Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I’ve had numerous people trying to give me advice 
I don’t ever listen and I don’t always turn them down nice 

Sometimes I cuss and pretend that I know it all

When I do I have no one to blame when I trip and fall 
I was told not to run with that crowd, that they were up to no good

And my “homies” left me bleeding when I got knifed in the hood

Why did the guy cut me? Because no gringo was going date his sister

Who knew cholos could be racist. That a Latina dating a gringo was sinister 
I learned that lesson the hard way, I fell hard and hit the floor

I picked myself up and decided I wouldn’t do that any more

I should’ve listened but I didn’t. I have no one to blame 

I consider the pain just payment for playing the game
Walking down the aisles of a grocery store just grabbing a few items

I was told I wasn’t supposed to shop there but when do I ever listen

I go to the cashier and he says no Spanish, no welcome in the store

I reply ¿cuánto cuestas?, he said no gringos and pointed to the door
I was told not to be in that part of town after dark

But I’m a hard headed guy whose name is Mark 

Walking back to my car I heard, “ what you doing here white boy” 

Three black men approach me spitting out racial slurs and say I’m going be their toy 

I ignore the taunts and run past them catching punches as I go 

A bottle hit me in the back, why the hatred for a stranger I’ll never know 
I learned that lesson the hard way, I fell hard and hit the floor

I picked myself up and decided I wouldn’t do that any more

I should’ve listened but I didn’t. I have no one to blame 

I consider the pain just payment for playing the game
You may be wondering what these experiences taught me

One thing I learned is that racism isn’t whites only

That we need more love and less hate on this planet 

I learned that racists have no place in my life and are as useful as a gnat   

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