Hatred Unlearned

Last Saturday, I was driving past the synagogue on my way home from my morning run. There was an armed guard, helping the older residents of the neighborhood coming to worship cross the road. This armed guard was always a weird sight. There was the pleasant wave of familiar strangers, but the imagery still provoked me. When I got home I saw the news. Apparently some extremists had called for a national day of hatred against Jews.. I ain’t making this sh#$t up.

I brought back memories of conversations I had with an elderly Jewish colleague. Bill and I had a shared a love for Mel Brooks comedies, and he was always a huge fan of my writing. Before he had died last year, he had opened my eyes to so many subtle ways that society implements to divide us. I wrote this poem to honor his insights.

Hatred Unlearned

There’s so much programming right out of the gate,
Things they teach you that promotes hate.
Some things are so blatant they don’t even bother to hide,
They just created a system of apartheid
Sometimes we use God to give our hatred a nod
If you altered your thinking, they’d use a cattle prod.

If we just need a cry of commonality
Don’t forget we all hate Russians and Chinese
It’s okay to dislike the commies and fascists,
But something’s are too close to home, so let’s go a bit easy on slavers and racists.
An opinionated mind upsets the ruling class
Learn to color within the lines, or forever be an outcast.
As you get older and wiser, xenophobia is as old as time
The reality hits you, this stuff blows your mind

I was taught red, yellow, black or white,
All were precious in the mighty God’s sight
But even then, the programming taught me to differentiate,
flip a switch I would be so easy to discriminate,
Its subliminal, subtle, and so deviously intricate
I got friends who never saw my nationality, sexuality, class or color,
I love them as much as I do sisters or brothers
Maybe that’s what they ought to teach you coming out of the gate
Instead of erasing the natural love that’s most innate

2 responses to “Hatred Unlearned”

  1. Of course no reasonable personal would disagree with this. Beautifully written, Nigel.

    Sadly, incidents of antisemitism are on the rise in the USA.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Its sad..crazy… annoying. I lose my mind when I hear people try to rationalize their hate. Thanks for reading and giving feedback David.

      Liked by 1 person

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March 2023
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