D.W.B. (Driving While Bitter)
Earlier this week rapper 2 Chainz was arrested for paraphernalia possession in Easton, the town where I work. The car he was driving was pulled over DWB in Easton. His driver happened to be going (as I understand it) 79 in a 55, and I’m sure there were a million reasons my DWB accusation doesn’t stick. Maybe the car had tinted windows. maybe they were overtaken from behind. But the fact that I can come up with reasons it wasn’t DWB is why I feel we have to talk about it.
Without getting too confessional, I drive like a jerk some of the time. My rules of the highway are simple, if you’re going to be in the fast lane you must be prepared to drive 20 miles over the speed limit. For example: if you’re doing 65 in a 55 and I come up behind you and you don’t immediately move, you are being an inconsiderate jerk and I reserve the right to hate you with all the power I can muster, depending on my mood.
A world where DWB exists makes me prejudiced at best and racist at worst because, under the previous scenario if you are a black man under 60, I don’t feel comfortable being pissed at you. That it, I want to hate you, but I worry the driver is marginally obeying the speed limit for fear of getting pulled over.
“But wait, Tony,” you say. “Other people could be obeying the speed limit because they don’t want to get pulled over.”
True but cops don’t tend to check for the odor of marijuana when they pull me. My stuff never gets searched and more times than not, I’m given a warning and sent on my way in minutes.
For this white guy (and I’m sure for most) the experience of getting pulled over, while humiliating, is less unpleasant than for a black guy. I have to deal with the obsequious “Sir”-ing and passive-aggressive bullying of troopers, but I know when I get pulled over, there is no misunderstanding that is going to end with me being gunned down. I am not going to be arrested for “resisting arrest” during a traffic stop. If I get pulled on a phantom brake-light-out-violation, as long as I’m not obviously drunk, I know I’ll be back on my way in minutes.
Here in the South especially, a black guy my age couldn’t write the above paragraph. He frankly risks more than I when he chooses to speed.
That doesn’t make him not in my way as I go cruising along on my very important errands. Until DWB stops being a real problem, I cannot enjoy hating slow drivers who happen to be black. As an American, it is my God given right to be able to do whatever I want and hate whomever I want on whatever reasons I make up.
By behaving differently to drivers of different races, the police are infringing upon my right to hate everyone equally. That makes it a First Amendment issue. Anyone interested in joining my “Right to hate blacks equally on the road” class action suit against the police, should email me.
Otherwise, they should get out of my way.
Also in this week’s Todcast: Dinner at the Globe, Todd Man Out and a Gentleman’s Club preview. Take a listen…