I’d almost forgotten how it felt: the stare.
It’s that penetrating gaze global majority people (thank you, Rosemary Campbell-Stephens) get when they wander into global minority (white) spaces.
I felt it a few times on a recent trip to England.
The stare has a long history, dating back to when the colonizers took over whole countries, then decreed in law and by force, who could go where. It was present after the traffickers in enslaved people brought them to the Americas, then made sure they were only allowed in certain spaces. Move from those spaces, and out of your prescribed lane, and you could die. Laws may have changed, but the stare still exists today. Sometimes it’s preceded by the double take, which I’ve written about before.
The stare does two things at once: