I just watched the movie Erasing Hate. See the following trailer…
At first I was almost immediately turned off as I couldn’t shake the feeling of it being SPLC propaganda. I also get perturbed by the word “hate” being thrown around the way it does now days, although in this movie I realized it’s appropriate. But, it kind of brought up a lot of feelings about my own past and things that I still struggle with.
No, I’ve never been a Nazi skinhead, or even a hard-core outspoken racist. But, as mentioned in previous posts (like Hiter hiding behind the door and Mama tried), my mom was what was referred to as a “Featherwood”. Her penchant for convicts led to me having numerous white power “step-fathers” in the house, and being exposed to this ideal.
[Note: I would like to say one thing about many of these “prison Nazi’s” of both genders: Most people don’t understand the racial politics of survival in penal institutions. I refuse to judge any of these individuals, including my own mother, because I understand why they did what they did. No I have never done time in a state correctional institute, but I believe what I’ve been told.]
Anyway, overall I did appreciate the movie for Brian’s experience. It was rather interesting to see a physical representation of the undoing of one’s past. But, it was a real ride to watch his physical and emotional transformation. Granted, he had already left the lifestyle, but the tattoo removal brought up old feelings that were discussed on film.
There is a part of the film where Brian says (heavily paraphrased):
I did so much bad shit to people that didn’t even deserve it that I can’t forgive myself. I know it says in the Bible that you have got to forgive yourself because God forgives you. I may be forgiven by him, but I am having a hard time forgiving myself for all the bad shit I have done.
He then goes on to mention that over time it’s no longer angering, or nauseating to him, but rather it is just disappointing. That right there hits the nail on the head and that is where it kind of started tugging at my own emotions. As he said, he knows he is forgiven, but he can’t forgive himself. It is amazing that years later, the regret and shame you can be flooded with for something that you’ve done in your past.
I used to jokingly say “it is better to regret something you did do, than something you didn’t do.” Now I can honestly say that is flat out a load of crap. It’s something that youngsters say to excuse their behavior. Ask any old dude that believed that way when they were young and have later experienced major positive changes in their life and I bet they’ll also agree to it being bovine splatter.