Ernesto “Che” Guevara, racist, anti-semite, homophobe, Marxist hero


Marxists. Do you know this man, who once said “Mexicans are a band of illiterate Indians”?

Here’s some stuff he wrote in his book The Motorcycle Diaries.

“The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations.”

“The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese.”

“The first person we hit on was the mayor, someone called Cohen; we had heard a lot about him, that he was Jewish as far as money was concerned but a good sort.”

“The episode upset us a little because the poor man, apart from being homosexual and a first-rate bore, had been very nice to us, giving us 10 soles each, bringing our total to 479 for me and 163 1/2 to Alberto.”

I don’t think I have to comment on any of this. It’s clear what kind of a man he was.


54 Responses to “Ernesto “Che” Guevara, racist, anti-semite, homophobe, Marxist hero”

  1. David Blacker Says:

    You’re looking at history through a revisionist lens. Many of the greats of history were very much men of their times, with the prejudices and influences of their times.

    On another note, Che hated to bathe, and that second quote explains why.

  2. lefroy Says:

    Does that justify his racism? The same predudices and influences are present in our time as well. Does it justify the racism of those who live among us?

  3. Don’t be naive, Lefroy. A revisionist view of history leads you down a path that takes you away from history’s true learnings. You cannot understand or analyse motives of the past if you apply modern viewpoints to them. It’s like pointing out that Julius Caesar thought the sun revolved around the earth, and calling him ignorant because of that fact. Similarly, you can point out that Hannibal of Carthage wasn’t really a military genius — or even a general –because in spite of the fact that he used inventive cavalry tactics, he never commanded more than several thousand men at a time, because modern generals such as Zukov — who used brute force to overcome the Germans — commanded a million men.

    Our analysis of history must remain relative to the world of that period, and not through the lens of modern knowledge or sentiment. You are applying modern learnings to a historical period — in other words you’re being revisionist, and most modern revisionist historians — Stephen Ambrose, who wrote ‘Band of Brothers’ is one — are being discredited because of this.

    In the case of Che, yes, he is being racist, but probably not really very much more racist than the average white South American was at the time. The average British or US citizen during WW2 disliked Jews as much as the Germans did, and we would call them racist if viewed in modern context, but not if viewed in relation to the 6 million Jews of the death camps.

    You’ve used this same revisionist theory and posted on Lincoln, Gandhi, and others. It’s a flawed theory, Lefroy, and has been discredited. You can continue to use it in your posts if you like, but it’s as absurd as using a flat-earth theory to comment on geography. And anyone who is even a casual student of history will dismiss your point of view out of hand.

    I hope you see my point.

  4. lefroy Says:

    Gandhi was not only a racist, but also a hypocrit. But let’s talk about only Che… I don’t what this has to do with the flat earth theory. It was a matter of not knowing. Racism in Che’s case isn’t… You concede that Che was racist, but then justify his racism by saying that he was no more racist than an average white South American. Now, let’s talk about the ordinary people of Nazi Germany. Of course, back then in the Third Reich, the vast majority of the Germans were anti-semites and approved the Hitler government murdering them. Now take an individual German. Do you justify his racism by saying the rest of the Germans were racists? … Are you saying that Che lived in a place and time where he couldn’t see the evil of racism? … Don’t blame revisionism. What is history but the dialogue between the past and the present … As present day Sri Lankans we live in a time and a place where racism is generally thought to be evil, but homophobia thought to be dead right. Does that justify homophobia of homophobes?

  5. Lefroy, I think you don’t understand what revisionism means. It is neither negative nor positive, though it can be used to cast things either in a positive or negative light, depending on agenda. It is also called Negationism, and you can read more about it here:

    I used the flat-earth theory as an example because it shows how developing knowledge makes historical theories obsolete and by applying that modern knowledge in a judgemental fashion on historical societies or individuals (as you have done), the standing of those societies and/or figures can be distorted.

    It can also be used to cast things in a positive light. In Ambrose’s case, he used recently acquired knowledge on the whole of the German armed forces to analyse specific German units that were fighting the Americans. By applying the recently acquired knowledge of the whole on the specific, he cast the specific in a more positive light, attributing to them a prowess not necessarily accurate, and thereby logical progression attributing an additional prowess to the Americans that defeated those specific German units. So his ultimate analysis of the Americans could very well be flawed.

    Similarly, are view of racism has progressed and changed over the years. I’m sure you agree that the world we live in today is arguably far less racist than the world of the ’40s or even the ’60s. Therefore, when you apply a modern standard to a historical point in time, you are analysing it under a point of reference that didn’t exist at the time. In other words, you are ‘revising’ history to suit a modern sensibility.

    And history certainly isn’t a dialogue between the past and the present, because a dialogue is a two-way street, and since the past cannot assert itself on the present, history is actually one-way — the modern world’s view of the past world.

    But back to the point of racism viewed through the revisionist lens. Today we view any sort of racism in a negative light and therefore we look at all racism, past and present, as negative, black and white. So German racism against the Jews is clearly negative, and rightly so, but that racism is viewed as such chiefly because of Germany’s treatment of the Jews. However, Britain’s racism against the Jews goes unnoticed mostly because it didn’t manifest itself in the same way. However, and you seem to have missed this, there was no difference between an Englishman’s view of a Jew and that of a German’s view. The only difference was that the Germans killed their Jews. Similarly, the Northerners looked at negroes more or less the same as the Southerners did in the USA of the mid-nineteenth century. The only difference was that the southerners enslaved their negroes. But the level of racism was the same.

    The revisionist, however, sees one racism as worse than the other because he applies modern principles to that historical period — principles that didn’t exist at the time. So to call Gandhi or Che or Lincoln a racist is revisionist, because you’re judging them as racist under modern standards.

    Similarly, Julius Caesar was an ignoramus by modern standards, because today we know the earth is round and revolves around the sun, whereas JC would’ve laughed at such an idea. So then is it fair to call him an ignoramus when he clearly wasn’t? Similarly, is it fair to label Gandhi, Che, or Lincoln racists? Principles of society, like knowledge, is constantly being changed and added to, and you cannot apply a variable to a fixed point. History is fact, unchangeable; but our knowledge and principles are constantly changing. In a hundred years, a revisionist might look at Che in a totally different way from you, with added knowledge and changed principles. If he applies that added knowledge and changed principles to arrive at an analysis of Che, he will arrive at a different one from you. Who then will be right, you or him? However, if you analyse history devoid of these variables, your picture will be more accurate.

  6. lefroy Says:

    Oh. Argh. You want me to justify historical revisionism itself, aren’t you? I will do so. But first there are 3 things to be said… First, when I said “don’t blame revisionism,” I wasn’t referring to the type of it that involves distortion of facts. I thought that was obvious… Secondly, it was James McPherson who said “History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past.” He was a Pulitzer winner so I suggest you read him… Thirdly, I’m not familiar with the works of Ambrose. So I’m not commenting on him or on the comments you made on him… OK. Now let’s get to business. When I said that Caesar’s was a case of not knowing and Che’s wasn’t, I wasn’t using that as an argument to justify revisionism. It was my argument to justify, or explain, me going after Che and not after Caesar. I think Che had a chance to be not racist and he chose to be a racist… But that is not at all important to justify revisionism itself. I was under the impression that I only had to talk about Che and myself… Historical Revisionism is all about reinterpreting history. Revisionists believe that current interpretations of historic events should be changed… Revisionists are aware of the fact that interpretation of the past are subject to change, and that no absolute truth exists regarding past events… The rejection of absolute knowledge is at the heart of liberalism. And I’m a liberal… Revisionists believe that every generation has the right to interpret history in their own way. This is partly because we learn history to find solutions to our own problems… We are aware that objectivity is a myth. As Karl Popper wrote “We should not think that our point of view, consciously and critically applied to the problem, will be inferior to that of a writer who naively believes that he has reached a level of objectivity permitting him to present the events of the past as they actually did happen.” … The purpose of my article, is to challenge the belief that Che was a man who loved all mankind. In order to do so I use some racist remarks he had made. My attempt is obviously successful, for even you concede that he was a racist… Whether he was an asshole because of his racism or not is another issue, although it is another purpose of this article. Remember, revisionism is always political… Che will be an asshole to most of the people who read this article, although proving him to be an article isn’t done here. I simply say, your hero was a racist, and never loved all mankind. For others, such as yourself, he’ll be just a racist in a racist time and a place. But even you have to agree that he never loved all mankind… I believe most Sri Lankans should be revisionists. How else can they claim that colonialism was evil? Africans should be as well. Otherwise how can they say slavery was evil?

  7. My friend, you have missed the point, yet again. I have not asked you to justify revisionism at any point in my comment. I explained to you the dangers of revisionism, because in your previous comments it was clear you didn’t understand what it was or that you were indulging in it.

    Oh, and I have read McPherson. I suggest you read Ambrose then, since you seem a fan of revisionism. ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Citizen Soldiers’ are perhaps his most famous works.

    Now, back to Che, and perhaps Caesar. You say Che chose to be racist. How do you figure that out? Most men are creations of their surroundings, and Che sounds exactly like a white South American in the ’60s. In fact, he probably sounds just like a white South American today. Most racism is born in our upbringing, but often is interjected into our lives by a single even or a series of them — like having your house burned down by ethnic mobs. So your revisionism makes you believe that Che was brought up as we have been today, believing all races to be equal, and that his Communist convictions would supersede his racial beliefs. While this is entirely possible, it’s probably very unlikely. Che, as the son of a wealthy doctor, surrounded by wealthy white families, would have grown up believing in the white man’s superiority over other colours. It would have been the same for any other white Argentinian. So your revisionism labels him a racist, when in fact his thinking was quite normal for his time and place. Same goes for Lincoln.

    I’ll skip the rest since, as I said, it is not required of you to justify revisionism.

    However, you say that the purpose of your post is to debunk the popular idea that Che loved all mankind. I think one would have to be extremely naive to believe he did that. Che was a Communist guerrilla — what we would have called a terrorist — believing that violence was the only way to forward an ideology. Hardly the person who loves all of mankind.

    You have also decided to debunk this theory by playing the homophobe and racist card. You also claim success by assuming that you have convinced me of Che’s racism. The thing is, Che’s racism is irrelevant, because he lived in a society that was no more nor less racist than him. His racism and homophobia was probably average. So all you point out was that he was no saint — something everyone already knows, or at least everyone who doesn’t rely on ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ for historical perspective.

    What made Che special wasn’t that he was especially racist or homophobic, but that his idealism was channelled into violent action by his belief in the equality of classes — not races.

    I agree with you that most Sri Lankans are revisionist — how else can they conclude that the majority Sinhalese population had nothing to do with July ’83?

  8. lefroy Says:

    Try saying that to a black man. Tell him that Che, who was a creation of his surroundings, thought he was indolent. See whether he’d continue to wear Che T-shirts… The thing is, those who revere Che or Gandhi or Lincoln, don’t do it because they were the creations of their surroundings. They revere them because they think those men were able to see the future, so Lincoln loved the slaves, so Che loved all mankind (even the ones he killed for the greater good), so Gandhi loved all humanity… This is almost religious. Tell a Buddhist that Buddha was a sexist, and that he was an ass to leave his son and wife. Look at the reaction. Your saying “Che’s racism is irrelavent” is a total lie and you know it. If you didn’t, you won’t be trying to justify his racism while attacking revisionism itself. The truth is Churchill was a political bastard and Marx was a bloody racist. Tell those who venerate them and tell them that they were creations of their surroundings. Do that… I live in a homophobic society. Yet I’m not a homophobe. What about Che? Now don’t tell them anti-racist ideas weren’t in existence in the days Che lived. It was mid 20th century for god’s sake. And Che had access to those ideas. He was wealthy by birth and he read Marx, a German. He could’ve learnt whatever he wanted to and could’ve embraced any idea or idealogy if he wanted to. He chose to be a racist Marxist and kill people in the name of social justice while making racist remarks. That I think was assholish. In Caesar’s case it was different. He didn’t have a choice but to believe the earth was flat. Che did. Same is true about Gandhi. Lincoln’s case is different. But he’s regarded as a visionary who loved the black slave. That’s B.S. But I don’t think Lincoln was as assholish as Che and Gandhi were. At least he did something… (I’ll read Ambrose).

    • Ha ha, you still don’t understand, do you, Lefroy? And getting all worked up won’t help. All the people we ‘revere’ were very much people of their times. Pick anyone — Churchill, Roosevelt, Patton, Aristotle, Sun Tzu, Jim Morrison, DH Lawrence, Enid Blyton — anyone, and you will find that their racial viewpoint reflected their time and place in history. Your name-calling is pretty childish actually.

      You say people think Lincoln loved the slaves. Perhaps some naive people believe that, and perhaps they are the people you blog for. Lincoln isn’t revered for LOVING the slaves, but for FREEING them. People don’t revere Che for loving all mankind (maybe you’re mixing Che up with Mother Theresa, or is she a racist too?), but for fighting for the rights of the underprivileged. People don’t revere Gandhi for loving all humanity, but for his pacifist stance in the Indian independence struggle. All of these people are revered for being different and for doing something to change the world they lived in. Actually, Che and Lincoln were very similar, and Che believed that Marxism (nothing wrong with being a Marxist) would free the oppressed of Latin America. Neither of them were fighting for equality of races, so calling them racist is pretty irrelevant. Sort of like calling Churchill an alcoholic or Roosevelt a womaniser — both are true, but who cares?

      You say I’ve justified Che’s racism and attacked revisionism. I’ve done neither. I explained to you that the world Che lived in was largely racist, so you might as well rant at the world for being racist in the ’60s. As for revisionism, it doesn’t need me to attack it — it has already been discredited by greater men than me.

      You pick on homophobia and attempt to use that to tell me you’re not a product of your time and place. Perhaps in homophobia you’re not, and perhaps in other ways you are. While Che and Lincoln were more or less agreed with society on race relations, they disagreed on other things — and it was these other things that mattered, because it was on these other things that they acted.

      Whether Che read any anti-racism material or not, isn’t the point — the point is he read material and saw enough in his travels to be convinced that he needed to fight for the rights of the worker — THAT is what he is remembered and revered for. If you want to shock people out of this worship of Che, you’d be smarter to write about the guerrilla tactics he used and helped spread, much of which would be considered terrorism today. At least in that bit of revisionism you would be relevant.

      If you actually revered Lincoln, Che, and Gandhi as men who loved all mankind, I’m afraid you’ve been ignorant and revered them for the wrong reasons.

      Oh, and it’s pretty convenient that ‘Afrix’ showed up right after you mentioned Black South Africans — who’s next, Mexicanix and Blackamericanix’? 😀

      • Brandon Says:

        Che didn’t have any use for humanity as I have read. Why would he free people of Latin America so he could oppress them him self?

      • UNOwen Says:

        Um, wow…that is all I have to say
        I suggest you read other works, about and by Ernesto Che Guevara then you may gain more insight.
        Sorry if I insult you.
        Although, I am going to include your comments in my History Extension major work on Che Guevara.
        I can suggest a few books
        Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara
        A Revolutionary Life by John Lee Anderson
        Just for starters

    • Regular Journalist Says:

      Ok, all the people of the past who have any following in the society today and/or have earned respect, must have been, after all, human beings and no more. And hence they must have had their failings; even if in their later lives they had progressed in their views and become more magnanimous than earlier, many must have had utterances at some (presumably earlier) stage in their lives that would shame them even in their own times in the eyes of the most progressive people of their times. Fine, and let us accept that Lefroy is the most advanced progressive better nonracist nonhomophobe never politically incorrect person human race can ever produce. That still does not change the politics that those dead people of the past did. The concrete and effective actions that they performed, roles that they fulfilled, in the societies, communities, and organizations they lived in and belonged to and worked with.
      Let us know what is Lefroy’s politics, and where does he belong by his own convictions and actions. If he represents the liberation of humankind, including of course mine, more than all those of the past, I am ready to denounce all those dead in the past and eulogise Lefroy. Otherwise, all this long blog is a waste of time, repeating, “Humans are fallible” like a mantra.

  9. lefroy Says:

    I must also note that I’m not bothering to write about other racists like Lovecraft, who, even more than Che, had a chance to be not racist… The idea that all men were created equal, that all races are equal, first born in some man’s mind. We revere these men, especially the likes of Lincoln and Gandhi, for being those men, when in reality they were anything but non-racist. That’s B.S. That’s why reinterpretation is needed.

  10. AfriX Says:

    Wow Lefroy, 1st time I hear about Guevara’s racist statements & as a black South African am quite shocked. Used to see a lot of fellow black South Africans wearing shirts with his face. I doubt they knew about his racist side & should I see one wearing that shirt I’ll ensure to highlight Che’s nasty side. Thanks for the info Lefroy!

  11. Looks like my comments are being blocked. Never mind, enjoy your delusions.

  12. lefroy Says:

    Oh. Now you have to resort to this kind of dirty tactics. If you debate, debate. I never blocked your comments and you know that. Open a discussion on your own blog on this if you want and I’ll come there to debate.

  13. lefroy Says:

    Oh sorry. I found a comment of yours in the spam section. Now it’s published.

  14. lefroy Says:

    Mexicanix or blackmexicanix??? I don’t know David, since I swear Affrix wasn’t me.. If you think that black men who wear Che T-shirts know Che thought they were indolent and dreamers and that Europeans were superior to them, I think I don’t know what to say… Mother Theresa never was a racist. I thought that’s the point.

  15. lefroy Says:

    The funny thing is, you yourself is being revisionist when you say Che was a racist, for if you aren’t a product of modern conditions and beliefs, you wouldn’t say that. Most historians in the 1950s wouldn’t say that… Revisionism is admired by much greater men than you and me as well. Karl Popper was one.

  16. lefroy Says:

    I also wonder, if as you say the fact that Che was a racist is well known, and is part of the orthodox version of history related to him, why do you call me a revisionist in the first place.

  17. “The funny thing is, you yourself is being revisionist when you say Che was a racist”

    I didn’t say Che was a racist, Lefroy, YOU did. Isn’t that the whole point of this argument. What I said was that he wasn’t anymore racist than the rest of his society.

    “I also wonder, if as you say the fact that Che was a racist is well known”

    Where did I say that?

    Lefroy, your most recent arguments confirm to me the fact that you STILL do not understand what revisionism is. I repeat, it is to REVISE history, to CHANGE the way we look at the past according to MODERN standards. I have at no point done this, while you constantly have.

    Anything else?

  18. lefroy Says:

    Don’t backtrack on this David. In the comment you made on 02/04/2010 at 11.51 a.m. you wrote “In the case of Che, YES, HE IS BEING RACIST, but probably not really very much more racist than the average white South American was at the time.” See. Does that sound like the kind of thing man who lived in the 50s would say? The thing is David, as Peter Green once wrote, “every historian remains at heart a revisionist.” … On to the next point you question. Yes you didn’t use the exact words. But the idea is there. You write “You say people think Lincoln loved the slaves. Perhaps some naive people believe that…” and so you go on. The idea here is that only naive, uninitiated people believe Lincoln loved the slaves and Che loved all mankind. So the people who are educated in history, people like yourself, know that they never were. Among the initiated, it is well known that he never loved all mankind. So then that must be the orthodox view, right? Here I’m forgetting about the stupid bastards who haven’t doesn’t know a thing. So among the educated people like you, this view, that Che never loved all mankind, Gandhi never loved all mankind, must be the existing view. If so, how can you say I’m being revisionist.

  19. lefroy Says:

    Now before you backtrack, I ask you to consider this. I say “yes, Hitler was a barbarian, but probably not very much more barbaric than the average German at the time.” Now, who am I? Certainly not a German historian who supported National Socialism. There is a moral judgement in the above sentence. But what standards are used here?

  20. Chickay, Lefroy. You have lost ground steadily during this debate, and now are resorting to argue about who said what. You remind me of my 7-year-old son. Please don’t be pigheaded. Go back to the start and reread all the comments. I will leave it there. I have said what I think, and if you refuse to drink even after having been led to the water, that’s your own loss. Any third party reading this will make up their own mind.

  21. lefroy Says:

    Great reply after 5 days of pondering…”yes, he is being racist”

  22. lefroy Says:

    “pigheaded”… Damn I’m tired of winning.

  23. Bardo Flanks Says:

    A brilliant exchange of ideas. Sad to see how it deteriorated towards the end. I’m quite impressed with Kaluwa.

  24. Lincoln Says:

    Any discussion that exposes uncomfortable truths about my sacred cows are revisionism. You can certain that I would apply this standard to people I dislike. Also, in the news “Rick James has been resurrected from the dead and has converted to Mormonism” That is all.

  25. Gaborone Says:

    Interesting!look it is true that if you looked at historical figures through the values/principles we hold now and then proceed to condemn them in totality you would be the poorer for it…I for instance have read some of Darwin’s patronizing views about black people,being black myself. it does not then follow that I should dismiss “evolution by natural selection” as the work of a borderline racist…so I agree that we are in the main products of our time this pragmatic view of history is not an excuse for bigotry but an attempt at seeing the world in its nakedness,but understanding within this mess that we call life rest true beauty and genius,so I can listen to Wagner (anti-semitic) read Lincolns speeches (Racist)without fear that I am disadvantaging the cause for social justice,truth and fairness

  26. hayley Says:

    Where in the book are these quotes found?

  27. UNOwen Says:

    I’m reading the Motorcycle Diaries atm, like at this very moment
    And I have not come across this
    Also, you haven’t given context behind to words.

  28. Kevanova Says:

    The best way to look at this is to think about the “accepted” way we treat homosexuals now, especially in the southern states of America. In 50 years time that will sound like Che spoke about black people. That’s what David is trying to get at.

    Another example might be that if during the next 50 years the word ‘disabled’ becomes an offensive term for the handicapped. You couldn’t then look back and say everyone was unkind and cruel for calling them this. Not an exact example but shows better what revisionist means.

  29. Lee Says:

    OK, Che wasn’t racist “Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?”

  30. Che Oyinatumba Says:

    At what age did Che write the Bicycle Diary? Later in life when his political views were matured was he found making racist comments? If he was racist, what took him to Congo to fight for liberation of the people of Congo?-A battle I must say is still going on.
    If you read Che’s address to the United Nations, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that Che was a friend of Blackmen and Africa which was mostly under colonization by whitemen!

  31. aaron Says:

    wow….very interesting discussion……. im on the side of David, much more mature ideas…

  32. Douchebagkiller Says:

    “Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?”-Che Guevara,At The United Nations,1964

  33. Scott Says:

    All history, by design, is revisionist; it’s the old theory that every story has three sides: your side, my side, and the truth (which is rarely, if ever, known in its entirety). Some think Che’s a hero; some think he’s a villain. Name a figure in history, besides maybe Mother Theresa, who isn’t in the same boat. Regardless, Che’s legacy lives forever with Utopia-advocating hippies and ignorant poseur wanna-bes wearing his image on t-shirts that create Capitalist profit. I’m sure he would be proud.

    And save the rhetoric about being objective for someone who doesn’t know any better. Objectivity is a myth, especially when it comes to political history.

  34. […] Written in his book: “The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink.” […]

  35. Benjamin Says:

    Lefroy your argument is fundamentally flawed. Firstly you must take in mind that all of these extracts are from ‘Motorcycle Diaries.’ Before this period Guevara had grown up in middle class Argentina when alot of these ideas where prevleant. If you actually looked into his childhood however you will find alot of his young friends were of different ethnic backgrounds, and Celia (his Mother, not sure if you know much about Che so I am filling in the blanks) encouraged anyway to share dinner at the Guevara household. Moreover if you read the whole book his admiration for the indigenous race, over that of his own, is remarkably strong. Is that the sign of a racist? And then, even on top of that, this was written when he was 21. Everyone matures, as did Che and these beliefs quickly left his system. Why else would he risk his life to join the revolution in Congo? You are taking quotes out of their context and then using them to try and define the personality of a man. It’s a ridiculous way to study history and I am contemplating using you in my dissertation on Guevara, just so that I can then rip you apart.

    • ZuluQueen Says:

      I regret I am so late entering this discussion. I find it stimulating, informative and challenging, to say the least. However, I agree with Benjamin (above) that your analysis is somewhat “flawed” Lefroy. I consider myself a student of Che; having read most of his writings, and a significant amount of writings about him. I find it difficult, as an African American to put him in the category of a “racist”…comments we wish he had not made? yes. Opinions we wish he had not expressed…? yes, but a “racist”, no. Nor have I found in any of his writings that he professed any “love for all humanity” as you seem to deems of great historical import in your analysis. Che was a revolutionary who fought against a class based society. His interest was in the revolutionary process, not the after result (from my reading)…which might explain why he left Cuba for Africa and Bolivia…who knows? I will continue to wear my t-shirt which his handsome face imortalized in photograph by Korda, continue to dust the three images of him on my wall, given to me as a gift from my son who knows of my respect for the Revolutionary, and continue to read of his life/times and hope that someone will one day come along again who will take on the cause of the people, as he did.

  36. […] was responsible for a lot of people’s deaths (including homosexuals, whom he despised,) was a racist, and—because of his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis—almost slung the planet into a […]

  37. Max Says:

    Che Guevara is one of the most controversial and iconic figures in recent memory and is still a hero to many. Some capitalists like to think that he was a terrorist, but he was a hero to the people. Nelson Mandela referred to him as “an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom” while Jean Paul Sarte described him as “not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age.According to Time magazine, Che Guevara was one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Swatch made a Che watch,Rage Against The Machine used his photo on an album cover, endless posters and flyers adorn walls everywhere from Havana to Beverley Hills; Mike Tyson and Diego Maradonnahave Che tattoos on their arms. Che’s legend has continued to grow since his death in 1967, and the revolutionary, anti-imperialist ideals he lived and died for now appeal to a new generation of 21st-century men and women. No matter what people say about him Guevara remains an admired, controversial, and significant historical figure.

  38. Max Says:

    Che’ Guevara is a racist ?Years later in Cuba he showed he was not racist through his actions.Che pushed for racially integrating the schools in Cuba, years before they were racially integrated in the Southern United States. Che Guevara fought in Africa with an all black army against white secretaris,his closest aides were also partially black. Che’s friend and personal bodyguard was Harry “Pombo” Villegas, who was Afro-Cuban (black).…Article 42 in the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba reads that, “discrimination because of race, color, sex or national origin is forbidden and is punished by law,” and Article 295 of the Cuban criminal code establishes fines and sanctions of between six months and two years for discrimination and incitement of hatred on the basis of gender, race or national origin.The tarring of Che Guevera as a racist is typical projection, making use of the valid sensibilities of the masses of people against racism to inoculate them against Marxism.Che was clearly not a “raging” racist, homophobe or anti-semite.

  39. Diego Says:

    When he wrote that, it was his first experience with blacks and Indians. He didn’t know better and later admitted to being wrong. As for homophobe? Who wasn’t back then? -_-

  40. Rich in L.A. Says:

    Why try and understand who the left chose to love. Charlton Heston marched with Martin Luther King at the height of his celebrity yet they demonized him because he is a Republican. In the end all they really believe in is getting the most leftist politician elected no matter how racist they are.

  41. Che was a racist, there is no other way to look past it. He felt black people were inferior to Europeans. You can say everyone who lived during those times was racist, but the fact is, not everyone who lived during those times was a member of the KKK. On top of that, Che was also a butcher. A lot of Cubans who fled Castro’s Cuba could tell you some ‘wonderful’ stories about Che’s humanity. He was a dedicated ideologue, and anyone who didn’t tow the line was fit for extermination. If you find him admirable in any way, then you also should extend that same nod of respect to Hitler because the two were equal zealots for different causes. End of story.

  42. BLACKCHEF Says:

    To have ignorant racist ideals and thoughts does not make one a racist. Acting on ignorant racist ideals and thoughts makes one a racist. Was che guevara targeting and killing blacks or carrying prejudice, discriminating, and antagonizing blacks? i would think that if he said the things he said about black people, then went about killing and maiming black people THAT would make him a racist…

  43. sonny17373 Says:

    Is this better then be a racist?
    Che 1966 Speech
    Hatred is the central element of our struggle! Hatred that is intransigent…hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine…We reject any peaceful approach. Violence is inevitable. To establish Socialism rivers of blood must flow! The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! These hyenas are fit only for extermination. We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm! The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims

  44. Nick Moser Says:

    Excuse me where did you get this infromation

  45. Paola Says:

    “The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink.”

    You guys do know he was referring to “the black” as the people who cared little and did little, not the africans.

  46. sanoussi m.Keita Says:

    I’m a black person of the mandingoes tribe my love for che will always reminds,he was a truth revolutionary that fought against injustice and segregation.his visit to Africa show his love and affection for this continent and it people.

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