Yesterday morning, I was profiled.
Yes, believe it or not, in Cat Spring, TX; population 75; after having lived here for nine years, I was still profiled.
I was in the midst of my morning workout, about half-way through my cool down, walking around the block. A grey, Lexus SUV was driving through the neighborhood. I recognized the vehicle. I had seen it numerous times driving by my home. I nearly always wave at whoever is driving. Apparently, the driver didn't recognize me.
He slowed down to a crawl as he observed me and my behavior.
I processed what was going on. I knew exactly what was going on.
Our paths actually would intersect in just a few moments. He continued driving very, very slowly toward me. I kept walking.
I noticed the driver roll down his window--perhaps to get a better look? As we passed one another, I raised my hand in that friendly gesture called a wave. I said, "Good morning."
Recognition came to his face then. He knew who I was. He returned the greeting, and proceeded merrily on his way.
What would cause him to profile me in such a manner--especially when he had seen me numerous times before?
Well, I wasn't exactly dressed like I normally dress.
You see, when I work out in the morning, I have some general workout attire: shorts, sleeveless shirt, socks and tennis shoes. However, there are a couple of accessories as well. I wear a bandanna around my head to stave off the copious amounts of sweat which begin pouring off my forehead. I also wear a set of black workout gloves as I incorporate push ups into my routine (it's on asphalt which is murder on the bare hands). I am sure the sight of me walking around in Cat Spring in such a manner is a bit outside the norm.
It obviously was for the driver in the grey SUV, and I don't blame him for profiling me. He's being neighborly. He's helping to make sure his community is safe. He recognizes when things seem a bit out of the ordinary.
And why do you think I reacted in a friendly manner? Would have it been appropriate for me to address him and say, "What's the deal slowing down and looking at me like that? You got a problem?" I surely could have, but what would that have accomplished?
Cordiality, civility, friendliness, neighborliness. Important attributes when living in a community together and seeking the greater good.