Yesterday morning my wife went to a little shop down the street from our home looking for a birthday card for a good friend of ours. The place is a head shop, but they have some unique gifts and some pretty cool cards for all occasions.
As she was eyeing through the card rack, one of those that spin on an axis, she turned the thing to get to the next bunch of cards and was stunned at what she saw. Right there in front of her, just blocks from our home in a little shop that she has always liked, in Miami no less, was a postcard with the image of Che Guevara.
My wife didnt lose it. She calmly walked through the store and began picking up items to “purchase.” Once she figured she had enough stuff, she calmly walked over to the register, layed the items on the counter and asked:
“Where do you guys keep the Hitler postcards?”
The store clerk was completely taken aback. “The Hitler what?” he asked.
“The Nazi stuff. Where do you keep it?” She gave the room another once over. “And are the Stalin cards next to the Hitler stuff?”
The clerk then told her that they didnt carry any Nazi stuff. Or any Stalin stuff. “We dont carry that kind of merchandise,” he stated.
“Well,” my wife said. “I figured you guys would carry the Hitler and Stalin stuff being as you are already carrying mass murderer merchandise. I mean, if youre gonna do something, might as well go all the way.”
The clerk looked perplexed. My wife pointed to the Che cards and said “Dont you know who Che Guevara is?”
“Some Argentinian guy,” replied the clerk.
I feel bad for the clerk because this is where he got a impromtu history lesson and then, at the end of that lesson my wife looked down at all the merchandise she had picked up throughout the store – hundreds of dollars of stuff – and said “You know, it’s a shame. I really really like this store. You guys always have nice gifts and great cards. And I come here all the time. But I just cant stomach buying anything from you anymore.”
Then she turned around and walked out of the store.
I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that there’s Che merchandise being sold, or the fact that it’s being sold as a novelty without even an iota of understanding or knowledge about the man and his ruthlessness. And most of this merchandise being bought and worn and used by a bunch of silver spooned college kids with either an axe to grind or looking to be the cool guy or gal in a Che tshirt.
Humberto Fontova has a new write up all these kids need to read.