As a teen, Ingrid Waldron knew she had a unique outlook on life. Raised in Montreal, she spent ages 11 through 15 with her family in Trinidad, where she witnessed empowered Black people in high-profile jobs.

She recalls having Black teachers surrounding her during her time in the Caribbean with the message of “you can do it.” But she knew the reality was much different for Black kids in Canada, in schools surrounded by White teachers telling them all the reasons they wouldn’t succeed at life.

But the time Waldron had in her early teens to develop a positive self-regard still didn’t protect her from how the outside world saw her.

Q: When you turn on the TV right now or read the news, what stories are you seeing and what messages are you hearing?
A: I see the same narrative that I always see when this happens, which is an unwillingness by media and government to look at the underlying issues. They look at the rioting without understanding why people are angry.

Unlike a lot of people, I believe White people know exactly why we’re angry. I think people are pretending not to understand. They have done that for decades.

I’m cognizant that Black people are hated in this world. Our very existence is considered problematic. As a Black person, I know what hate feels like.

Q: Do you see a relationship between the mechanisms behind police violence and environmental racism?
A: Black and Indigenous people are not on the minds of White people. The harms that come to us are not on the minds of White people.

Read the full article about environmental racism and police brutality by Carol Linnitt at YES! Magazine.