I think I understand why rednecks become terrorists
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A little reading soundtrack. Lupe Fiasco – American Terrorist
Again it’s that time of the year to renew my car insurance and being that we’re in a recession, a brother’s gotta try to squeeze a few cents here and there. So today I call a few insurance companies to see if I can get a better rate on my home-owner’s and car insurance. I get a great quote from one broker so I give him my driver’s license number to make it official. He calls back a few minutes later to tell me that everything is good with my driving record but that my license has been suspended. Since November 28… 2007! WTF? So I’m mad distracted as he’s giving me some other information, trying to imagine how the fuck it’s possible that my license is suspended.
So it’s time to call the NY State DMV to find out what the problem is. I live in Brooklyn so I get my fair share of parking tickets but I’ve either beat ’em or paid ’em all… And I can’t remember the last time I got a moving violation – ‘cept getting snapped turning on a red at Flatbush and Bergen last December. When traffic’s bad, you’ll spend days trying to turn at that corner and there’s no turning arrow. It’s a fucked up spot for a camera. Bitchasses. And I paid that ticket! … Anyway… After ringing every number in NYC for DMV call-centers and finding out that they’re all closed for renovations, I reach one in Upstate NY. I burn at least 5 minutes going through their automated system to figure out what department can best help me, en Inglés. Then after 20 minutes on hold, a woman comes on the line and after I explaining that I need to find out what’s up with my license, she akses me “Can you please repeat yo’self, I didn’t understand your name.” Then she tells me that I reached the wrong department and she transfers me. After another 10 minutes on hold, the next woman tells me that the Nassau County Parking and Traffic Violations Agency suspended my license, but she couldn’t see why.
Now armed with a violation ticket number and a telephone number, I call the NAMBLA NCPTVA. So I spend another 15 minutes on hold to get to an operator because the automated options never match what the fuck I’m looking for and I reach a woman who tells me that my driver’s license was suspended because I failed to appear in court after being citing for not having proper insurance documentation on my person….. On April 4…. 1998. I shit you not. Nineteen fucking ninety eight! The irony of the insurance shit comes full circle. Especially since the broker told me that the suspension wasn’t insurance related. So now I’m distracted again not just because I don’t remember when I was ever stopped without my insurance papers, but I can’t even remember where I was living at the time. I mean it took them 9 and half years to suspend my license? That’s on some simmering revenge, plotted by a jilted psycho type shit. So I ask her “What do we need to do to take care of this?” and she tells me that I gotta appear in court in Hempstead, LI to meet with a judge and prosecutor. Roffle. Not really.
The most vexing part of this isn’t that I spent a good part of my afternoon just trying to figure out why my license was suspended, it’s that they suspended my shit and no one let me know. And you know, in NYC, if you’re pulled over with a suspended license, your ass is going to jail… Central Booking, bitch! I’ve spent much of my life as straight and narrow as possible, not because I’m a do-gooder or I plan to run for public office. I’ve tried my best to stay out of jail just like this dude from The Boondocks:
Don’t get me wrong… I handle mine on the streets. But I know that I will not last a fucking minute in anybody’s jail. [||] just in case. And I’m thinking about how fortunate I am that I’ve driven in a few states including fucking Texas with a suspended driver’s license and never got pulled over. Being a black man, it’s a damn miracle. But how the fuck does someone go a year and a half without being notified that his license is suspended? I mean, about a year ago, I renewed my insurance and they didn’t know? Plus I got that fucking robot camera ticket. Couldn’t someone have told me?
It’s fucking big government bureaucracy… or maybe not. I mean, when I get a parking ticket and I don’t pay on time, the city sends me a notice that I’m late and I now owe them X dollars plus ka-ching more. So why couldn’t the state DMV notify people when their shit is twisted? Maybe they (the government) really does want you to get pulled over and go to jail so that you can pay them X more dollars plus court fees plus money to reinstate your license plus all kinds of other bullshit fees they make up to squeeze money out of you and get you in “the system”. It’s shit like this that gets redneck right-wingers going. It’s the shit like this that Jindal PU~ed on about after Obama’s address to congress. He said something about big government, right?
I see government as a necessity but sometimes they can really fuck your ass up and as it turns out, that fucking could be literal.
Right wingers and fringe-ists see government as a menace and look for any reason to bear arms against their “oppressors” (more on that tomorrow).
I do know that if I’d ended up in jail over this little bullshit and if I’d been driving alone with my daughter and she’d been taken into ACS custody, I could see myself wanting to go Timothy McVeigh or Michael Douglas from Falling Down out this motherfucker.
I don’t know if Barack Obama would have anything to say about this, but I’m writing to my local congressperson to see if peoples can be notified if their drivers license credentials ain’t up to snuff… Which will of course will mean more government oversight and responsibility and bureaucracy, but to me it only makes sense. I might post a follow-up after I shlep my ass to Hempstead and take care of this.