Thursday, October 19, 2006

my rant against Madonna

I just have to rant. Sorry. If you think what she did was wonderful, fine. Because it's true - who wouldn't want to be adopted by Madonna? Heck, I have two boys I'd love for her to adopt and put through college. And they already have their drivers license and most of their vaccinations.
But let's say I'm an African and my wife died and I can't pay to take care of my infant son. I'm human, so I'm frantic with worry. I put my son in an orphanage temporarily. (this is what the father said in an interview with the NY Times, so I'm not making this part up.) Now say a celeberity has decided to adopt a child from my country, and wouldn't you know, she picked my little boy!
I'm thrilled. He'll have everything he wants.
I'm devestated. He's my son, and I'll never see him again. He'll legally belong to someone else.

What is the matter with this picture?
Well, for one thing, I can't imagine the pain the father must have suffered. First losing his wife, then two of his other children, and now losing this child to a media blast.
Is there anything wrong with the way the Africans live? Is their way of life so dreadful that when someone adopts a child and takes him far from his culture and roots it's something to rejoice about? And if so - how come we're all sitting on our butts and not doing anything about it?

OK, we can't all run out and adopt an African. And frankly, I don't think that's the answer. There is nothing wrong with the African way of life if the country is not in the throes of famine or drought or corruption. And we can argue for hours about why Africa is in such a mess, and why we Europeans and Americans are responsible. And why the World Bank is sinking Africa even deeper into debt and misery, and why the huge diamond, uranium, and oil companies are making life hell in Africa (and on the rest of the planet) And you can argue that it's better to grow up in Hollywood than in Malawi. I'd agree. But I've been to Africa, and I've seen children there. I've seen them playing, running, singing, and getting hugs like any other kid. And they herd goats and go to school where they have to sit on the floor, and they have all kinds of strange customs and religions, and beliefs...but that's what makes African children unique.
And I have two boys in Kenya who I put through school. They are in their last year now, and I'm terribly proud of them. Now why didn't I adopt them and bring them to France? I could have tightened my budget, made a few sacrifices, and offered them a life and education in France. After all, education here, including the university, is free. So why didn't I adopt them? Well, what about their country? Doesn't their country deserve to have two such nice, well educated young men? And don't these two young men deserve the chance to help their country by getting a good education and becoming prosperous citizens? In what way has Madonna really helped this child and its family? In what way has she helped the country?
If all you can do to help Africa is take away its children, then you might as well just forget about Africa. Forget that it was the cradle of civilization, that humans evolved from the Rift Valley, and that our genetic Eve was from Africa. Forget the music, the art, and the stories that came from Africa. Forget its ethnies and its myriad different cultures...because they will all turn to Hollywood dust. Forget the beauty of Africa and its diversity. Just take the children away and give them lots of money and everything money can buy. Is that really doing any good at all?
Frankly, it makes me ill.


John Nez said...

And you didn't even mention her instantaneous fame as a children's book author (where she won't put the illustrator's name on the cover or even mention the illustrator in her interviews).

She sure knows how to stay in the headlines... that's her real gift. I don't think I've ever really heard an entire Madonna song all the way through.

Gabriele C. said...

Who's Madonna?

Ok, kidding, but I really don't care about those star people, am not interested in what they're doing, don't respect most of the lot one bit.

So she adopted a kid? Why? I do remember she has two of her own already.

And I agree with Sam, it's a lot better to support kids via a contribution to their education IN their countries, or build SOS villages. Heck, that Madonna woman could have given enough money to built one of these and help more than one child. Would have given her publicity, too. One of our German celebrites did that: gave the money to build a SOS village in Bolivia (where her mother comes from), went there and visited, got the media covering, and some happy kids living where they belong.

Sam said...

Gabriele - LOL - who's Madonna?
& John, I have to admit I totally forgot she "wrote" a children's book.

International-Man-Of-Mystery said...

I wonder if being raised by Madonna could constitute child abuse?

Wynn Bexton said...

I agree 100%. As I heard one of the spokespersons for African childen (protection from child abuse) these celebrities would do well to donate the money to the orphanages and to the families of these children (i.e., this child's natural father who only placed in him care temporarily til he found a way to care for him). Who do you think is going to raise that child anyway? Nannies, not a real mother.
I think it's getting a bit disgusting, to tell the truth!

Jsygurl said...

Madonna has set up an orphan care centre in Malawi, which aparently will feed and educate about 1,000 kids a day. They will also be taught about Kabbalah.

Malawi is a dire place to live - 50% of the population do not have access to clean water, 20% of kids die before they reach the age of 5, a high proportion cannot get enough to eat, AIDs is rife, there are over 1 million orphans ...


I hope that Madonna has realised that the father seems to be thinking that his son is to be adopted in the African way, which is that someone wealthier takes the child to raise and educate before returning the child to their family. In Africa, no-one would seek to replace the child's parents.

I am not particularly fond of Madonna as a "star", but I don't know her as a person to judge is she is trying to do a good thing. To hear quotes attributed to her such as "I want to mother the world now" doea make me cringe, but who can trust the media to publish the truth anyway?