainly celebrated by American beer companies. But that’s the world we live in now — or at least the world Ivy Leaguers live in.

“We felt that the possibility of offending even one member of the Dartmouth community was not worth the potential benefits of having the fundraiser,” Phi Delta Alpha President Taylor Cathcart told The Dartmouth.

So the possibility of offending even one person associated with the Dartmouth campus is enough cause to cancel an event aimed at raising money to support cardiac care.

They must think only bona fide racists get heart attacks in New Hampshire.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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