Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blind Pig's Cinco de Mayo Run Draws Ire of Latino Community

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

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For the fifth year in a row, the Blind Pig and race coordinator Hermes Cleveland have organized a sort of “Cinco de Drinko” — a three-mile mosey in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Participants are invited to bounce around the Warehouse District, checking in at pre-determined stops and getting a checkcard stamped along the way.

But they never called it a Cinco de Mayo Run; they called it a “Run for the Border,” and the checkcards were always called “green cards.” And there were maracas and sombreros and no shortage of fake mustaches given out.

And the Latino community has taken notice. Leaders from the Hispanic Roundtable told Hermes and the Blind Pig that while they appreciate all celebrations of Cinco de Mayo, they’re not so cool with the making fun of immigrants part.

“The fact that they were making a mockery of Mexican Americans who came through the border, mocking immigrants, and alluding to undocumented people, as well as immigrants who are legally here but need a green card, we just felt that in this day and age, to take that stance in a very diverse city, you’d think they’d be more sensitive and diverse in their thinking,” says Andres Gonzalez, director of diversity & community outreach at Cleveland Clinic.

“It was never the intention to offend anyone,” says Neal Neroni of Hermes, who confirms that they’ve happily made changes requested by the group.

Specifically, it was the “Run for the Border” part that charred their chalupa. Neroni explains that Hermes simply followed the lead of the world’s leading diplomat of Latino-American relations: Taco Bell.

“We used to give away tacos at the finish too,” he says. “But we got rid of that name, and we changed the part of the entry form that references the green card. I talked to the groups involved, and we don’t want to offend anyone.”

Race officials hope to put the controversy behind them in time for their next event: The Superior Race, in which drunk fat guys chase uninterested women out of bars.

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