By Tom Quiner

Quiner’s Diner has consistently criticized President Obama’s politics. In our view, he has America on the wrong course.

Nonetheless, he deserves credit for something very important: for being a good husband and father to his two daughters.

Today is the last day of Black History Month. I marvel that during my adult lifetime, three or four of the most famous people in the world were African-Americans.

In the 1960s, Martin Luther King gained well-deserved international recognition for his contribution to the civil rights movement.

At the same time, a brash young boxer by the name of Cassius Clay embarked on a dazzling career that transcended the sport of boxing. Better known as Mohammed Ali, he gained an international following after staging legendary fights in the Philippines (“The Thrilla in Manilla”) and Zaire (“The Rumble in the Jungle”). Mr. Ali was more famous than the President of the United States.

Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are two more athletes who earned international recognition through a blend of superior athletic prowess and charisma.

Perhaps only the American President and the Pope were more famous than these exceptional talents.

Martin Luther King, Mohammed Ali, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods. They were the best at what they did. Each in their own way were role models to the youth of America, even the world, because they demonstrated discipline and perseverance in their given field.

And yet each succumbed to the same character flaw: unfaithfulness to their spouse. Tiger Wood’s is perhaps the most notorious example simply because the press no longer holds back details of celebrity indiscretions.

Much of the good each of these men has done was diminished by being such bad role models, especially to the African-American community where the out-of-wedlock birth rate nears 70 percent; where children grow up in fatherless homes.

Mr. Obama, by all accounts, is different. He has attained unimaginable success, not with his fists or long drives off the tee, but with his mind.

What a role model for youth everywhere: here’s a man who gained success by being a good student, a faithful husband, and a father of an intact family.

In this regard, Mr. Obama is a good role model to young men regardless of color.

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  1. Monte Gray on February 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Alright, who are you? And what did you do with my friend Tom Quiner?

    All kidding aside, very nice you should point out qualities that President Obama exudes and that all men should emulate!

  2. Robert on February 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I think you’re giving President Obama a lot of credit considering he’s simply doing what you would expect any man to do. As has been the case with Affirmative Action, we should not lower our standards or expectations because a history of poor performance has existed within a certain demographic. Rather, all men should strive to achieve those traits which society considers admirable and simply falls within the realm of common decency.

    Like some of the famous African Americans you listed, President Obama also has one major strike against him. And that is his support of a woman’s choice to take the life of her defenseless unborn child. And until he has a change of heart with regards to that character flaw, I would align him more closely with one other famous African American that you left out, O.J. Simpson.

    • quinersdiner on February 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      There was a time when I’d say you were right. But considering how the institution of marriage is under attack, it’s important to have high profile men who marry and remain faithful to their wives and children, especially within the African-American community.

      • Robert on February 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

        It’s sad that as a traditional family man I am now considered an endangered species.

        But I see your point as well.

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