This Bar’s Cinco de Mayo ‘Celebrations’ Had Customers Climb a Wall for Green Cards

Hennessey's Tavern in Dana Point, California, is facing backlash for their insensitive festivities

The bar has defended its actions, saying the festivities were meant as a criticism of President Trump’s policies.

Next time you feel guilty for donning a sombrero and gulping down margaritas at a culturally-insensitive Cinco de Mayo party, remember that at least you’re not this bar. On May 5, Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point, California, had a promotion that let customers climb an inflatable “border wall” in exchange for free drink “green cards.”

While the entire promotion has been slammed by critics for being racist, bar owner Paul Hennessey defended the decision by stating that the party was meant to “spark a dialogue” about immigration. But for many local residents and critics of the promotion, it was a failure that “promoted casual racism” instead, according to angry commenters on Facebook, and prompted a boycott of the bar.

“Our intentions were to create a dialogue and show how ridiculous that it is to spend tens of millions of dollars to build a wall and even infer that Mexico foot some or the entire bill and have their citizens build it,” Hennessey wrote in a Facebook post following the incident. “This event obviously struck a chord with many of you out there and you and a number of you did not understand our intent. I encourage all of you to take the time that you have spent posting on social media to spend an equal or greater amount of time writing your congressman or the President himself to express your concerns just as I have.”

Many Facebook users commented that their attempts to contact Hennessey’s Tavern were met with hostile responses:

“The man I spoke to on the phone told me I get off on accusing people of being racist, and that I'm quick to judge,” one user wrote. “He told me the only thing ‘sad’ about this whole debacle isn't the racism that we see … but that we feel the need to threaten to put restaurants out of business over harmless jokes.”

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The bar has not responded to these comments.