Texas piñata ban is ridiculous & racist
Every summer we head down to Mexico to spend some time with our family. My kids love it there. They get to see all their cousins and friends, they get to be spoiled to death by their aunts and grandparents and they also get to have their Mexican annual birthday bash. (Oh God! That sounds so gringo, I know. Welcome to my bicultural life).
Each summer, my parents throw Juliana and Diego for both their birthdays, which are September and July. Such party is the cause of long-planning-phone-conversations between my daughter and my mom. They decide what cake, what colors, the menu, which guests to invite, and mostly what piñata to get for her and which one for Diego--yes--they buy two. To say they are spoiled is an understatement.
My kids love piñatas and they get very excited over them. So their father always takes them to Mercado de Coyoacán in Mexico City to look at them. More often than not they come home with a small piñata and candy -- to celebrate "the day" for no particular reason. As a result, Juliana thinks of Mexico as this personal Party City (she might be on to something).
It's not just my kids with a fondness for piñatas. I love Piñatas, too. They're a great tradition and it keeps my kids connected to their roots. Not only that, but the fact that we live in the east coast where piñatas are not all over the place--like in California-makes us want them even more. Which is why reading the news about the piñata bans in Houston enraged me so much.
What is wrong with people? We all hate littering, but at Harris County Parks there are big signs that state "No piñatas allowed on park grounds." My question is, where are the signs prohibiting the messy North American party favors? These signs are way too specific in targetting a Mexican-American tradition.
I absolutely agree with Tony Diaz. The signs should go. This is racism in its purest forms. Funny that 41% of Harris County residents identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino and not one of the County Commissioners is Hispanic. I wonder how these Commissioners think that this will affect the Hispanic vote.
In any case, during my anger-filled morning I came across Ron, who lives in Northern California (large Mexican population) and spearheads the cause "Down with piñatas", if you can believe it.
He claims that he has nothing against Mexicans. In Ron's words,"Yes, they are largely a violent society, with the piñatas, the bull fights, the criminals coming across our borders and what not. But for the most part they seem to be hard workers – they mow our yards, clean our houses and pick up our trash. I applaud them for trying to make a better life. But I deplore the importation of their violent "sports" like piñata bashing parties."
Oh God, is this not racist? Wait, wait-- it gets worst. Ron threw a piñata party for his daughter who was turning 4. The party was good and his girl loved the piñata but the next morning he was awaken by his 4 year daughter attacking him with the same bat they used to break the piñata the day before, while (this is verbatim) "giggling in delight." The damage (which is unreal to me how he took so long to stop her) included: breaking his zygomatic bone (don't really know which bone that is but it sounds important), a tooth knocked out, a cheek split that required stitches, a concussion and blurred vision in one eye.
He claims that the piñata did some emotional damage to the 4 year old. She is now in therapy because she stopped being "the normal, happy child she once was."
Ron, your story is stupid. First of all who uses a bat to break a piñata? We, Mexicans (yes, your gardeners and such) use broomsticks and after the piñata is on the ground, we put the broomsticks back onto the broom and in a closet. Our kids don't play with it.
Secondly, how on earth does a 4 year old continue to hit her father after he says "ouch"? Are you sure the violence is derived from the piñata? It seems unlikely to me. You and the Texas Commissioners should stop trying to spoil the fun for the rest of us "normal" people, who have traditions and know exactly where to draw the line.
Mexicans are here and they are here to stay, with our food, our customs, our cultural ties and our amazing joy for living.
What do you think about the piñata bans? Do you think it's racism or purely safety concerns?