Friday, April 03, 2009

Politically Correct Activism, or Should Madonna Adopt a Kid?

Warning: This post contains at least one rant and a potentially thought provoking question.

I've spent a LOT of time on the internet lately, both researching for my thesis and finding funny things that distract me from my thesis. I stumbled upon StuffWhitePeopleLike.com. It's pretty funny. Some of it is very true and some of it, I don't know. It seems as though their definition of 'white people' is middle class to upper middle class, generally suburban or city folk, mostly left wing. This, of course, does not cover all white people, but sweeping generalizations never do. One of the things that the site says that white people are very concerned about is the environment and eating organic foods and the like. Also, they really like political prisoners, because they respect people who stand up for their beliefs. This, along with a couple of episodes of Salute Your Shorts got me thinking.

When I was in junior high/high school, I spent four years as a rabid animal rights activist. I was a vegetarian and even a vegan for one year. As most animal rights activists/environmental people, I was close to militant. (People called me a violent pacifist, because I wanted things like world peace, but was willing to smack people upside the head to get it.) This doesn't seem like the kind of person who would have many friends, right? Wrong. People thought I was to be admired, because I was standing up for my beliefs. It confused me then, and it confuses me now. What REALLY confuses me is that those same people made fun of me when I got religion. It was the middle of my sophomore year when I decided that Catholicism was something to pay attention to. Shortly after that I stopped my animal rights craze, realizing there were more important things. Why is it that vegetarians are noble, but pro-lifers are intolerant fanatics?! Why are certain causes fashionable and others unacceptable? And what makes a cause fashionable? Who decides what a worthwhile thing to believe is?

And now for something completely different. (Well, somewhat anyway.)

In my internet searchings, I've found out that Madonna is trying to adopt a kid form Malawi. The Save the Children people are in an uproar. They say that children shouldn't be adopted by people in other countries, because often times the kids in orphanages of poor countries have parents, they are just too poor to take care of their kids. Or if not parents, extended family that would be able to take care of the kids if they weren't so poor. They propose that instead of adopting kids and taking them away from their culture, aid should be given to the families (or organizations that help the families) so the kids can stay in their own country with their family. This is something I'd never thought of. Mostly because I didn't know organizations like this existed. Now the idea of helping families take care of their own kids instead of taking the kids away is something I can definitely get behind and I'm sure the rest of you can, too. On the other hand, I'm always nervous about sending money places, because you're never quite sure how it's being used. My thoughts are, if you adopt the kid, then you don't have to worry about your money going to teach them about all kinds of crap or HPV vaccine or condoms or anything. I suppose if there was a good Catholic organization doing this. . .

I can understand why this hasn't taken off. It's not nearly as exciting to send money as to adopt a little kid. People tend to gravitate towards the warm fuzzies. I'm really intersted in this, because Colin and I have been talking about adoption lately. Not talking about it, like we're thinking about doing it, but talking about it, like theoretically what if we did someday. We got stuck on the question about adopting from another country. Neither of us were really sure how we felt about it. Now hearing this, I don't know even more.
What do you guys think?

1 comment:

  1. Madonna probably shouldn't adopt a child. However, it is wrong to say one shouldn't adopt children just because their parents can't afford to feed them. Certainly is would be better to find a way to change the situation so that they could feed their children, but that's a far from simple problem. Adopting is simpler; and when you are close to the person you are trying to help, you can do a much better job. Simply giving money or supplies to people in third-world countries won't solve their problems, nor will it help as much as actually getting to know someone.

    Just my two cents.

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