We Shouldn’t Talk About This…Part 2 (Cars)

First let’s start with the vehicles you own. If you look in the poor communities, you do see some gas guzzling vehicles. Partly because they are glamorized, but partly because they are the cheaper option. If you are looking at buying an older model car, because you’re too poor to afford a brand new one, then you will have a better chance of buying the cars no one wants. And while sometimes this may just end up with you having a Ford Fiesta, other times it means having an SUV in 2015 that has 15MPG. So immediately, you can be sure that the person who owns this car will pay more for gas. Then there are the roads that this person drives on. Being from a poor neighborhood that has less visits from DOT than the more affluent communities, means that there will be more wear on the car. Anyone who has driven in a zig zag pattern that looks like you’re drunk at 4PM knows that sometimes you can get to one side or the other and bypass these money pits.

Then you have the availability of business. If you have to drive 10 miles out to use a bank or shop at a strip mall, you have to spend more gas money. If the area you live in is not well lit, you’re more likely to get that gas guzzler stolen. It is very clear that more cops on the road does not make a neighborhood safer, it’s the lights. Now, you may say an area like Beverly Hills or Palos Verdes is not well lit, but the areas around them are. Keep the rift raft to the next town and your town will be safe. How about the insurance? Live in an area where there is low income families and crime is high? Then you have to pay more for insurance.

Also, while you’re out late at night trying to find a bank to deposit money to pay for your high insurance in your crappy car, get ready to get a bright light shinned in your face. These are not the type of lights I was talking about that help make your neighborhood a safer place. These are the GTFO lights. Get The Fuck Out! These are the lights I get when I drive in a nice community because my car looks like it wouldn’t be owned by the people who live there. How do I know this? Well, one way to tell is that if I am driving a friend’s car or have friends who do not have crappy cars, they are not flashed. The other is the immediate question, “What are you doing here?” Cops never think I live in the neighborhood I am in and if I am visiting a friend they may be going that way too.

There is a reason why garages and tire shops do so well in low income communities. It’s not because that’s where the mechanics happen to live, it’s because that’s where the majority of the customers are. I know many mechanics and shop owners. I know the guys who live in the better neighborhood than they work because they have a steady customer base. You have a perfect formula with people who are ignorant about cars, plus a community that cannot afford top of the line cars.

Now when I talk about a shitty car, I don’t mean: your Corolla doesn’t come with tint or aux link. No, I mean you bought it with a dent, primer and rust. I mean the bumper is hanging lower than it should. I’m talking air conditioning is just a hand crank away, if you drive fast enough. I’m sorry if mom and dad thought THEY SHOULD BUY YOU a “beater car” so you can “learn to appreciate” a bone stock civic. But if you’re working on your car for fun and not because there is a definite burning oil smell coming out of the engine, you have a bit of privilege.

It’s not your fault, there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, just realize that there are some people out there that could use a DOT that will fix pot holes in EVERY community, road work shouldn’t take that long in ANY community, and no matter who you are, properly inflated tires can save money and lives.