Cinco de Mayo Bar Promotion in Dana Point: Climb Inflatable Border Wall, Win a "Green Card"
The wall, and the "green card"
Left photo courtesy of Gibson
Irish and Mexicans have a long, proud history of drunken collaboration in the United States, especially on the holidays where gabachos pretend to be us—St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo. During those two days of degradation, our respective tribes rep each other: Mexican restaurant workers frequently wear T-shirts that read "Irish I Were Mexican" for St. Paddy's, while Irish pubs usually offer discounts on Irish nachos come Drinko de Cinco.
But a promotion that happened this Cinco de Mayo outside Hennessey's Tavern in Dana Point isn't getting received as warmly. Seems the premise was this: climb the wall in the picture above left, receive the "green card" to its right, which would get you a free drink as long as you bought one of equal or lesser value. Some folks in Dana Point seemed to have enjoyed the climb, as the following still from a since-deleted public video on Instagram shows:
Screengrab from since-deleted Instagram video that was viewable to public
A sombrero, even!
But the event is causing an understandable ruckus among people with a heart. The most thoughtful critique came from Laycee Barragato Gibson, who took the photo at top (a source gave the Weekly a copy of the green card). It's her post that's going viral on Facebook, and she offered the following comment:
I grew up in South Orange County and went to school at Dana Hills High School. Casual and blatant racism towards the Latinx community has always been a problem in this area. To be honest, it took me moving to Los Angeles for college to fully realize it. Now I refuse to be a silent bystander.
This stunt was disgusting and hurtful. People are being deported and families are being broken up. I know this was meant to be a joke, but so many of us are not laughing.
Good job, Laycee. But what I didn't expect was the following response from Hennessey's founder, Paul Hennessey:
Given this is a rather Aztlanista response, I'll take Paul's word for it, even if almost no one else does in the comments section. By putting out such a bold statement, he's already alienating conservative patrons who were previously mocking anyone offended by it, so good for Paul.
And you KINDA get what Paul was aiming for in the flyer that promoted the event:
"Tacos Trump Hate"—cute! But a Día de los Muertos theme for Cinco de Mayo? Played out.
The whole thing begs the question: where's the funny? How does climbing a wall for a free Corona stick it to America's inhumane immigration policy, or the boondoggle that is Donald Trump's proposed border wall (which would cost BILLIONS, Paul, not "tens of millions")? How does letting sombrero'ed bros scale a big-ass balloon create a "dialogue" about such a sensitive subject? Customers there that night also told the Weekly that fake mustaches were distributed to customers—how does that fight xenophobia? And Hennessey's couldn't even spare a true free drink for their supposed political commentary—WEAK SALSA.
That's the thing with political jokes: they have to be funny, and about the funniest thing in this chingadera is that Hennessey blames people who didn't get his Swiftian impersonation on their inferior intellect instead of his own fumbled intent. Bruh, you should've put a Trump piñata at the top of the wall and ask people to topple it—THAT makes sense.
Just one question remains: Who the hell is Isabel Orlando, and what does she know? Stay classy, OC!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.