Part of a new conceptual series entitled "Being Controversial Gets You Noticed".
I live in the suburbs and I work downtown. In order to get from where I live to where I work and back, I have two basic choices. Choice one is take the freeway which is overcrowded, plagued with construction (thanks to the Marquette Interchange Project
), and has enough bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic to remind me of the opening scenes of Office Space
. Choice two is to drive through the ghetto and negotiate the maze of roads and try to remember which bridge got blown up last week and which one was just reopened. Being the Engineer that I am, I've tried both trying to find the optimal drive into work. Sometimes choice one is better, and sometimes its choice two. Choice two scares the shit out of me.
Before you stop reading and call me a racist... allow me to tell you why it doesn't scare me. It's not all the black people. I could care less. I don't have a fear of being shot (though maybe I should after writing this post). Carjackings don't worry me (do they happen in Milwaukee?). Plain and simple, I'm afraid I'm more likely to get into an accident driving through the ghetto than any other place. From purely anecdotal evidence alone, I am convinced that poor people are worse drivers than more affluent people.
Before you stop reading and call me a classist, allow me to explain why I don't think this. It's not because many poor people are black, and all black people are bad drivers. White poor people are bad drivers too. It's not because poor people are stupid, and stupid people are bad drivers or something like that. Plain and simple, poor people have crappier things, and don't care about their things as much.
If you drive a crappy car, full of dents and scratches... really... what's one more? If you don't care about that one more dent, then why go to the effort of checking your blind spot before changing lanes? I see more people turning left from the right lane, and turning right from the left lane in the ghetto than anywhere else. I see more crappy looking cars cutting people off with no fear, or driving in non-existent lanes near the curb in the ghetto than anywhere else.
I on the other hand have a nice car, without any dings or scratches, and I'd like to keep it that way thank you very much. Every time I drive through those areas, I wonder if this will be the day I get into an accident when I see that junker blow through a red light right in front of me. That's why I hate driving through the ghetto.