I hear you, Darter. But many(not all) people live in poverty due to their own life choices. One can rise from extreme poverty to reasonable wealth with a little discipline. My father lived through the Great Depression and was dirt poor, never made more than a meager salary his entire life, but became a very wealthy man before he died. He lived a spartan existence his entire life. No matter how much money he had, you would think he was down to his last penny.
Many Americans today have no idea what it means to live without and to be really poor. Today I hear about "poor" hs football players weighing 300+ pounds. What's wrong with that picture? My father looked he was in a concentration camp as a teenager due to lack of food.
Never once in my life did I ever hear him complain about unequal distribution of wealth or be pissed about what the "other guy" had and he didn't. He returned to the States from war as a skeleton, yet never talked about what life owed him and how bad it sucked that he nearly lost his life in combat and did not have a pot to piss in while others who didn't had so much more.
So, what's the lesson here? I am convinced he was successful because he spent every ounce of his energy focusing on what he could do in life and did not waste any of his energy being envious of what others had, regardless of circumstances.
If our malaise were shared, I would not be pissed. But it is not. The maldistribution of wealth in contemporary USA, is off the charts. There are far fewer beggars on the streets of Shanghai or Bijing than they are in the USA. Of course, most people here don't realize this. But I have been fortunate enough to travel, and I have seen a lot.
No doubt we have problems. As Americans, we have incredibly high expectations out of life. Having spent time in other countries and seeing how simply some others live, I think at least part of our "misery" is our due to disappointment over the ways we think things "should" be. That's not to say what is going on in our country at this time is fair or right, but I come across a lot of miserable people who still have food on the table and a car in the driveway.
As I have gotten older, I have lowered my expectations and found myself to be a lot happier. That includes my expectation of people. We are all very flawed individuals. Getting outraged over the actions of others...I have to constantly remind myself how irrational it is to think that others are going to live by my standards and expectations. That is not to say that certain behaviors are not worthy of protest. But being in a constant stew over it does nothing but cause me to be miserable. Being in such a state of self-pity can cause me to be overly selfish, and miss those opportunities where I might truly be able to make a difference in the world..such as helping a brother or sister in need.
Ref, that is only part of the problem. A general frustration has been building within the country over at least the last 30-years of which what you refer to is only part of the issue. Wages for all working people have not kept pace with the cost of essential items, and good jobs with decent benefits have become increasingly scarce due to the de-industrialization of the country. While this may have affected people of color to a greater degree, it has affected all of working class America. Hence, the decline in expected life among the population in general.
I believe that the demonstrations reflect this in addition to the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mr. Floyd. The Coronavirus and our response has only exacerbated what has been brewing for a long time.