Hey Urban Outfitters: Che Guevara Was a Murderer and Your Poster Is Not Cool

A friendly reminder from Human Rights Foundation founder Thor Halvorssen to your neighborhood vendor of overpriced rags and tatty studio apartment decor: Posters of Che Guevara are not cool, even when they are on sale for $9.99 (originally $19.99!):

Although Guevara's image has appeared on countless items for consumption over the last few decades as a symbol of change for the better, Guevara's actual record is that of a brutal tyrant who suppressed individual freedom in Cuba and murdered those who challenged his worldview.

That's right, Urban Outfitters. By flacking posters of Che's beardy face, you're encouraging your customers to say: Hey, I like old records, three legged stools, and death!:

From 1959 to 1960, the new government carried out summary executions of at least 1,118 people by firing squad. Guevara himself presided over the notorious La Cabaña prison, where hundreds of the executions took place. For comparison's sake, the Batista regime was responsible for 747 noncombatant deaths between 1952 and 1959. The Cuban revolution under the direction of Guevara also saw the rise of forced labor camps which gave way a few years later to full-scale concentration camps. These were filled with dissidents, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Afro-Cuban priests, and anyone else who had committed "crimes" against the new moral revolution.

Just to be clear, Halvorssen (and Reason) thinks people who want to ban Guevera's smug mug are just as dumb as the wearers themselves. Because freedom of speech! And Urban Outfitters does describe the poster as a "conversation starter." So, conversation started, I guess. Let's see what the beret-clad Cuban has to say for himself: 

In a speech in front of the United Nations in 1964, Guevara proudly admitted that "yes, we have executed, we are executing, we will continue to execute." He boasted of murdering Eutimio Guerra, bragging in his diary how he "ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain." 

Plus, rocking some Che isn't exactly an original way to "let out a rebel yell" as Nick Gillespie explains in Reason TV's 2008 video, Killer Chic.

Headline inspiration from the "Che Guevara was a murderer and your t-shirt is not cool" Facebook group.

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  • toxic||

    It's my estimation that every man ever got a statute made of him was one kind of son of a bitch or another.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Uh, hey, I got an idea. Instead of us hangin' around playin' art critic 'til I get pinched by the man, how's about we move away from this eerie-ass piece of work and get along with our increasingly eerie-ass day, how's that?

  • sloopyinca||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Tell that to the Gorn captain.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I didn't look at the link address and thought you found a legitimate example.

    That shit is fucking lame.

  • sloopyinca||

    OK, fine. Is this one better?

    Hint: it's Stephen Hawking

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Stephen Hawking, being intelligent but a disabled shut in with much expendable time, is a degenerate oddsmaker and internet hustler. That makes him a kind of a son of a bitch.

  • Copernicus||

    "Stephen Hawking got caught cheating on his wife.. twice. The smartest man in the world can't remember to delete his Inbox."

    /Dana Gould

  • ||

    At least Jayne knocked his statue over. Che would probably fellate his.

  • bmp1701||

    I've never been bothered by Che merchandise. To me, the idea that a committed Marxist would be remembered primarily in the form of merchandise sold for profit by American clothing companies (And made by non-unionized, foreign labor) is frigging hilarious. Every shirt or poster bought is like dropping a steaming turd on his grave.

  • The Derider||

    Reason, when you lionize Ayn Rand, you're lionizing racist imperialism and genocide.

    "[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using.... What was it they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it. Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent."

    Q and A session following her Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, March 6, 1974

  • Hugh Akston||

    Ayn Rand never shot anybody.

  • WTF||

    It's Joe, don't waste your time.

  • The Derider||

    How about:

    When you lionize Thomas Jefferson, you're lionizing chattel slavery.

    http://www.thinkershirts.com/b.....ferson.htm

    Thomas Jefferson really enslaved human beings, and yet many people still admire him! And put his face on T-shirts, no less!

  • Killazontherun||

    Oh yeah, those who doubt the benevolence, the social good and the patron saints of the Cuban Revolution were some of the things that set Joe off. What a fuckstain.

  • Randian||

    Don't forget his apologia for Hugo Chavez.

  • John||

    That was really Joe at his worst. Worse than his apologias for ACORN.

  • Killazontherun||

    I doubted this guy was joe but the knee jerk defense of the monsters of socialism is some hard proof that it is him.

  • John||

    It is so pathetic. IT is typical Joe. When his side is caught in something embarrassing, the reaction is to immediately point to something on the other side and make a false equivocation.

    Even Joe can't defend Guevara. But he is too dishonest and too much of a coward to admit that the lefties who do are wrong. So he grabs Rand and pretends it it the same.

  • The Derider||

    Urban Outfitters is "my side?"

    I think you can admire things about Che without advocating political executions.

    I think you can admire things about Rand without advocating racism and genocide.

  • The Derider||

    I didn't suggest that she did-- only that she advocated racist imperialism and the genocide of native peoples.

  • ||

    Hey retard, Ayn Rand never killed anyone to force her beliefs on an entire country. Che killed hundreds of people. See the difference?

  • hotsy totsy||

    Hell, she never even put anyone in jail.

  • ||

    To Joe, that's just one more sign Ayn Rand is inferior.

  • The Derider||

    Marx never killed anybody but his ideas killed plenty, and it's his ideas that people still object to.

  • ||

    Nice non sequitur, joe, you tiny little moron.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thanks for showing off what a retard you are Derprider.

  • ||

    Derp Riders in the Sky!

  • Randian||

    Wasn't this the White Indian talking point during those Bad Old Days?

  • pmains||

    I sort of miss seeing him call people, "fibertarians." I don't think he ever gave a full explanation of why he didn't just go live in the woods. Something about the feds stealing children from teepees, because clearly that happens all of the time.

  • KDN||

    He gave the Rage Against the Machine defense, IIRC.

  • The Derider||

    That's who posted this quotation the first time I saw it.

  • oncogenesis||

    Cool story, bro. Tell me another.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: The Derider,

    Reason, when you lionize Ayn Rand, you're lionizing racist imperialism and genocide.


    Well, Che walked the walk, not just talked the talk. But, please, do continue with these moral equivalencies between a philosopher who never hurt a fly and a mass murderer.

    You just sound foolish, Joe. Admit it: You just lost your touch...

    ... With reality, I mean.

  • BarryD||

    And there isn't a side of a Rush album based on a Che Guevara story, either.

  • Proprietist||

    Rand sucks too, albeit on a far, far smaller scale.

  • Paul.||

    Reason, when you lionize Ayn Rand, you're lionizing racist imperialism and genocide.

    I see imperialism (kind of) in her statement, I see some racism, I don't see a lot of genocide...

  • The Derider||

    You don't see any connection between forcibly removing natives from their land and genocide?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    While we are on the subject of wawah injuns, a lot of them were tyrant savages too.

  • BarryD||

    What? Competitive scalping and genocide are bad?

  • entropy||

    Damn straight. Guevera was a sociopathic monster. These dumbasses might as well glorify Pol Pot or Edi Amin Dada (or old Adolf). Yeah real cool to celebrate atrocity.

  • ||

    I love those shirts that have a picture of Hitler or Mao on it with the caption "My Che Shirt is in the Wash"

  • Calidissident||

    Do they have those? I've seen the Che t shirts with the caption "My Hitler shirt is in the wash"

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I would like a shirt that works FDR in some variation.

  • The Derider||

    BUT FDR DIDN'T MURDER ANYBODY WAAAAH!!!!

  • Calidissident||

    He did imprison hundreds of thousands of people just because of their ancestry

  • BarryD||

    Seriously.

    I mean, at least General Butt Naked had a really cool nom de guerre.

  • sloopyinca||

    Joe's about as cool as a boiling cup of donkey ejaculate.

  • ||

    Whenever I see someone with a Che t-shirt or Che memorabilia I point out that he would probably have shot you for buying a capitalistic t-shirt that was made in China. Especially if you were gay or black.

  • Proprietist||

    Yeah, I always love going up to people wearing Che shirts and asking whether they support concentration camps for gays. Also funny is going up to Che shirt wearers at anti-war protests and asking if they support nuclear war.

  • Loki||

    Whenever I see Che's face I'm just tempted to kick it really hard. Which is why I try to avoid assholes in Che t-shirts. I'd end up in prison for assault and battery.

  • BarryD||

    If I were on the jury, I wouldn't convict.

  • ||

    YOU DON"T UNDERSTAND, MAN!
    (slams door)
    (puts on The Downward Spiral and slowly rocks back and forth)

  • ||

    So Ayn Rand is like Che Guevara because she gave a speech?

    The Derprider strikes again!

  • rac3rx||

    Well to lefties, speechifying equals doing, Barack Obama, for example.

  • Paul.||

    You know who else gave a speech?

  • Calidissident||

    Barack Obama?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Maybe Urban Outfitters can be *really* daring and do a T-shirt of one of Che's victims.

  • John||

    Remember when Benetton did the ad campaign with death row inmates? How about one with pictures of the victims of communism? The same people who defended Benetton would demand they be taken down.

  • ||

    I'd pay money for a Porno Para Ricardo shirt.

  • hotsy totsy||

    The only thing that comes close to the idolization of leftist murderers is our fascination with gangsters. Although Sammy the Bull on a onesie might be a little too much.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Possibly the reason we don't see Hitler on t-shirts is that he lost? Although Che did end up getting himself shot in Bolivia. Would've been interesting to see the reaction if his body had been strung upside down like Mussolini's and pummeled by the general population.

  • Killazontherun||

    Instead, Castro had his hands cut off and sent to him as souvenirs. He displayed them in his interview with Sixty Minutes. BTW, that's a typical proof of death insisted upon by those signing the contract.

    By far, the best thing Fidel ever did for humanity.

  • BarryD||

    Hitler's on plenty of t-shirts, including the one that says, "My Mao and Che shirts are in the wash."

    https://www.google.com/search?q=hitler+t-shirt

  • Loki||

    I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but the inclusion of the record player in the picture is kind of ironic. Ironic because they're probably trying to market to idiotic hipsters who live in shitty overpriced studio arpartments listening to old vinyl records because ipods aren't pretentious enough (though they'll snottily inform you that they prefer the "vintage sound" of vinyl). Meanwhile many Cubans are probably forced to listen to records because Cuba has been transformed into a backwards 3rd world cluster fuck where no one can afford anything better thanks in no small part to that cretin whose face now adorns the wall of smug hipster assholes who listen to records because they think they're cool. Like I said: ironic. Or maybe just pathetic.

  • Clichè Guevara||

    I feel obliged to comment on this post for some reason.

  • ||

    Not only is it uncool, it's worse. It's passe.

  • JeremyR||

    I bet Peter Suderman has more than a few pieces of Che gear. (Ron Bailey, too, for that matter)

  • pukool||

    Urban Outfitters owner is conservative dude...

    He's probably just trolling them.

  • Diana M. Rodriguez||

    The night Che Guevara kept me from sleeping: Sometimes a T-shirt is more than just a T-shirt http://saynotomean.blogspot.co.....-from.html

  • Rey||

    To Katherine mangu-ward
    Many people have there own views on things,
    You view Ernesto che Guevara as a monster a devil,
    I view Ernesto che Guevara as a man who did what he had to do at those times, i view him as a man who fought along side his soldiers And was executed like a man (on his feet) But only in death can capitalism eat him
    Every mind is it's own world.
    Thats all i have to say i could say more but ill just keep it short

  • Dan Ramirez Jr||

    Cmon really! i will not say that i aggregate with the violence that comes with war and revolution. but in time of war and revolution the worst thing happen blood will be spilled. How much blood was spilled in our revolution, or do you think we had a debate and it was settled over couple of words? Cmon! I will not say communism is the greatest because i am very happy in my capitalist country (becoming socialism). Cuba was oppressed by a leader that treated the people as slaves and it was only an island for whores and gambling for the rich, Che and castro did not fight alone the had the power of their people at the time, and till this day is beloved by the poor. The rich as seen as the musician in the video, are only the ones that come crossing through the waters, doctors, lawyers etc, people who want more than just to be equal in cuba. So lets stop being wusses and accept it for what it is and realize one day we will too have to shed blood for this country too, when and if it does go too far! NO REP OR DEM FOR 2016!

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