No, I don’t want to hate

Vladimir Huber > Poems > No, I don’t want to hate

El Cerrito, CA, 3:00 am, January 10, 1999

No, I don’t want to hate

By Vladimir Huber

I felt the hatred pouring out of their mouths
as I felt their hearts spitting venom
am I so different that their reception needs that?
questions and more questions from a curious child

Why do I bother asking if nobody is listening?
why do I pretend that someday
somebody will see no difference among us all?
the innocence that got me in trouble, keeps on running wild

My heart was aching, my mind was shattered
I had all these dreams, all these illusions
they landed flat on their asses, as they had to
I lost my innocence like a fifteen year old does

Yes, even to the point of violence, the loss took place
I wasn’t even looking, still in my dreams
interrupting and talking, asking and commenting
and the event took place, yet, was it all for that?

I don’t want to hate, no, I don’t
I don’t want to look at others
and return what I feel is thrown at me
I don’t want to react, no, I don’t

How much longer can I hold these feelings of pain?
for how long will I stay centered
while the pain keeps on growing in my heart?
for how much longer will I keep asking questions
before I join the action?

My heart is timid, since it knows what it can do
my heart trembles at the sight of its own power
how long will I keep on fearing my own heart?
the power is there, will it be everywhere?

I don’t want to hurt others, just because I felt hurt
I don’t want to throw hatred back, it will hurt me
what did they see when they felt like that about me
about them, about us all? Am I not a mirror, am I?

The physicists talk about atoms dividing when they are seen
when nobody is watching, they remain still
the seer creates the reaction, or is it, the action?
so, who’s creating the action that created the hatred?

Yes, of course, I can be a pain in the ass
that’s no mystery or news to anybody
yet, is that a reason for hatred, and from day one?
what did they see, what did they see?

Accents can throw people off, or many types of differences, too
interrupting while others talk is not very White
and it’s neither middle class, oh, my God!
one no-no after the other
what are the bridge club members gonna say?

«Hey, if you don’t like it,
why don’t you go back to where you came from?»
It reminds me of the early seventies, when things were hot
it reminds me of the South, with Martin, Jesse, and Rosa, too

Memories of the distant past, very distant, very… are you sure?
It brings back to mind the visit through the South
through all the shrines of the Civil Rights struggle
many cities where the marches meant beatings, jail, and sometimes death

Where the law stood for one race, one culture, one ideology, under one God
and of course, all in the name of the Lord
what would he say if he were asked about the Klan using his name
to do the crimes they commit in the name of white Amerika and the Sacred Book?

I wonder, I just wonder, now in silence, it’s safer, way safer
it reminds me of Blacks and how they behave when there are White folks around
oh, boy, what a difference, and how well they act!
I guess you learn soon, I can’t believe how dumb I was!

It’s the price of innocence, believing that we are all the same
I guess I have heard too many pop songs
about the brotherhood and sisterhood of all beings
like I said, I can’t believe how innocent I was!

So, I’m thankful for the experience, it was very grounding
to the point that I have understood the rules
the ones Aftab kept on asking about, are not the ones I had understood
now they are clear, and you better follow them, boy
or you’ll get your ass kicked, as you already did

Michael Jackson spends millions on surgery and treatments to get a lighter skin
all Blacks straighten their hair, since White Amerika does not accept it as it is
Michael, Michael, now he looks so much like Diana Ross
of course, after she got her surgery done

I don’t blame him, it’s just that I don’t have his money to get my job done
OK, OK, so I don’t need it, yet I could pay speech teachers
to get rid of my accent, would I be better accepted if I talked nice-nice?
I don’t know what to try in order to be accepted, what a dilemma!

If I was dark I could try pills and lotions for the skin
if my hair was kinky, I could try lotions and other chemicals to turn it straight
if I was…, I don’t know, what can I do to be accepted as White and middle class?
then, again, if I am hated because I interrupt
and talk about the taboos of White Amerika, wow, what an honor!

Actually, I shouldn’t talk about religion and politics
and, oh, my God, much less about sex in a frigid, class-oriented, materialistic society
or as they say here as a slogan, in a God-fearing country
wow, Madison Avenue does it again!

Does anybody know what I am talking about?
actually, I doubt it, since most of the knowledge here
comes from books, lectures, fancy words, and some memorization
yet, the fear of life is so palpable, it makes my skin crawl

The foolishness became too apparent when I got attacked
OK, so it happens in the best of families, yet they are usually smarter
rule number one on the street, or if you want to get fancy
in military training, or martial arts, or whatever you want
you never move a finger against somebody you don’t know

So, like children all too eager to run to the finish line
the bullies came against me, not knowing who I was
the noise was apparent, the hatred was the dressing to give it a little taste
the taste was bitter, the mirrors too obvious for no one to see

The Tao Te King says the real warrior crosses the enemy lines
without anyone noticing that he has gone through
the enemy doesn’t know where he is, could he be the enemy within?
that’s the only one holding me down, if that’s the case

Whatever happened has been my own creation, as the physicists say
I accept responsibility for it all, yet I do have to change my ways
so, going underground is one step
another is changing the way I talk and the topics I use
they are definitely not the proper ingredients for a wholesome atmosphere

Oh, so much to learn, so much to change, so little time, so much pressure
yet, one day I’ll be able to go home and tell my mother
that all her efforts weren’t in vain, they did pay off
I’ll say, «momma, can you see how White I look, I talk, I walk?»

And her eyes, full of tears going down her cheeks, will look at me
in the way that only she can do, and she’ll tell me:
«my son, you have made us proud, you almost look like if you were from there»
we’ll embrace, savoring the moment of the first family member to be a proper man