A moving video of a Chicago homeless man has called for people to redefine their views and stereotypes of homelessness.
“I’m not a bum,” said Ronald Davis, who was living on the streets of Chicago when this video was taken last year. “No matter what people think about me, I know I’m a human first. And just ’cause I’m down on my luck don’t give nobody no excuse to call me no bum. Because I’m not.”
In the video, while Davis is getting interviewed, he tears up when he talks about how people treat him on the street, explaining that getting a job isn’t easy for homeless people who don’t have a clean appearance or a phone to get in contact with any potential employers.
“It’s really humiliating to be shaking a cup 24 hours a day and people looking at you like you’re some kind of bum,” Davis explains. “I have people who walk past me and say ‘Get a job, bum.’ And I say, ‘wait a minute, I’m not a bum, I’m a human being.’”
The stigmas associated with homelessness — that they are potentially dangerous, on drugs, or lazy — have drastically hurt others like Davis who are looking for a little respect.
“I just feel so bad that I can’t be going home,” Davis said, apologizing to person behind the camera as he tears up more. “It’s really emotional because I’m really trying to get myself together and get off this street.”
Watch the video below: