Good publicity better than no publicity at all

It’s all the rage. Meg Ryan did it, Angelina Jolie did it twice and Madonna is in the process of doing it.

No, it’s not the newest plastic surgery procedure.

This is something less shallow and way more compassionate.

It’s the newest trend: celebrities adopting children from abroad.

Madonna is set to adopt a 13-month-old Malawian baby, David Banda. His mother died after giving birth and his father, who lives in a mud hut, was forced to put him in an orphanage because he could not afford to support him.

Though he will be separated from his son by thousands of miles, he said he is happy and knows that his son will also be happy in America. Madonna was in the village of Mphandula for the opening of an orphanage funded by her Raising Malawi charity.

Many of the children in the orphanage are AIDS orphans. Madonna plans to spend at least $3 million on programs to support Malawian orphans, and another $1 million to fund a documentary about the plight of children in the country.

It is virtuous and extremely admirable of celebrities to adopt children who seem to have little or no future in these poverty stricken nations.

Not only do these celebrities adopt, they also help draw attention to the problems of children in impoverished countries and the problems affecting the country as a whole.

Jolie adopted her son when she visited the poverty-stricken and heavily-mined Cambodia. It opened her eyes to a worldwide humanitarian crisis.

She also adopted an Ethiopian AIDS orphan. Ryan also adopted an orphan from China.

It may seem easy for celebrities to do humanitarian work because they have money coming out of their ears. However the fact that they are celebrities bringing attention to social issues and not politicians is commendable in itself.

Celebrities are not prime ministers, members of Congress or Parliament. It is not their duty to spread awareness of any kind except the release date of their album, movie, book, clothing line or toothpaste product. They can roll around in their money all day if they wanted, but they chose to do a noble deed.

In truth, humans should do good in this world. They should help their fellow brethren and those in need when they can. Yes, goodness does exist in the world, but how many people would adopt a child from another country while giving up the time that they could use to film another movie or record another song to make themselves even more filthy rich?

Instead, they’re saving a life while also educating the ill-informed.

It’s a sad condition of the society we live in, but also a fact that people pay more attention to the lives of celebrities than to global issues. “Infotainment”
is the new news and, consequently, the radical dumbing down of America.

So if Madonna has to enlighten the uninformed populous, then so be it. There’s a chance that the people who now know of Malawi’s poverty and AIDS plight were not privy to that information before the queen of pop decided to adopt the child.

Celebrity adoption utilizes the inevitable press that they receive to expose these issues that should have been exposed to you in the headlines and on the TV. They have a permanent camera crew at their disposal and choose to use that for the greater good of mankind. It’s media used as a catalyst for social awareness in hopes of sparking change for the disenfranchised.
Go figure.

Dashira Harris can be reached at
d.harris@temple.edu.

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