Politics and . . . pizza

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall (see CEI’s video celebrating that), it’s interesting to note that a pizza parlor in Shirlington, VA is promoting heroes of communism and Marxism.  And the source of that information is none other than the Washington Post’s Reliable Source today, which records an email exchange between a customer objecting to posters of Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara on the walls of Busboys and Poets restaurant and the owner’s response praising those two icons.

The customer, Bradley Blakeman, should have known that his pizza would be served with a side dish of leftist politics.  After all, the owner of B&P, Andy Shallal, makes no bones about his commitment to leftist causes on his website.  And he emailed back to his disgruntled customer (and the Washington Post) that

Guevara and Lenin “represent the struggles of working people. . . . They fought against the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few.”

To be sure, that’s a fairly narrow way of looking at both of these figures. To some prominent scholars, Che is known for his “murderous collectivism,” while Lenin is widely regarded as one of history’s mass murderers.

It doesn’t sound like Blakeman will be a repeat customer at Shallal’s restaurant, but if comments on the Post article are any indication, Shallal will have no trouble finding fellow travelers.  Here’s one, for instance:

The lives of Che and Lenin are known and respected in every town of every country in the world in spite of the millions of words written and billions spent trying to rewrite history.

And that is because the struggle they dedicated themselves to is the same struggle working people all over the world today are still fighting.

If only that poster would read a bit of that history, including what the Berlin wall represented.