Main Entry: zeal·ot
Etymology: Late Latin zelotes, from Greek zēlō tēs, from zēlos
1: capitalized: a member of a fanatical sect arising in Judea during the first century a.d. and militantly opposing the Roman domination of Palestine
2: a zealous person; especially : a fanatical partisan a religious zealot
I've been an Obama supporter since January 1. I've liked him ever since I watched him deliver his prime time speech during the 2004 Democratic Convention. My Chicago relatives and friends I've talked to who know the man, have met him or lived in his Illinois senate district rave about him.
I've read his books, researched his policy stances and found much to like in them. I really love his thoughtful intelligence, his compelling life story, his teaching constitutional law, having a vision about where he wants to take this country, and wanting to fundamentally change the way politics is done in the United States.
I grew up during a time in which political campaigns were not always slash and burn, assassinate your opponent's character affairs. They actually used reason and logic based arguments to explain to the electorate why they and their particular set of policy stances made them the best candidate to be elected to that particular office.
Sen. Obama is the first candidate in a long time that actually has campaigned in an old school style. I'm excited about that, so are a lot of African-Americans and many Obama supporters of all colors.
I'm excited that I have a man as a presidential candidate for my party that unlike John McCain and his running mate, understands the Constitution and has taught constitutional law. I like the fact he understands the issues that working class people deal with because he was a community organizer. I'm thrilled about the fact that world leaders and people in various countries around the world see the same things I do. I'm intrigued by the knowledge that he spent time growing up in Indonesia. I like the fact he chose an intelligent statuesque sistah (and AKA) from Chicago's south side to spend his life with.
And yes, the thing I'm most excited about is this man shares my ethnic heritage.
Far too many times people judge African-Americans by the worst we produce. Here's a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to get behind as a community someone who represents the BEST we can produce.
It was beautiful seeing an African-American family similar to my own on stage in Denver waving to that Mile High Stadium crowd. It will be nice seeing that family live in the White House for the next four years assuming the election goes the way I hope it does.
But I'm a little sick of Republicans, Greens, some disgruntled Hillary supporters and some independents mischaracterizing the very real and logical reasons I and others chose to support Sen. Obama for president as being 'zealotry'.
Hillary supporters who had the very same reasons for supporting her candidacy aren't being tarred and feathered with that 'zealot' brush. Is it because they are predominately white women?
When you call me and other Obama supporters zealots, it's a 21st century remix of that old slur that is thrown at African-Americans during political campaigns that we can't make 'rational decisions' on who we support politically unlike white people, who use 'logic and reason' to do so.
If that's the case, then explain the logic and reason you used for overwhelmingly voting for an inarticulate ignoramus in the White House for a second term and are with McCain seriously considering electing a man who graduated 894th out of 898 people in his Naval Academy class?
Just as John F. Kennedy's election to the presidency in 1960 changed the way we look at Catholics in this country, the election of Barack Hussein Obama Jr. will change the way that African-Americans not only are viewed in this country, but abroad as well.
It will also fundamentally change the way we look at ourselves. No longer will an African-American kid be able to sarcastically respond to the 'you can be anything you want in the United States' line with 'I can't be president' as I once did in elementary school.
So just because I'm an Obama supporter does not make me a zealot. It makes me an American wanting to see an eminently qualified man who happens to share my ethnic heritage run this country for the first time in its 232 year history.