WASHINGTON, DC - A Montgomery, Alabama man brought his social experiment to Washington, D.C. this weekend and asked strangers if they trust him.
"As a black man, you don’t have to fear me. No matter who you are and where you come from. I trust you, do you trust me?” said David Sadler.
He stood outside the Jefferson Memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, blindfolded and with his arms outstretched. At his feet, a sign read: “You do not have to fear me! I count, U count, We count! I trust U, do U trust me? God is love. Let’s hug”.
"Hoping and praying that they’re going to do the right thing because I’m at their mercy,” said Sadler, who added all he’s looking for is a hug.
Sadler said he started this experiment in his hometown because of what he calls the “craziness” going on in America and wanted to restore hope in people and let them know that they count.
"This is the simplest way to show people, blindly, that you don’t discriminate. If you have a blindfold on, I can’t judge anybody as they approach me. I’m simply here saying I’m willing and able to show you love,” added Sadler.
And while most people walked by with no more than a glance, several dozen did approach Sadler for a hug.
"Let me let him know that I really appreciate it and go on and get my hug, too, because it’s a good cause,” said Trakia Hall.
"When I saw him. It was kind of an opportunity to kind of not only show strangers, but also my family who’re here with me today, that you can hug a stranger and not feel threatened or intimidated by it,” added Brandon Ledyard, who said he already knew about Sadler from social media.
Sadler said he hopes people will be inspired by his demonstration and do it themselves.
"It’s a call for action for everyone to do it where they live. Because I can’t be everywhere. The goal is to start a movement of peace and love,” added Sadler.
Sadler said he has already done this experiment in Times Square and Brooklyn in New York City, but plans to go back there for his next stop and do it at Ground Zero.