President Barack Obama told a group of young African leaders on Monday that harvesting organs from humans that are killed as part of an African ritual was “craziness” and a “cruel” tradition that needed to stop. He warned of dehumanizing marginal groups of humans and of the problems that arise when “you are not able to see someone else as a human being.”
In a wide-ranging question and answer session with members of the Young African Leaders Initiative [YALI], a woman from Kenya said “Persons with albinism in Africa are being killed and their body parts harvested for ritual purposes. My request to you is to raise this issue with heads of state of African countries to bring these atrocities to an end.”
Obama decried the practice and went on to encourage the young people to do everything in their power to fight on the behalf of vulnerable humans.
“Young people, you can lead the way and set a good example. But it requires some courage because the old thinking, people will push back at you and if you don’t have convictions and courage to be able stand up for what you think is right, then cruelty will perpetuate itself,” he said. He added, “If there’s one thing I want YALI leaders to come out with, it’s the notion of you are strong by taking care of the people who are vulnerable, by looking after the minority, looking after the disabled, looking after the vulnerable. You’re not strong by putting people down you’re strong by lifting them up. That’s the measure of a leader.”
Obama also tied the practice of harvesting organs from albinos with racism and discrimination against gay people and urged consistency in how they view the sanctity of human life if they want to complain about human rights abuses.
You can watch the question and answer here — I’ve teed it up to start right at 48:00 into the session:
Obama’s comments come in the midst of a weeks-long scandal in his own country over the killing of unborn children via abortion followed by the harvesting and distribution of their organs. The Center for Medical Progress has released five videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the killing of human fetuses and the harvesting of their organs — or entire cadavers — to researchers willing to pay a pretty penny for them.
On the topic of human organ harvesting, President Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest has said that President Obama has chosen not to watch the video footage of Planned Parenthood officials dissecting human fetuses for parts. Nevertheless, President Obama has vehemently defended the abortion group.
In 2012, Planned Parenthood said, while announcing a $1.4 million ad buy on his behalf, that they had “no greater champion” than President Obama.
During his time in the Illinois Senate, Obama’s devotion to abortion was so extreme that he argued a form of infanticide should remain legal out of fear that protecting infants born alive might somehow protect young humans in the womb.