Super response! I'm glad you like the article. Means the world to me!
I resonate with what you are saying here and in your other comments. Believe me, I have much more to say about the topic, but I cut a bunch of opinions out because I don't want to polarize the readers, who then turn their brains off and miss my point.
My overarching point is that we must look in the mirror and change ourselves before we have the right to speak into someone else's life or community. And I did find ugliness in what I saw in the mirror. No one will ever solve the poverty problem, but we can improve our communities if we stop blaming everyone for our problems. We don't need a scapegoat, just a mirror.
No, I have never been overtly racist or bigoted on the surface, but we all (black, brown, yellow, and white) fall somewhere on the spectrum. I certainly have matured over time as I've learned more about the world around me. And, yes, I did experience clear racism towards me in Compton, but not nearly to the degree I accused them of in my mind before going there.