First off, I would like to say thank you SO MUCH to the thousands of you who have read, blogged about and passed on my recent Open Letter… post. (I can’t say enough about how gracious Guy Kawasaki was to have recommended it – I feel like the equivalent of an author picked for Oprah’s book club, the James Frey fiasco nonwithstanding of course!) I want to respond to each comment, trackback and incoming link, but am not finding enough hours in the day, especially with my 1-year old son underfoot. So thanks to all of you and I wish strength, power, love and support right back at you!
There have been some interesting comments related to my choice of the Che Guevarra image to accompany the post, such as:
"Great post, but the picture is ironic."
"Nice post, but wrong photo. Che is not a rebel but a terrorist, and a totalitarian.
‘Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it’"
"Great article, but just one thing: What’s up with the picture of a vicious murderer on the post?"
This has gotten me thinking all afternoon.
I will admit that I took about 2 minutes to choose an image for the post. I asked myself "What image would convey the passion, support for the underdog, sick-of-holding-my-tongue and I-must-speak-my-truth feeling I have right now?" Che jumped to mind. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I am very used to seeing him on posters and on the tee-shirts of our vast population of anti-establishment citizens.
In my college years, I lived and worked in low-income communities in Latin America (Colombia, Mexico and Brazil) and in later years did lots of work with low-income youth in the Latino and African-American neighborhoods of San Francisco. In those circles, Che is viewed as a hero. I have to admit that I don’t know everything about his path, but if the comments are any indication, it sounds like bloodshed resulted from his revolutionary efforts.
So I wondered, if Che strikes a nerve, who might be more appropriate to represent the "repressed and can’t take it no more" corporate worker?
Or female revolutionaries like Susan B. Anthony or Rosa Parks.
Or maybe Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parten and Jane Fonda, the actresses in the landmark film 9 to 5.
For gentle, peaceful icons, how about the Dalai Lama and Mr. Rogers?
Then I thought about the rebel icon that is prevelant for many of our younger generation – Tupak Shakur. His reach crosses every racial and economic line I know of, as many Native, Latino, African American, Asian and Anglo kids love his music. What I imagine they relate to is his outspoken nature, voice of the underdog and poetic rhymes. The fact that he is still putting out music 5 years after his death can only strengthen his case.
As an image of revolution, I am fine with Che.
If it were up to you, who would you choose?