Guest Blogger – Matthew Sharp – We’re All Just People
Matthew Sharp is a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Central Missouri. Majoring in Digital Media Production and minoring in Marketing, Matthew is interested in how content can influence an audience.
So when I was about six-years-old my Mom and Dad decided it would be best for me and my little brother if they filed for divorce. Although my biological Father plays a huge roll in my life, the man my Mom soon remarried to became an essential part of the man I grew to be. As a kid I was teased in school because of who my Step Dad (Dennis) was and I can remember many of times when we’d go out to dinner and people would express their disgust by giving us dirty looks. Finally I asked the bullies at school why they were picking on me so much. I’ll never forget the confusion I felt when they said, “Because you’re white and your Mom decided she wanted a black man.”
Up until that point in my life I hadn’t really given the difference of color much thought. Dennis is a good man who has always went above and beyond to provide for my family. I saw his love for us, not the color of his skin. That’s just how I was brought up, color never made a difference.
Color Shouldn’t Matter
When you turn on the news at any point in your day, it seems like we’re always witnessing crime between people of opposite race. In fact, a few days ago I was watching the news with Dennis and there was a story of yet another white cop killing a black man. Dennis kind of said under his breath, “This is crazy, man. The man’s color shouldn’t matter.”
Images from the police video played and we took it all in so that we could form our own opinion. Then they brought up the Black Lives Matter movement and Dennis came unhinged, “Don’t all lives matter? A life is a life, why is it about color?”
Now, Dennis and I have a lot of good discussion, but this was a subject even I was a little nervous to bring up to him because I didn’t want to offend someone I cared so much about. He looked at me and said,
“You’re a man and I’m and man. When you die one day your friends and family will mourn. When I die, my friends and family will mourn. So what difference does it make if we are all just people who want to be equal?”
I figured this was as good of a time as any to share my view on this and told him I agreed. He then said something along the lines of, “If you break your left arm, obviously that arm needs the attention and something needs to be done to fix it, but that doesn’t mean your right arm doesn’t matter.”
Seeing People as People
Dennis had made a solid point. What good does it do if we work backwards and re-segregate our nation? How can equality and human rights flourish if we stop seeing people as human first and choose to see color or culture? At the end of the day, Dennis’ life matters just as much as man. He has just as much to offer this world as I do.
When it’s all said and done, whether you’re in an interracial relationship like my Mom and Dennis, or you’re someone mourning the loss of a person you care about, we’re all just people trying to make it. We owe it to ourselves and each other to see people for what they are. Not black, white, brown, or yellow… just people.