I got a call from my boss at my second job, telling me that a recent background check told him my license had been suspended. This was news to me, so I went to my state’s BMV page and looked it up. My license was suspended because, according to the BMV, I failed to provide proof of insurance after a minor accident. This means, according to the Indiana BMV, that I was an uninsured driver at the time.
This is absolutely, 100% false. I was in a minor accident on October 5th, and it was my fault: I backed into another car after finishing a delivery. HOWEVER. I provided every identifying document AND proof of insurance, which was not only active, but paid out for the accident. I even admitted fault on the record. I literally tore the piece of paper with my proof of insurance in half (it’s one of those that prints the card out in quadruple) and handed it to the officer, saying, “Here is my proof of insurance, from [insurance company]. Keep it for your records. I have another card in my glove compartment.”
And when I called the BMV and pointed all of this out? They told me to contact my insurance provider for a certificate of compliance. Otherwise, I have to wait until April 3rd and pay $250. For following the law.
I guarantee that if I were making $75,000 a year and driving a new Forester, that didn’t have a cracked front bumper (from an accident, btw, where the other driver drove the fuck off after hitting not only me, but a breaker box and causing a grid to be temporarily knocked out), my license would never have been suspended. But no; I make barely $27,000 a year, drive a 10-year-old car that looks ten years old, and I’m in the service industry. So, in spite of me following the law to the letter, I’m being punished, and if I have to drive somewhere before my COC gets processed, I could face jail time. If you’re in my position or similar, you really can’t win in this shithole country, no matter what you do.
Oh, and since when was my license suspended? January 3rd. I had no idea about this until TODAY. Six weeks after. No notice, no letter, no call, no email, nothing. It’s not like the BMV doesn’t have literally all of my contact information, so there’s no reason at all I shouldn’t have known and been able to contest it sooner.¹
And you know what, thank blob I’m white and don’t have kids, because that’s probably the only reason I haven’t been pulled over and arrested since my license was suspended.
Take this poor woman, who was arrested for leaving her kids while she went to work her shift at a restaurant. First of all, do you think white mothers aren’t leaving their kids home alone sometimes? Because they are, but no one is out there trying to ruin their lives, because they’re white. But no, this woman is black and works a minimum-wage, service sector job, so she must be up to no good and we must put her in jail! And then turn around and blame her for being a criminal, since this charge would go on her permanent record and jeopardize her ability to get a job in the future!
And if I may ask, when did being a latchkey kid become a crime? I was a latchkey kid, and I didn’t burn the house down. Most of my friends were latchkey kids, and we all survived! I came home, did my homework, and read/watched TV/played video games (when my also-latchkey brother would let me). All the latchkey kids I knew did that. I get that it’s generally a good idea for kids to have some type of supervision, but it’s not always possible or practical. Especially during a pandemic, which has hit low-income POC the hardest. And I’m not even close to sorry, but a 10-year-old is perfectly capable of being left alone, especially if the mother had someone checking on the kids periodically. I guarantee the 10-year-old knew to call her mother if anything happened, and probably to call her once in a while anyway, just to let her mom know that everything was okay.
Two. Justice. Systems. One for rich white people, one for everyone else. There’s nothing fair or blind about American justice.
Now, let me be clear: If this woman had left her kids alone to go out and party, then I’d have a problem with her. If she had left her kids alone to go out and score some drugs, I’d have a problem with her. If she’d left the kids alone to go out and have sex, well, I’d understand, but I’d still have a problem with her. But she left to go to work, and she had someone checking in on the kids. There was no reason to arrest her. I feel so badly for her, because she’s just trying to do the right thing for herself and her kids. I sincerely hope that her GoFundMe has made her enough to hire an excellent lawyer, or that at least, the attention this case is getting will force Trumbull County to drop the charges against her. I don’t want her to be another Sandra Bland.
¹Before anyone makes this comment: NO, I WOULD NOT
SUPPORT PRIVATIZING THE BMV. I am absolutely, 100% fine with anyone who has a driver’s license being in a federal database. I have actually said to people in my offline life that car insurance should also be handled by the government, since it would make it easier for truly dangerous drivers to be taken off the road, instead of skipping around from private insurance company to private insurance company and being given infinite chances. DO NOT SUGGEST PRIVATIZING THE BMV, I WILL NOT AGREE WITH IT. I’m just pissed that they didn’t do their due diligence and punished me for something I didn’t do.
Last updated February 18, 2021