Monday, December 10, 2012

Life After Hate

The former white supremacist said:

“A man who I used to be
walked into a Sikh temple,
murdered six people,
because they had brown skin,
because they wore turbans on their head.”

The man felt
the weight of responsibility.
He had not pulled the trigger,
but he had helped to create
an environment of hate.

The man founded
one of the largest white power groups
in the country,
but the man left the movement
to work for the group, Life After Hate.

The man has
Swastikas tattooed on his arm
now covered up with other ink,
but they can not be erased.

The former white supremacist said:

“Hate was something I was good at.
I hadn’t been good at anything before.
I was good at fighting;
I was good at hating.
I was consumed by hate…
      and by fear.
It was a terrible way to live.”

The man changed his ways—
dedicating himself to opposing
the hatred
he once embraced.

The man is Arno Michaelis who had been the lead singer of the white power band, Centurion.  He tours with Pardeep Kaleka, the son of one of the men murdered during the killing at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin  last August. Together they hope to teach people to turn away from hate.   

© 2012 Catherine Giordano

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