May 5th, 2015 14:56 EST
Please Don't Be a Pendejo on Cinco de Mayo
"Contrary to popular assumption, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexican Independence Day is September 16 -- and dates back to 1810, more than 50 years before the first Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo marks the date of a Mexican military victory over France -- not Spain. On May 5, 1862, several hundred Mexican soldiers defeated a much larger contingent of the French army in the Battle of Puebla. France had sent troops to Mexico after the country suspended payments on foreign debts. Although Mexico ultimately lost this war (and the French did not withdraw until several years later), the Battle of Puebla was a huge morale booster for Mexicans."
As an American of Mexican descent I dread Cinco de Mayo, it`s a day when gringos celebrate Mexican culture by donning stereotypical and offensive Mexican garb, (think sombreros and fake mustaches) and get drunk as a homage to our friends south of the border. We can certainly empathize with how the Irish feel on St. Patrick`s Day.
American corporations, especially breweries and distilleries, have embraced Cinco de Mayo in a cynical attempt to squeeze every last peso from revelers.
Cinco de Mayo should be commemorated as a victory of indigenous people over an occupying force; certainly we can all drink a Corona to victory over imperialism?
Cinco de Mayo is a minor observance in Mexico, but it`s a quintessential American holiday: Loud, brash, and disrespectful of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
Please don`t be a pendejo on Cinco de Mayo! Don`t even think about wearing a sombrero or affecting a fake accent.