I went to the drive through pharmacy tonight.
The pharmacist is a Muslim.
She was wearing her usual head scarf.
The pull-in is a circle so she can see the person waiting in line.
She caught my eye.
I was wearing my baseball cap, with brim forward like a white-boy.
Her look showed fear and uncertainty.
It made me realize she had been stared at, with words and cruelty thrown at her last few days. And maybe continually.
It was embarrassing that people in my town could act that way toward somebody.
It was equally embarrassing that she prejudged me by my age, dress, and appearance… just another french-fry-IQ white guy who will discuss the UT football game with equal vigor as shooting Muslims.
It was perplexing what I should say.
Of course after consuming a bit of caffeine en route, I was not my usual grump.... so I decided to be friendly and say nothing else.
You could see the immediate joy in her face.
Which was very sad if you think about who we are in this great nation.
On the way home I thought how this lady could have chosen not to wear the headscarf today.
But she wore it.
Yes. She decided to stand proud and be the person she is.
I wondered how many of us would be as brave.
Would we stop believing in freedom if someone threatened us?
Would we change and try to become someone else if we stood alone in the face of hatred?
Maybe I would.
I remembered a Black man telling me one time that every day he got up and looked in the mirror... he asked himself, why me?
That comment cut this country to the soul.
Then it occurred to me why terrorists want to bomb us.
Because it works. It reveals our true soul.
Yes Bin Laden is winning.
When they bomb us we start killing and hating Muslims.
But these people will not bow.
They will not take off the headscarf.
They want us to elect a war monger. They want us to single out Muslims.
They want us to attack mosques and start parading around in fear.
They win because we forget who we are ... but they never forget who they are.