Letters from the Issue of April 10, 2008
Good Riddance, Che-meister!
I'm a member of the Cuban punk band Guajiro, and after reading Chuck Strouse's April 3 column, "Che Who?" I have a funny anecdote for you regarding Che in Miami.
Last summer we did the Florida leg of the Warped Tour, which started in Jacksonville. At every stop along the way, there was a booth that sold Rasta-themed items. It also carried Che gear — shirts, banners, flags, etc., with the famous Korda snapshot.
When we arrived in Miami, I went by the booth to check it out. The Che memorabilia was conspicuously absent. I coyly asked the guy in the booth: "Hey, looks like you have some stuff missing for today's setup, huh?"
He looked at me, laughed, and responded, "Yeah, mon. No here, mon, no here...."
The next day in Atlanta, Che was back in "business."
I respect Chuck Strouse's point of view in "Che Who?" regarding the picture of a "romanticized" Che Guevara. However, I would like to point out that it is well known that Che was far from the strong figure depicted in the Korda photo. He was a sick-looking, evil, and cold-blooded criminal. Some anecdotes say that mothers would personally plead with him to spare their sons' lives. What would he do? He would show a very personal interest in the matter and take down the names of all of these young rebel detainees. The next day they would be killed.
It is not that I am against people protesting this criminal. But would you worship the picture of a political figure who had killed, let's say, your mom or dad because of difference of political opinion? If you are a normal human being, I think not.
Via web commentary
The excellent article by Chuck Strouse brings to the forefront my great concern for democracy in America and, more specifically, in Miami. It's a place where constitutional guarantees are eroding daily.
I have no argument with Che being a murderer; he was! He was also a conceited brat and an overrated guerrilla leader. But America (including Miami) is a democracy, and whether Che is a communist symbol or a fascist one, such visual displays are protected under our First Amendment.
If the world's democracies continue coddling the intolerant by allowing immigrant enclaves to impose their own laws and customs (as we've seen in South Florida), we will soon be witnessing stonings, honor killings, and our daughters wearing burqas, if not chains.
How much intolerance must we endure in the name of tolerance?
Weeki Wachee, Florida
Modern Coke Cowboys
Thank you for Tamara Lush's April 3 story "The Murder of Master Do." This violence will only get worse. The rich culture of the Haitians is being eclipsed by modern-day Cocaine Cowboys — young gang members trying to live the life of the videogames they play, the music they hear, and the movies they watch.
Not until the violence spreads beyond their community will something be done. It's scary that the weapon of choice in most cases is the assault rifle — a killing machine. You failed to mention these thugs outgun the police, as in the recent death of Ofcr. James Walker in North Miami. This crisis in Miami should be a front-page article in every publication.
Regarding Arielle Castillo's column "I'm a WMC Survivor" (April 3): Where's the love for the underground heads? We had amazing parties/DJs in town — legends such as Jellybean Benitez, Danny Krivit, Ron Carroll, Dennis Ferrer, Frankie Feliciano, Ron Trent, Timmy Regisford.... Ever heard of Cielo, Body and Soul, 718 Sessions, Ain't Nothing But a House Party? These parties are renowned, and many of these DJs learned skills from the legends: Nicky Siano, David Mancuso, Larry Levan.
This is where house music originated, and these DJs are the (living) reasons why.
Via web commentary
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