July 1st, 2016

me working and singing

Reregistering a car - #WhitePrivilege Experience

My husband did not get a notice that his registration expired. He didn't think anything of driving his car to the motor vehicle bureau with an expired registration as he was certain he'd be treated fairly in the unlikely case he got pulled over. It turns out it was because he changed his license plates and it's fairly typical for them to disconnect the license plate from the car owner. It's a convoluted governmental problem. They were very helpful there to him for this problem and walked him through how to rectify the problem. We expected hours of burearocracy and it wasn't that bad at all.

He would not even have known that there was a problem if our friend, who's African American, hadn't told us that the car registration had expired. We often let her borrow our cars and she said she wouldn't dare drive the car. She has great street-smarts. She said she knows cops look for license expiration and other small things to pull someone over... or at least pull someone over who's a person of color.

It may seem like a small experience, but it would be no small experience if the driver of our car was pulled over, harrassed, and maybe even arrested. We have not experienced anything like that since my husband was in college and was put in jail for not having enough money for paying a ticket after going to court for turning at a light from the lane instead of from the intersection. Our white privilege then was that he had friends at college who had money and could help him.

We need to unite against unfair police actions and stupid bureaurocracy and see that there is NO disparity between the treatment of black and white.