Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pavlov's People

Many of us that went to college took a course called "psych 101". In the text was a chapter about Pavlov's dogs. A whole lot about conditioning the anyone who ever owned a dog already knew. Run the electric can opener and the dog was in the kitchen like a shot, sitting over his bowl drooling.

It works for people too. You wake up two minutes before the alarm goes off on work days. You get hungry at the same time every day. Lots of little thing like that go on and suddenly you realize you have been conditioned.

Many other people have read the same book and more. Some spend their lives attempting to condition you. Advertising people, political spin doctors, charities, and it appears some in the Muslim community. The last is what concerns me.

Some time ago a group of men arrived at an airport waiting area, speaking Arabic and carrying prayer rugs. They intentionally made themselves the center of attention. They put down their rugs in the waiting area and prayed loudly. When the plane was loading they insisted on sitting as a group, but then started  moving about the cabin when the plane was in the air. Nothing came of it but those that took exception were branded islamophobic.

There have been other incidents over time. The latest was at the Mall of the America's. A group of Muslim young men went into a theater causing a ruckus. They all carried backpacks. They sat as a group and kept up a loud conversation over the movie.They had everyone's attention. Suddenly they went quiet and spread out around the theater encircling the crowd. In the "see something, say something", mode, some folks left and called the police.

After proclaiming their innocence and showing they had nothing in their packs they claimed the crowd was islamophobic. Whenever a Muslim behaves badly , those that object are painted with that same brush. 

The more we accept this conditioning and turn away, the worse the behavior will be. They know about Pavlov's dog too. And they are trying to turn us into Pavlov's people. 

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