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We Deserve More on Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a time to eat, drink, celebrate and contemplate how we make things right the rest of the year.

Ah, Cinco de Mayo, a holiday circled on many Americans' calendars as the day to wake up and start early on the eventual blackout.

It would be nice if Mexican and Mexican-American contributions to this country were indeed embraced in a more nuanced manner. But tequila shots aren't going to shoot themselves. 

The impetus behind the day is to commemorate Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It was an early battle in a French-Mexican War that would rage until 1867.

It was a morally significant victory to be sure. But the day has evolved from something peripherally celebrated in Mexico, later embraced by the American Chicano movement in the 1960s and 70s and subsequently commercialized at some point in the 1980s.

"It becomes a Chicano holiday, in many ways, linked to the Chicano movement, because we discover Mexicans resisting a foreign invader," Mario García, a Chicanx historian from UC Santa Barbara, explained to USA TODAY. "They link the struggle of the Chicano movement to Cinco de Mayo."

And yadda, yadda the Mexicans did something somewhere and why are my fajitas taking so long?

There are many out there who undeniably savor what amounts to only a beautiful sliver of Mexican culture on May 5. Then there are those who have told Siri to remind them to hydrate up this Cinco de Drinko.

Much like the cerveza leaving your system at two in the morning on Seis de Mayo, caring about Mexican and Mexican-American representation is fleeting

A recent study found that while Latinos make up about 19% of the country’s population, they aren’t represented in its media. Latinx actors make up 5-6% of the roles and account for 3% of directors and writers in top box office and streaming films.

So while the gritos may be loud and diverse on Cinco de Mayo, they fall on deaf ears the rest of the year. And it’s frustrating.

Instead of whining that Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday this year, we need to get pissed off about a complete lack of representation.

The above video is a snippet from so many rich conversations had with amazing storytellers, people who have either written with their pens or told their passions through sport.

Lorena Ochoa is a legendary golfer who walked away from the sport at her zenith to realize her dream as a mother.

Erick Galindo is a writer who works passionately and prolifically to ensure that as many voices are heard as possible. Manny Montana, star of "Good Girls," shines as the tough guy but breaks into a smile the moment he thinks about the lives he’s helped change with his stories.

Seniesa Estrada, someone told that she couldn’t box, has become one of the best in the sport, as devasting from the right as she is working southpaw. And Camila Jaber, a freediver who finds peace deep in the world’s water, works tirelessly to save it. 

Cinco de Mayo is indeed a day for celebration, and food, and drink. But let’s change the narrative and extend the celebration to something we consider the entire year and not just in between Palomas.