Madonna has returned to the Malawian orphanage where she adopted her son David.  She wants a kid sister for David and she has her eye on a 14-month old girl named Mercy James.  I've been holding my tongue about Madonna and her adoption fetish.  She's a citizen of the world.  Right?  She has license to peruse through American black and Latino culture and turn her faceless alternative lifestyle into international stardom.  She has license to adopt black children from Malawi or Sudan, or even her hometown of Detroit.  Look, she doesn't just have license; she has the money for 24-7 nannies, chefs, teachers, etc.  And I'm certain controversial adoption keeps fire under her celebrity.

But let me just say this:  I've always been sour about these mega-resourceful types not using their resources at home.  Even when I was living in San Francisco and rich kids would sit on a corner, shoeless and dirty, handing out pamphlets about the horror in Zimbabwe when the poor black family across the street needed somebody to help pay the rent.  Don't get me wrong.  It's admirable that Madonna is offering a helping hand to AIDS-stricken Malawi.  It's great that she's building a girl's school there as well.  But what about the needs in her hometown of Detroit?  Or D.C.?  Or Brooklyn?  What about the needs of babies in AIDS-stricken America?  And if she's hard at work in America why doesn't she use her celebrity magic and put that into the spotlight?


Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.

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