barbarahowardweb.gifThis 2008 presidential race has brought many historic firsts:  The first woman candidate, the first African-American candidate, the first prisoner of war candidate.

Now for the first time, we are asking if the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, represents the values of most black Americans.  I find that unique because, for the past 40 years, 90 percent of the black community have been voting for whomever the Democratic nominee was, without question.

So let’s look at some African American values. How about family values? 

It is a matriarchal society given that 70 percent of black women are living without a husband and there’s a 70 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate among black women. 

In his Father’s Day speech, Obama criticized black men who were nothing more than “baby daddies,” leaving mothers to care for these children alone. But Jesse Jackson blasted Obama for “talking down to black folk,” saying he wanted to “cut (Obama’s) n*** off”.

On  the blog “Stiletto on Obama’s Family Values,” an unnamed blogger who goes by the pen name “Stiletto” opines that “Obama threw his 85-year old maternal grandmother under the bus by referring to her as ‘a typical white person’ in his speech on race, but refers to his ‘callousness toward his paternal step-grandmother who lives in Kogelo, Kenya in abject poverty in a shack with no running water or electricity and without even a single pair of shoes to wear…while pulling down a senator’s salary with a senator’s (benefits)’…(and) before Obama lectures the rest of us on our Christian obligations to the poor, he ought to remember that charity begins at home.”

Phil Haslanger wrote in “Faith & Values: Obama wrong to dodge Muslims,” that Obama had Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, cancel a planned rally at a mosque in Cedar Rapids because “it might stir controversy” and had campaign operatives in Detroit remove two Muslim women wearing head scarves from sitting right behind him at a televised rally as he fought the perception that he was a Muslim instead of a Christian. 

Obama is a staunch supporter of abortion and a woman’s right to choose as is the Democratic Party, while most black American Christians abhor abortion.  There is even a movement by black preachers to remove abortion clinics from all black communities.

Rev. Wayne Perryman asked Obama, without response, “Why was it that the government has money to assist in the abortions of over 17 million black babies but none to provide health care for the babies the mothers kept?”

In his book Audacity of Hope, Obama blasted the black clergy for using “gay bashing as a cheap parlor trick.”  In Dreams from My Father, Obama’s best friend is quoted, “You (Obama) always think it’s about you.”

So does Obama represent the values of the black community?  You be the judge.

Maybe the question is not whether Obama represents the values of most of the African American community, but whether the rest of us have the same values as the 90 percent voting for him?

We, the remaining 10 percent, value family and lament the breakdown of the black family and morality in our community.

We believe in capitalism and small businesses, free enterprise and black entrepreneurship, unlike Obama who speaks socialism.

We believe in taking responsibility for our own actions, in punishment for crimes, smaller government, better schools, vouchers for low-income mothers, and in truth, justice and the American way.   

We love this country and have little patience for those who take sides with terrorists or other nations against us. 

We have even less patience for those black elected officials who have abandoned their responsibilities and allowed crime, drugs and abject poverty to run rampant in urban ghettos while playing the race card, blaming the system and promoting a victimization mentality.

So the answer to does Obama represent the values of most of the black community is maybe yes – maybe no.  We can debate ‘til the cows come home. 

But does he represent my values and the values of those of us who are Republican?  The clear answer is a resounding no. 

Therefore, his historic nomination to be the leader of the free world, unfortunately to us, means he is just another black politician espousing the values of the Democratic Party.  Where’s the shout in that?

Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates and the Florida state chair for C.O.R.E. (the Congress of Racial Equality).

Photo: Barbara Howard