By Mitchell Witkes
No More Che Day at the University of Maryland was a real crash course in angry leftism.
A small group of
my fellow conservatives and I were protesting the iconic
narrative of Che Guevara, the socialist who killed thousands
of innocent civilians in the name of revolution. All was well for
the first two hours. Some people stopped to learn about some of the
atrocities that have been swept under the rug for decades. Others
were socialist sympathizers that merely laughed and moved on. Most
perused our literature with mild interest, then simply moved on.
Unfortunately, there was a small group that was clearly upset at
No, scratch that, they were infuriated.
We could see it
brewing in one individual who took a picture of our Che Guevara
posters and walked away. He later returned with some friends who
immediately began challenging us on our claims. One of his friends
took the lead and called us hypocrites because while we were
expressing our disapproval of socialist oppression, we didn’t have
signs denouncing America. America, he claimed, was the single most
oppressive country on earth. According to him, the US and the CIA
were committing genocide all over the world. We sent our troops to kill women and
children indiscriminately. It was then that I made my worst
mistake: I smiled. I guess I was just struck by how wild that idea
was. Now, I’m one who smiles often in conversation. I enjoy the
marketplace of ideas and I believe that when two individuals voluntarily
enter into a discussion, much can be learned on both
sides. This time, however, he took exception and called me
“smug.” He said I didn’t care about the third world because I was a racist. Personally, I didn’t know what to say. I
made multiple exasperated attempts to define myself to no avail. Clearly, these gentlemen did not come to our table for
a conversation; they came to intimidate.
I attempted to explain our reasoning for tabling against Che
Guevara. I tried three times to explain that we we’re spreading
awareness that this man was a killer. Che hated dissidents. Any
individual that disagreed with him was executed. And executed
they were. Thousands were killed by Che’s firing squads, and hundreds of
thousands were sent to prisons merely for believing something else.
There were fifteen year old boys who attempted to protect their
modest family farms before being dragged away by the secret police,
beaten, then murdered in cold blood. Che Guevara was a madman, who
committed atrocious acts for the revolution. Unfortunately, every
attempt by us to explain our cause was met by race baiting, “you’re
probably thinking that I’m an angry black man,” and “not to bring
the conversation back to race, but more black men are incarcerated for
crack cocaine use than white men.” In the end, none of the arguments raised by the Left really mattered in this
conversation, because we weren’t tabling to incarcerate more black
people. We we’re tabling to explain that Che Guevara was a
murderer. These individuals obviously didn’t agree.
Cleary leftists do not believe in equality. If they did, these
gentlemen would have listened to what I had to say instead of
interrupting and berating me. I listened to them and in turn I
received no respect. The fact that these people continued to shut
me down and actively not listen was another example of liberal intolerance. They
alluded that I was a racist and other students stopped and stared.
Collectively, my fellow conservatives and I felt threatened.
We felt as though we we’re unequal, as though we were agents of
hatred. The truth is that leftists believe in equality on their
terms. A composite image of what I have learned from the mouths of
leftists is that we need to destroy the system to instill democracy
as what it was meant to be. But what does this mean? Does not
everyone have a say in America today? This country is a place where
individuals can form groups in order to enact change in a real way.
Instead of embracing this system, leftists subvert it at every turn
and support known murderers. I think if I pressed them enough they would have
expressed a fondness for Hitler. Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Che: these thugs killed millions collectively after using the same
terminology that leftists use today. Throughout history, collectivist regimes have left a wake of suppression and genocide.
An SDS member once said, “the issue is never the issue, the
issue is only the revolution.” Peace and equality? For leftists,
only in words and not in action.
Mitchell Witkes is a conservative activist at the University of Maryland