Letter: Brief glances and snap judgments

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Editor of the Reformer:

Biking north of town Tuesday morning (June 30) on Route 30, I was passed by people in two different cars who slowed, shouted something at me, and gave me the finger. Why? I was well within the bike lane, minding my own business. Did my bright shirt act like a red flag to a bull? Was it National Flip Off a Bicyclist Day? Was it just young men (yes, men in both cases) being annoying? Or did they assume that because I was on a bike, I'm some kind of East Coast elitist liberal? Did my riding a bike threaten their political identity? Then it occurred to me that if I'm treated like this — with a snap judgment based on a brief glance — is that what it's like to be driving, or jogging, or just existing while black?

Julian Gerstin

Brattleboro, June 23

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