On May 5, 1862, the Mexican army won a decisive battle against the French in the Mexican state of Puebla. The victory was a momentary morale booster that petered out when, soon after, the French captured Mexico City and placed Emperor Maximilian I in charge of the country. However, his rule did not last long, a mere three years.

Another vantage on the history of these events: despite placing Maximilian in charge, the French could not maintain a strong grip on Mexico and thus could not impact the U.S. Civil War, though they wanted to. Their plan was to aid the Confederacy via Mexico, thereby contributing further to the strife fissuring the U.S. But this, like so many other things in the course of human events, was not successful. In this way, the battle of May, 1862 has bearing on the course of U.S. history.

Stepping outside of junior high school history class for a second, let's maturely consider the complex nature of history. Leo Tolstoy, in War and Peace, writes, "History is the life of nations and of humanity. To seize and put into words, to describe directly the life of humanity or even of a single nation, appears impossible."

This is the author of some of the greatest novels in the history of the form and he's admitting that describing history, putting history into words, making sense of history "appears impossible." As in, not possible. A failure. And so we have Cinco de Mayo, this holiday based ostensibly on a historically significant battle. And we have these YouTube videos of white people, in earnest, offering advice on how to celebrate this holiday. What appears impossible in these particular moments is the idea of sense. Meaning the opposite of nonsense. There is no sense to be found among these gringo stars, only degrees of offensiveness and obliviousness. Here are the 5 White People Cinco de Mayo Fails.

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