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’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.