Last week I realized MLK day was coming, so I came up with an idea. What could I do to honor Dr. King and what he was striving for? Most people believe that Dr. King wanted Racial Equality. But though that was the fore front, if you really understand what he was fighting for, it was general equality. Then it dawned on me, a Social Experiment to try to get people to learn something about someone they would not normally talk to, i.e., another race or religion or even a different financial class. Didn’t really matter to me which it was or even the content of their discussion.
No what, I wanted to focus on the person doing the experiment. How did it feel to them? How hard was it inside of them to reach out to someone else and try to learn something about a stranger? It could be anyone. Every day we all go about getting gas or coffee or cigarettes or ride a bus, we see the mail person or even the person that checks us out at the grocery store. But how many times do you see, well I like to call them, the familiar strangers? People in our lives we see every day but for one reason or another we don’t know anything about them, not even their names, just their faces. These people that we don’t know but see almost every day in our lives. Or even for that matter a complete stranger would be fine.
So, I started out. I figured being I have roughly 500 friends on facebook, this would be a nice wide ranged experiment amount to pull from. I wrote a status of simply this:
I want to try a little bit of a social experiment for those that are willing to have an open mind and try. Over the next few days, step out of your norm. Try to take at least 5 minutes to talk to and understand someone you would not normally talk to. Like if you do not normally talk to someone who is gay, or of another race or nationality, or even of someone is in a different financial class. It doesn’t matter, just take five minutes of your life to learn something about someone else. Then please let me know about it. Not so much about the person you talked to, but more about how difficult it was for you to do it and how it may or may not shed some light on a type of person you would normally never talk to. I would really like to hear the results and I will be bringing it up on my next radio show next Tuesday night. If Isa has a problem with this I will duct tape him to his chair and set bacon traps all around him!
Simple right? Oh boy was I in for a shock of phobias! As the positive people easily did this and posted nice comments of trying on my page, the number of negative private messages I got was mind blowing. Isa, remember when I talked to you awhile back on our show about closet racists?
Well, I knew it was bad, but I really was not prepared for the amount of hate that came my way. What pissed me off the most is not one of you had the balls to say any of it on my page, only in private messages. COWARD ASS BIGOTS! Oh, and before someone jumps on any one race or religion, it wasn’t just a white Christian thing either. The negativity came from every type of person you can imagine. Funny side note, I’m amazed that so many Christians hate other Christians! But I digress.
So let’s dig in, here are just some of the social phobias I have found. Mind you, this is just the tip of a enormous iceberg.
Social anxiety disorder: fear of strangers
Androphobia- Fear of men
Anglophobia- Fear of England or English culture, etc
Anthropophobia- Fear of people or society
Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single
Aphenphosmphobia- Fear of being touched
Apotemnophobia- Fear of persons with amputations
Autophobia- Fear of being alone or of oneself
Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks
Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch
Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers
Francophobia- Fear of France or French culture
Germanophobia- Fear of Germany or German culture
Hobophobia- Fear of bums or beggars
Japanophobia- Fear of Japanese.
Judeophobia- Fear of Jews.
Ochlophobia- Fear of crowds or mobs
Peladophobia- Fear of bald people
Negrophobia- Fear of black people
And the list just goes on and on and on and on but my favorite Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
And you should fear my opinion because I’ll tell you like it is whether you like it or not.
How the hell did we as a species manage to make it this far? How the hell does the human race still exist?
OK, back to the experiment
So, out of my positive test subjects, I had a range of feedback from the person they tried to talk not wanting to talk to them all the way to making a new friend. But of the common positive results even was apprehensive to talk to a stranger unless they were someone that did it all the time anyways. Why are we afraid to talk to other people? Why is it so hard for us to go out of our way to learn about someone from another race or religion and learn something we didn’t know? Is it we are afraid we might find out we like them? Or we actually have things in common? Or is we are just taught that we are so different? Why do most people feel fear to learn about or talk to strangers? Have we come so far as a society that we now fear interaction? I think we have.
Now for the negative. Well let’s just say I was shocked beyond belief to see so much hatred to people that are different then themselves. Not even willing to try to understand someone else. It’s like the world has a fear of having an open mind. Which by the way with literally tens of thousands of other fears has no clinical term so I am going to coin one now
DUMBMASSAPHOBIA!! Fear of not being a dumb ass
So, I will accept that my experiment was a huge failure.
How, out of 500 people, did I get so few positive results and so many hateful ones? I can literally count on one hand the positive results! I need an abacus to count the negative!
Maybe this world needs a little more Isolophobia- Fear of solitude, being alone!
Dr. King, I am glad you are not here to witness what we as a people have become. I am sorry.
I am truly disappointed. Not in my experiment but in you, the inhuman race!