What If You Had A Stressful Day?

If you’re like me, you can take the opportunity when you write to let go of the stress you experienced in a different situation. Or you can talk about it and work through it in an exercise like this.

I’m looking to just move on in my writing right now.

Rain is coming soon or so we’re told. Are you ready for inclement weather?

What does it mean to get ready for a rainy day?

I’ve been using Prosper.com for over 2 1/2 years and getting around 12%. That’s certainly one way to save for a rainy day.

What else?

I guess writing as much as possible while the spirit moves you is another way to put stuff away for a “rainy” day. Store up all those words for potential dry spells.

Oh, heck…I guess this isn’t sufficient for me tonight.

I’m fighting a ticket and I want to pay attention to the experience. I want to learn something and see if it will be of value to other people. Today cost me about 4 hours.

I did spend some of that time reading so I guess that means 3 1/2 hours. It can be discouraging to wait outside a courtroom and take a ticket and wait for them to call your name so you can get a piece of paper that let’s you come back after a quick lunch to wait in line to enter a courtroom to tell the commissioner “Not Guilty” and then be assigned a date that you don’t pick when you can come back and make a case. Whew.

I noticed that only about a quarter of those waiting were caucasian and I wondered what that meant. I do know that our county is probably majority white, so that means a disproportionate share of minorities were waiting here with me.

Is that evidence of discrimination based on race? Maybe. Or maybe many people chose to simply pay their fines. If we assume that the proportion of different races who received traffic violation tickets is the same as the surrounding society, what would account for the disparity in the room I was in.

Perhaps it was random, but this seems unlikely as there were over 100 people there. If many people who chose to pay their fines and not show up here and we assume that at least some of that is due to their ability to pay, maybe this could be discrimination against those of lower income. Or both that and racial discrimination.

One of the problems is when you look at a situation like this it can be difficult to determine causation instead of correlation.

Did you know that when ice cream use goes up, heroin use goes up? It’s true. There is a correlation between ice cream consumption and heroin use. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

The thing is, so many people don’t understand correlation. You COULD have one thing CAUSING another with correlation. BUT, you could also have another factor or factors causing both original phenomena.

In the case of ice cream and heroin, you have to look at what causes both of those things. What causes ice cream consumption to go up and heroin use to go up. The answer is hot weather.

So, while some people would jump to the conclusion -wrongly- that ice cream consumption causes heroin use or vice-versa, what is really driving both is hot weather.

When it’s hot, people buy more ice cream AND they buy more heroin. Not necessarily the same people. 😉

However, if you look at the racial makeup of my county, it does seem likely that traffic citations fall disproportionately on nonwhites.

Some prejudiced people might conclude that nonwhites have more trouble obeying laws and they might go even further and decide that it’s just “the way they’re wired.”

Someone else might more reasonably conclude that there is something about the way law enforcement does its job that leads to more people of color getting tickets.

This could be unconscious behavior or conscious behavior.

Also, I don’t hold this out as the definitive conclusion. I simple see it as more realistic than simply blaming a group of people based upon their race.

Could it also be about income level? IF, and I’m not sure if this is true or not, but if more nonwhites fall into lower income categories in my county, then it could simply be about income level.

So, if society at large discriminates based on race systemically and that leads to nonwhites having lower income levels on average, that would be one form of discrimination. Then, it could be that law enforcement is not discriminating based on race, but that they DO discriminate based on income. That would seem to be systemic also because it’s not like they pull you over and ask how much you make.

On the other hand, it could be that there is discrimination based on income in a certain range. I have heard that police are less likely to pull over someone who is driving a really crummy-looking vehicle because they are not likely to have the funds to pay.

I can’t say for sure what is happening here, but if I had my choice I would bet on mostly racial discrimination. Because, unlike people who are prejudiced based on race, I do NOT believe that there is something inherently “off” or “wrong” about nonwhites that would lead them to behave “badly” in a disproportionate manner.

I do KNOW that it seems like there is SOMETHING going on when 75% of the people in that room were not caucasian. I don’t know the racial makeup of my county absolutely for sure, but I know that it is significantly more white than 25%.

I mean, where DO all those Republicans come from?!

I would like to remind you that this is a writing exercise and I am very tired right now. Having a hard time keeping my eyes open, actually. I think it’s important to write and write as often as possible most of the time. This is how we get out the stuff that’s clogging the flow.

Someone asked me the other day and I compared it to a beer. I’m getting rid of the head of the beer right now. I am sorry if anything I say offends anyone, but I believe that not censoring yourself in this process is important. Or at least, not censoring much.

Honestly, in case there are some prejudiced people out there who aspire to be writers and want to do an exercise like this, maybe you could write about elephants and flowers and our solar system.

OK. I’m starting to become less intelligible.

When I get done with this court process I hope to have some helpful hints for beating a ticket. Or maybe I’ll just have some good stories about people I meet. You never know.

I do know that I have rights and it does feel good even though it can be uncomfortable. That is, it feels good to exercise my rights and to defend myself instead of just taking it from the system.

You could do worse than following my example. Ex


One response

  1. Okay, sounds like you’ve got a good rant going on. I’m going to have to read back through it, but just wanted to point out that people who stop their addiction to drugs and alcohol tend to replace it with LOTS of ice cream.

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