white privilege

White People: It’s Time to Change

A few years ago on my way home from work, I encountered a routine traffic stop in Williamsburg. I rolled down my window and the officer kindly said, “Good evening, license and registration please.”

My music was too loud to comfortably talk, so I reached forward and turned it down, mumbling a “Sorry.”

altonsterling

Alton Sterling, father of five children, was shot and killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“No problem. Just give me your license and registration, please.”

My license was three months expired and I had no idea what the penalty for this was. I’m an anxious person and started shaking. I did not want to go to jail. Sure, my husband would come get me, but still, it sounded awful. Cops didn’t really take people to jail over expired licenses, though, right? This would most likely end in an annoying citation, nothing worse.

I decided to get the registration first, as if the date on my license would magically change during the minute this would take. I opened my glove compartment and grabbed the thick black book filled with all of our important car-related papers, but fumbled and dropped it onto the passenger seat. Shaking worse, I brought it to my lap and flipped through it, pulling out my insurance card. (more…)