American white people who grew up in the "ghetto" or "hood", what was that like, and how did your upbringing shape the way you think about race relations and politics today?

I am the only white person in my neighborhood in Oakland— of, say 100 people on my block. I did not grow up here, but I can tell you, yes. Being a minority, the minority has made a small difference in my thinking. The biggest difference, though, is now all my friends are black. And you know what? I’ll never, ever “get it.” I’ll never know what made them the individuals they are. What I can get is, that we love each other, laugh at each other’s jokes, eat each other’s casseroles when a family member dies, share each other’s playlists— the kid upstairs with the dreads turned me onto Gustav Mahler, and are humans, bonded together.

/r/AskMen Thread