Racist? Uh, no.

Well, I knew it would happen, but I still am an idealist. I thought that perhaps, in our tolerant transparent America we could go through the hearings for a nominee for Supreme Court without cries of racism. But once again I am disappointed. So I guess I need to address this issue, since I have been called a racist (and a bit worse) for questioning any of Judge Sotomayor’s views. I would rather have someone question the views of a person who, if appointed, will impact life in America for years to come, than watch those who like her fawn over her “compelling” life story.

Millions of Americans have compelling life stories. I do question Judge Sotomayor’s views, and yes I happen to be a Caucasian of German, Scottish, English and Native American descent. However, I am supporting a man for Congress, Eddie Adams, Jr who has an extremely compelling life story and who is an American who happens to be of African descent. I state it that way because I think “hyphenisation” of our backgrounds is destroying the melting pot idea that made America great and dividing us rather than making us more tolerant. And Eddie would state it the same way if he mentioned it at all.

Eddie Adams, Jr. is the embodiment of the “American Dream.” While Eddie’s family may not have been rich financially, they were rich with love, happiness, and a positive outlook on life. Being the oldest of five children, Eddie was six years old when his parents, Eddie Adams, Senior and Rosa Lee Adams, separated. As the oldest child, Eddie became the family’s surrogate father taking care of his siblings while his mother often worked two jobs to meet the financial needs of the family. With the help of his mother and grandmother, he learned cooking, cleaning, sewing, ironing and all the other household chores of a big family. At the age of ten, Eddie got his first paying job as a fruit picker on the weekends, but, Eddie’s pay didn’t go to buy candy, baseball cards, and comic books. His income helped his mother meet the financial needs of the family. Eddie also used the money to buy many of his own school clothes and school supplies

Eddie played drums in the school band from sixth grade until graduation. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and at the age of twelve he made the rank of Life Scout and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. While in high school, Eddie earned two letters in track and field, three letters in football, and three in band. He was one of only two players on the Lake Wales High School football team to make All-Conference his senior year

From 1971 until 1976, Eddie was a student at the University of South Florida. He graduated as the first African-American to receive a degree in Microbiology. While at USF Eddie was a member of the Afro-American Gospel Choir, president of the Black Pan-Hellenic Council, president of Theta Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and president of the Black Student Union. He was a member of the USF Student Budget Finance Committee, the USF Student Government Activities Committee and the Minority Pre-Med Society. While a student, Eddie worked as a laboratory assistant for USF and for the Hillsborough County Health Department.

Beginning in 1977 until 1996, Eddie worked at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) as a Cardio-Pulmonary Laboratory Technologist. While at Tampa General Hospital, Eddie was one of the founding members of the Ad Hoc Employees’ Civil Service Committee which evolved into the Employee Advisory Committee, on which he served for many years. He was also the co-founder and organizer of the Black History Week Celebration at TGH which later evolved into Multicultural Week.

In 1995, Eddie graduated from the FAMU/USF Cooperative School of Architecture and Design with a Masters of Architecture Degree.

From 1996 until 2002, Eddie worked for the architectural firm of Rosier/Jones Associates, Inc. Architects and Planners in downtown St. Petersburg. Eddie was project architect for some of the firm’s most significant projects. From 2002 until present, Eddie has worked with The Rosier Alliance Inc. Tampa office and started his own business Adams & Associates Residential Design. The business provides design services for new homes, home additions, and home renovations.

Since he was a young boy, Eddie’s personal philosophy has been to work hard, do the right thing, and life will always work itself out. Eddie has been married to the love of his life, Sylvia, for nineteen years. He has a son Joseph and a daughter Ashley. Eddie and Sylvia are members of the First Institutional Baptist Church. His hobbies include playing golf, painting, and SCUBA diving.

Oh, besides supporting Eddie for Congress in 2010 against (white, female) Kathy Castor, I am also 150% behind Marco Rubio, (an American from Miami whose parents immigrated from Cuba) for U.S. Senate against (white, male, rich) Gov. Charlie Crist. I will highlight Marco in another column but hope you will investigate him on your own. I am supporting these two men because of their stances on Issues, because they are lifetime Floridians who know this state.

And last – I teach in a Title I school with a student population that is approximately 85% African American, 10% Hispanic and 5% Caucasian. Our students are impoverished to the point of a 95% Free and Reduced Lunch rating. I live in an apartment complex with the same ethnic racial make-up, and would have no problem dating someone of another race.

So, am I a racist? Uh, no.

Do I think women have been held back in our culture – especially when Judge Sotomayor and I were growing up? Totally.

Do I disagree with Judge Sotomayor’s views? Absolutely.