Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Citizen Ruth" with African Orphans

By Cassandra D

The latest news regarding Madonna's planned adoption of a motherless Malawi boy is as heartbreaking as it is farcical:

The father of the 13-month-old Malawian boy Madonna is trying to adopt said he is afraid criticism of her plans would persuade the pop star to drop her efforts.

"I am afraid Madonna may get angry and frustrated and decide to dump my son because of these people," said Yohane Banda, referring to criticism from human rights activists in Malawi that officials had bent the law to speed David Banda's adoption.

"These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing," Banda said Thursday. "I'm afraid David may be sent back and the orphanage may not even accept him back. So where will he end up? Here? He will certainly die."

The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a group of human rights groups in Malawi, has asked Judge Andrew Nyirenda to review the adoption process to make sure all the laws have been followed. A hearing is scheduled Friday.

Banda said activists tried to visit him Wednesday.

"I hid from them. I didn't want to see them. They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband," said Banda.

It reminds me of the movie Citizen Ruth, in which people on both sides of the abortion debate seize upon a pregnant woman as a symbol for their cause, getting so worked up that they forget about the human being at the center of the issue.

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