From the Editor

This law doesn’t apply to me (us)

People of privilege have a tendency to bend the rules.

From time to time we receive in our office news releases from Response Insurance of Meriden, Connec-ticut. They provide updates on current social behavior that affects the way insurance rates are set.

The most recent release from Response was a real eye-opener. Here’s some of what it said:

According to a national survey, some people try more aggressively than others to talk their way out of getting a ticket, once a law enforcement official has pulled them over. Who would you guess is on that list?

Answer: drivers with more money, more children, higher education, more testosterone — and maybe those who had been talking on cell phones at the time.

The survey revealed that 22% of men (only 13% of women) attempt to talk their way out of being issued a moving violation citation.

At the same time, 25% of drivers with incomes over $75,000 (only 16% of those making under $25,000) try to escape getting tickets when pulled over; 21% of drivers with children try it (while only 11% of single drivers do); and 20% of college educated people make the attempt (versus 10% of those with less than a high school diploma).
And, 19% of drivers who talk on cell phones while behind the wheel try to escape without a fine (among those without cell phones, the number is 14%).

Not long after receiving that news release, I was reminded again (because it’s an ongoing story in the news) that several well-heeled white college athletes enrolled at Duke University are fighting charges that they raped a black woman who came to entertain them at a party. Said a companion of the woman who claims to have been victimized, “It’s interesting that everybody in this town is scrambling to save the reputations of these boys from ‘good families’; if it had been black students and a white woman, guess how quick those boys would have ‘seen justice’!”

Most Lutherans I know are pretty well off. How often do we use our privileged status to escape consequences others can’t? What about us as a privileged nation?