Humberto Fontova

When a comedian‘s “brilliant” witticism bombs he'll often complain to the "dumb" audience that: "The irony is lost on you people!"

In this spirit of “lost irony” I give you (pro) Michael-Brown demonstrators wearing Che Guevara T-Shirts at the recent Ferguson demonstrations.

Why “lost irony” some readers might ask?

“Don’t Shoot!” was the Ferguson demonstrator slogan/chant right? Well, upon his very first (and very brief) experience with something properly describable as combat, the world’s most celebrated “guerrilla fighter” actually snuck away from the firefight, crawled towards the Bolivian soldiers doing the firing—then as soon as he spotted two of them at a distance, stood and yelled: "Don't Shoot! I'm Che! I'm worth more to you alive than dead!" Among Cuba-watchers Che’s whimpering plea ranks right up there with Roberto Duran’s famous “No Mas!” to Sugar Ray Leonard in the pantheon of sniveling surrenders.

My very strong guess is that the Ferguson demonstrators are utterly unaware of this delicious historical morsel. My very strong guess is that they invoked the ghost of Che Guevara as a symbol of liberation, especially the liberation of “oppressed” blacks in formerly capitalist Cuba by the “courageous civil rights champion” Che Guevara. Indeed, this invocation has a long and illustrious history among black “spokepersons.” Unsurprisingly some of these are Ferguson gate-crashers.

“Viva Fidel!” bellowed Jesse Jackson while arm-in-arm with Fidel Castro at the University of Havana in 1984. "Viva Che Guevara!" he yelled again with fists raised high. "Long live our cry of freedom!"

"He (Jesse Jackson) is a great personality," reciprocated a beaming Fidel Castro, "a brilliant man. Jackson's main characteristic is honesty. He is sincere and there is no hint of demagoguery in his speech.” Takes one to know one, right Fidel?

Regarding Che’s “courage,” please see above. Now on to Guevara’s view of blacks:


Humberto Fontova

Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.