The recent sight of a robed and hooded woman walking throughout the South recently caused an Internet sensation.
The paramount question is “Why?”
It took Elizabeth Poles two months to walk some 500 miles clad in long robes and sandals.
She started her trek in Phenix City, Ala., and concluded it in Winchester, Va., where she was born and raised.
Along the way, some people wished her well. Others tried to give her food and water, which she rejected.
People writing about her on social media were just utterly ridiculous.
Al Arabiya reported that some twits on Twitter speculated she was trying to make a statement about the conflict on the Gaza Strip. So they dubbed her the “Gaza Ghost.”
Of course, none of these knuckleheads bothered to find out the truth.
They were just intrigued enough by the sight of someone who didn’t fit their preconceived notions to make up their own narrative and spread it throughout the world as though it were the truth.
According to Reuters, Elizabeth Poles is an American military veteran who had been receiving treatment from the Veterans Administration.
Her husband died in 2008. Her father died in 2009.
Since then, Poles had shaved her head, wrapped herself in black robes and disappeared for months at a time.
But her brother, Raymond Poles, wasn’t worried. He said his sister was on a spiritual quest.
Sometimes, when people approached her, she would say within earshot that she wished people would mind their own business.
But they didn’t do that. They created such a crowd around her that someone felt compelled to call local police, who took her into protective custody.
What would you do if you went for a walk and suddenly 50 people assembled around you, interrogating you about your intentions?
This woman was not armed. She was not violating any laws. She was not hurting anyone, nor did she intend to hurt anyone.
But she became the focal point of what could have become a tragic incident just because she was "different."
Thankfully, the Winchester Police Department, exercising wonderful common sense, released a statement. In part, it reads:
“Officers spoke with the woman, who says she is from Winchester and intends on staying in the area. The Winchester Police Department wants local residents to know that she will be part of the community and to respect her privacy if you see her in the area. She has expressed to officers that she wants to be left alone and is asking that the public respect her wishes.”
Evidently, Elizabeth Poles felt compelled to reconnect with her roots in an attempt to find herself once again after experiencing difficult struggles in life.
The fact that she chose to do it in a way many people consider unusual brought out the worst in some nosy nitwits who apparently thought they had the right to harass her.
Being "different" is not a crime in this country. If you want others to respect your privacy, you must respect the privacy of others.