“Are you a teacher?”
The Uber driver had looked at me in the rearview and asked the question.
“No, but everybody asks me that. Must be the cat’s eye glasses,” I said. “I did teach ESL years ago.”
“Really? How’s my English?” he asked.
“Not bad,” I said.
“I’ve only been here four years and I’m always trying to improve my English.”
“You’re doing fine,” I told him.
He said, “It’s more important than ever to blend in. Trump is making my life harder.” He felt the difference in the last year in the way people look at him, talk to him. “They think I’m here to cause chaos. I’m just trying to feed my family, y’know?”
Just like everybody else.
Last week in the news, police in Nice, France, were filmed forcing a Muslim woman wearing a burkini to disrobe on the beach while other sunbathers watched. A person on the scene said that some even applauded. A local official said that if people don’t feel safe, or are offended by someone’s outfit, it needs to be addressed. It’s a risk to public order, he said.
Thong bikinis and speedos are okay, but a fully-covered woman is a public crisis.
But what I want to know is this: what’s the difference between a burkini and a scuba suit?
Everybody has biases. One of mine concerns t.v. reporters wearing casual clothes. It seems every female reporter is wearing a tank dress to show her toned arms, and every male reporter on a news scene is wearing skinny jeans. You’d think they just came from a nightclub!
Of course, I know it’s just a matter of taste, and it’s my own hang-up. No need to hassle them, as happened when this weather reporter was told while live on-the-air that she needed to cover herself up.
Just as the Uber driver profiled me as a teacher, we can choose to view others through the filter of faith. Ah! Another blessed, beloved child of God on the road of life.
And maybe, just for today, the fashion police can take the day off.