Cinco de Mayo has once again come and gone, much to the bemusement of Mexican-Americans along the border, but even if you want to give a holiday artificial importance, at least get what the holiday is. And it has nothing to do with Shark-Girl.
I love The Escapist articles, don't get me wrong. I was drawn to the site by Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation, I'm a regular viewer of MovieBob's Big Picture and I love Critical Miss' comics - heck, I even stayed with the site through the Extra Credits debacle, while also following Extra Credits.
But The Escapist published a list of "8 Heroes in Comics That Celebrate Cinco de Mayo," most of whom have no connection to Mexico, and one of which isn't even Hispanic.
I'm really tired of people misunderstanding what "Hispanic" means. And Cinco de Mayo for that matter, though that's a lesser concern.
For the record, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated south of the border with the same enthusiasm as anyone north of the border would celebrate President's Day. Yay, Lincoln had another birthday. Here, I'll let Ignatz Award-winning comic creator Cayetano Garza Jr. explain it.
Let's be clear right up front, this is a Mexican celebration, not one that covers all Hispanics.
So what are "Hispanics"? Good question.
Put most loosely, "Hispanics" are anyone of Spanish descent, or anyone whose ancestors came from a Spanish-speaking country. Notice that this puts no qualifications on race, just ethnic origin. Also notice that this does not include people from countries like Brazil, where Portuguese is the main language - if you want a more inclusive term, try Latino. All this gets very personal, depending on the individual and where they are from. Some find "Hispanic" insultingly politically correct, others find "Mexican-American" more appropriately specific. Some like "Chicano," while others find the term offensive. Feel free to look into the differences yourself, if you're curious. For the record, my community tends to predominantly use "Hispanic."
So, back to the heroes in The Escapist's list of "8 Heroes in Comics That Celebrate Cinco de Mayo."
Crackerjack: Honduran, not Mexican
Wildcat: Born in Mexico
Gangbuster: Hispanic, but of Mexican origin?
White Tiger: Puertorriqueña not Mexican
Hummingbird: Born in Mexico
Shark-Girl: Brazilian and not Hispanic
Power Man: Hispanic, but of Mexican Origin?
Okay, that's it... getting off my soapbox now.