I have lived in California and Florida, in primarily black neighborhoods, that's how I learned my impoverished life was something that was most common among people of color. Section 8 Housing, Food Stamps, and other Welfare were common in these neighborhoods as well, with the Government always looking for excuses to take it away or even their children. I learned from these people, their first-hand experiences, the demons that lurked in the foster care system and government, and I also learned… they were going to have to make a hell of a fight to get out.
"Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings." - Nelson Mandela
As I got older, I made friends with and dated many people of color, hey always seemed more understanding of the plight so that made me intellectually stimulated. Bouncing ideas on how to make things better in their worlds, what I could to do to help how people viewed others, and our ideas on why the world was the way it was. All this time, I knew I had some sort of White Privilege, it just wasn't called this back then. So, I made it my personal duty to do what I could when I could.
"Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community." Anthony J. D'Angelo
I made it my personal duty to react when people of color were treated poorly especially when their actions were no worse than someone else's. I have always treated people with courtesy, I don't understand everyone's life and don't need to, to remain pleasant. White families refusing to stand next to people of color in lines, and me having to cut in front of them and make a verbally displeasing remark about them being racist. Or HAVING TO correct a cashier's behavior when they are sweet to the white woman but not the person of color that comes after.
"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." Moshe Dayan
But now? People of color don't look me in the eye unless they've known me for a while. That means strangers, people just doing their jobs in public, are afraid to make eye contact with me. I used to work out, but I am not brutally fit, and I'm always smiling I like it when people smile back, and I'm one of the least threatening people you'll ever meet.
"For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." Eleanor Roosevelt
It kills me that people of color are afraid to SMILE, to do their jobs, to live their lives doing what every White person does every day. If you don't see this problem? Then you ARE the problem. People are dying just because you're uncomfortable with their skin tone. My skin literally crawls, knowing that people are standing up for themselves and they are just put through more.
I am not Black, but I HEAR you.
I am not Black, but I STAND with you.
I am not Black, but I will MOURN with you.
I am not Black, but I will SHOUT with you.
"A riot is the language of the unheard." Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tell me, what exactly needs to be said for you to be convinced that these atrocities are not just the media gone wild? Do you need to speak to someone personally? You don't need to relate. You just need to believe it's happening. How the hell else are we to make a change?