Matthew Mehlhaff

Why Didn’t You Tell Me I Was Different? by Matthew F. Mehlhaff

Maybe I’m not as different as everyone says I am. Watching Skye Sports News this morning put a few things in perspective. Being different is good. Accepting those differences is better.

I Noticed that the European League soccer/futball divisions are stepping up on anti-racism as well. One upcoming match will be without fans because of racial comments by some fans. This in my opinion is good. Let the world know that you will no longer accept hate. With many more sports becoming active in this, we should start to see some positive changes. I like the idea that teams are sticking to what they believe. Sports in general is a widely viewed forum by billions of people around the world, be it American Football, Baseball, Euro Futball, Motorsports, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Tennis, or my two favorites, Cricket and Curling. So with them sending the message that racism should be stopped is one of the fastest ways to send out a “social media” blast. 

The more people understand that being different doesn’t mean being wrong, the better off we will all be. I like being different. I like being me. And I like you. So how come it is hard to accept that? Pride? Arrogance? Upbringing? I grew up in a very racist society in the 70’s, and even then my best friends were very different from me. Where whites made friends with other whites, I made friends with the Chinese, Philippine, and African-American boys in my area. Yes, I was different even then. And that has really made the difference in my life. Even to this day, I would rather be in a group of mixed races, then in room full of only white people. For some reason that makes feel like I’m in meeting that should provide pillow cases with eye holes. And that just is not for me, or even acceptable in my book.

Then again, breaking down racial boundaries has to start somewhere. Why not start at home? Or in your church? At school? Heck, why not start at the grocery store? I mean, who I says we have to keep the oranges away from the bananas?

Be different! Be proud! Stand up for what’s right – and stop all this bickering over “I’m better than you because…..” nonsense!

Matthew F. Mehlhaff

DOC #864454

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