WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE WHITE AND POOR
Compared to plenty of the world, I am still rich. I have some food in the fridge and a place to sleep at night. I have a job and the potential to be able to pay off all my debt and not file for bankruptcy like both my parents and older brother had to. Although I live significantly below the poverty line, I am rich in these ways and that I will never forget.
Most of my friends are richer. Rich in the way that their parents pay for their rent, their college education, in essence, their ease of life. They work part-time jobs to buy nice things such as brand name clothing and food. They are richer than I am, but by no means are most rich.
When you're white and poor people often get confused. They mistake your thrift-shop wardrobe as your own personal style as if when given the choice of nice well-made designer clothing one would still choose Goodwill. They mistake the phrase 'I'm poor' to mean 'I don't want to dip into my giant savings fund' when in actuality there is no savings fund and poor means a maxed out credit card, an empty gas tank, and $15 until the next paycheck.
When you're white and poor one can usually rise above the stereotype of 'poor'. This opens the door to multiple opportunities that non-whites never get which I am both aware, and thankful for. The magic of credit cards and no savings account allows one to appear wealthy and masks the stress of 100k in debt and constant financial insecurity. Poor people have to master the strategic manipulation of both time and money to survive.
Being white and poor is like being repeatedly punched in the face. It's never going to kill you, but it will be a painful experience forever.