Two weeks ago (wearing jeans, Nikes, red peacoat & red beret):
I'm about to walk by a man downtown. I'm negotiating how far over on the sidewalk I need to go in order to give him enough room to feel comfortable. He has parcels on both sides of his body while I have some only on one side, so I cannot determine which side to switch to. As he comes closer, he changes the strap of his carryall from the free shoulder facing me to instead around his neck. I roll my eyes as he passes me.
About a week ago (wearing jeans, Nikes, black leather jacket & dark chapeau):
I'm on my way to the semi-monthly poetry gathering at a local bookstore. I come to a corner & wait for a light. A group of three businessmen arrive behind me & also wait for the light. When it changes, they step ahead of me to cross, so I give them the requisite six feet of space so as to be socially comfortable. Nevertheless, one of the three, the only Asian among them, turns back to look at me. He does this again after another full minute or so, directly looking at me in the eye. After that, I change direction, even though waiting at another light costs me more than a minute in foot speed.
Yesterday (wearing similar to above):
On the way to the polling station, at least one person (white male) changes to the other side of the street when we otherwise would have crossed paths on the same sidewalk.
On the way back downtown, I come upon a light mid-change. On the other side of the intersection is a group of three (white) teenagers, obviously chatting about something. I'm trying to figure out which side of the sidewalk to switch to in order to give them the maximum amount of room to pass. Before the light changes (but almost the full amount of time before it does so), the group decides to make a 90-degree switch to the left, apparently to walk to the next corner.
Also, after taking the crosswalk, a pair of businesspersons begins walking in front of me. The woman of the pair turns her head & deliberately stares at me. I decide to take the next crosswalk that takes me away from their forward motion.
Are all these racist actions? I cannot say. But they have a cumulative effect that wearies me & makes me wonder. (These are excluding the pairs/young mothers with strollers who suddenly find interest in a storefront window which gives me the chance to pass them on the sidewalk, &c.)
(The thing about the three businessmen with the Asian shoulder-starer is, they overtook me. How can you be suspicious about someone trailing you when you were the ones to walk in front of them in the first place?!)
Next time, I'm just going to keep walking. It's not my problem if someone has unfounded suspicions.