Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Out Of Africa



Madonna is due to explain her side in her unseemly adoption of a Malawian boy today on Oprah.

As I explain in this week's column, I'm not hating on the the Material Mom.

But there's something about the way she procured little David Banta -- calling ahead, as if she was ordering fast food, having her assistant hustle the baby through the airport with his head covered with a hoodie -- that is downright shady.

Sure, it could be that her mega-celebrity prevents her doing things the conventional way, but you can help but feel like the whole thing is a little distasteful.

Hey Madonna, did you want fries with that?

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This little man will have plenty of time to discover his identity. He will grow up in a world of wealth and privilege and have choice. So your comment about the moral thing is short sighted. He was in an orphanage. Now he is part of a wealthy family. It is moral to return him to poverty? You reduce his chance to survival just so he can have what? He is human just like she is. What is your point except this fascination with slavery. I am African American and my grandmother's parents were never slaves and we see our roots among the Cherokee. So our experiences are different here. This young man has a real shot at the chance to do a tremendous amount for his people should he choose to one day. So perhaps you simply need to see another side of life in the world we live in TODAY!

Kiminigin

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article....
I have listened to several debates about this issue and I would like to give my opinion. Let's not forget this child's father put him in an ORPHANAGE...he did not plan to raise him. More than likely, this child along with several of the other ones there would not be adopted by anyone. Many will get sick and because of the lack of quality healthcare, will die. Not only did Madonna make a substantial contribution to that country($3M) but she also SAVED a child from a bad situation. She didn't take a child from there family...the family gave him up. THe child BENEFITS.

Who cares that it is a cross culture adoption...a child is saved. My only concern is that MORE people are not adopting not only in Africa, Asia etc but in our own countries as well. We all could learn from Madonna's example.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure Madonna's attorneys did the advance work for this adoption. Do you think it's possible that she had her assistant bring the baby to Englad to avoid the newshounds who would surround them and frighten the baby. This baby will have unlimited opportunities - not to mention the fact that he has a chance to survive - what's your problem?

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Wanda said...

Annette, thanks for sharing the article. Yes I feel that maybe the material things that Madonna can provide is great, but I would have liked to see her be there to bond with the child immediately, I think that coming into a different country and leaving the "only" surroundings he knew good or bad has to be difficult for him or anyone, so the first face you see and connect with should be "in my opinion" your new mother. I love children and really don't see color anyway, so anyone saving a child in my "sight" is a blessing. But the initial bonding moment was what I would have like to see. Yes Madonna has money, and I'm sure she could have paid for security to protect her and the child. But again we all have our opinions, and it's nice to read and evaluate from both sides of the coin... Bravo Annette for getting us thinking and keeping us abreast of what's happening around us.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PUT THIS MADONNA ADOPTION NEWS TO RESTWho are you to judge Madonna, a caring and loving advocate of children? She is helping a deprived country and their orphaned children with millions of dollar while you sit and type out the only post you can come up with and feeding yourself full of bon bons. Sorry, but I am no longer interested in reading your derogatory, biased blog or columns anymore. Later loser!

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Blatant Lee said...

To Wanda: All was well until you said 'I really don't see color'.

As a man of color, here's my beef: Would Madonna's maternal gesture be as well received by all if the color roles had been reversed?

I'm just saying that there's plenty of children in Eastern Europe waiting for adoption...As a college-educated, African-American man who loves children, I could imagine the benefits of adopting and raising a white child -- I could imbue a multi-culti, biracial consciousness in him/her, and then the special bonus -- my white child would have all the benefits of white-skin privilege, greatly increasing chances for success in life.

Imagine that I've adopted a Romanian boy named Andrei. I'll raise him in my African-American community, but I'll be sure to study-up on Romanian culture to insure that Andrei knows where he's from. Naturally, Andrei will be fully acculturated to all that is positive and culturally black -- 'cause he must fit in. Maybe then I'll adopt Andrei's sister Nadia, and I could begin a trend in the black community which could help heal America's racial divide, while giving needy children loving homes.

My point is...Black folks in America already adopt more as a statistical percentage than other groups (because of the great need). If we're all suddenly going beyond color, many black adoptive parents might begin thinking of the advantage of adopting white children, for them and society. Only then will we TRULY know if love is all that counts in these discussions. Until then, I remain suspicious of all these 'Let love rule' attitudes about trans-racial/trans-national adoptions.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Brent said...

This isn't about madonna caring about children in africa. If it were, she'd be working with Bono or someone who has a real, vested interest in Africa and it's children. Work with a charity, give money for schooling and food...perhaps a prosthetic program for kids in Siera Lione who have no hands... This whole thing is about Madonna creating an image for herself. Is she helping a kid, yes, no doubt, but i agree, she is VERY shady about the whole thing. If she wants to adopt him, great, I'm all for it, but for Christ's sake INVEST in the child. If she cared, she would have spent a few months in Africa instead of getting back to Televised concerts.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Aileysmom said...

I'm sorry blatant lee, but your argument is not based on facts. Blacks as a group do NOT statistically adopt (legally adopt, not just taking in and raising a relative's children) more than other groups. Why would you, as a black man, be interested in adopting a white kid when there are so many black and biracial children awaiting adoption both nationally and internationally!?! What is your real motivation? Let me clue you in: adoption of black and biracial children is actually less expensive (by several thousands) because they're harder to adopt out...everybody seems to want a white child. How do I know this? I've been following the adoption scene for several years---and am on several private listservs for people seeking African adoptions.

I respectfully disagree with Annette---I think the little boy will have a better life outside of poverty and outside of the orphanage, even if his adoptive mom is a freak.

Bonding with an adoptive child doesn't necessarily happen in an instant--esp if the child is older than 6 to 8 months. That's okay. I wish Madonna and her new son all the best. And if she helps to raise consciousness regarding all the waiting African children who need adoptive homes, I'm grateful to her.

I, btw, am working towards adopting a little angel from Ethiopia; perhaps Madonna or Oprah would provide me with the funds (and the nanny) to assist me in realizing a lifelong dream!?

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it matter..white, black, hispanic other...if a child needs a home, and you are able and willing to provide one then it should not matter. When will we as AMERICANS start looking beyond race?

Also, AileysMom, congrats on the adoption of the Ethopian child but I am curious why not an American child? There are many in the foster care system....just curious.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous John Brodsky said...

I raised three biological children (now ages 43, 41, 36) and have two adopted children (ages 6, 4). When I was young I never gave adoption much of a thought. My current experience tells me that the emotional rewards of raising adopted children equals those of raising biological children; and that the obvious benefit to children already "here" is greater than the benefit to "potential" children. I am interested in reading any comments from those who might explain what has been called by some "the biological imperative" to reproduce.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Aileysmom said...

Why not an American child? Honestly, I don't want a drug-addicted baby; as a psychologist I know all too well the data regarding the outcome of such infants. Similarly, a lot of women don't know their pregnant when they're drinking away and I don't want to see the effects of fetal alcohol exposure.

Thanks for the congrats, but I'm still at least 2 years away from being a Mommy to my Ethiopian child...

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annette - you need to get real! You said you'd have respect for Madonna if she "gave the baby back". To what? You're either totally deluded or totally uninformed. That child won't make it out of adolesence if she gives him back. Do you have any idea of the mortality rate of African orphans let alone African children in general. So you're saying you'd rather see him dead than living with Madonna, her husband and their 2 other kids, educated, well fed, and getting good health care? That's outrageous.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Roni Agosto said...

I agree, she did adopt this child as if she was ordering fast food, however, he's better off now. Look at how bad he's had it up until this point: born into poverty, all of his siblings that came before him died of malaria, his father couldn't care for him so he was put up for adoption. It's been hardknock nonstop before he could even walk. Yeah, there are a few ethical concerns to address but on the bright side at least he can have the life all kids deserve. The world has robbed Africa blind since the beginning. Let the world give back to Africa even if it is Madonna. Tomorrow it could be Britney Spears or even Paris Hilton. I say let the musically overpaid put the money to good use.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annette,
What happened to unbiased journalism?! I find you very biased in almost everything that you write, but let's focus on the Madonna story for a minute -- do you know how long it actually took for this adoption to go through? What are the other options for this boy? Do you know how Madonna and David would have been treated had it been the two of them walking through the airport? How much has she raised awareness of the plight of children in Africa? As an adoptee, I am proud of Madonna for giving this boy a better life, shining light on horrible circumstances, and helping to blur the color line.

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