For the last year, I have watched the story of David Goldman’s attempt to get his son, Sean Goldman, back from his ex-wife’s relatives in brazil. Sean was abducted by his mother 5 years ago to her native Brazil. She remarried and died in child-birth. According to international treaty, Sean should have had no problem being returned to his biological father in New Jersey. Instead, years of diplomacy and court proceedings have held up the reunion of father and son. On Christmas Eve, Sean was finally returned to his father’s care and will now undergo a hard process of adjusting to his new life. A happy ending to a long story.
Of course, as we look at this story, the good guys and bad guys are clear. David Goldman’s son was stolen away by his evil mother. After she died, the Brazilian government (evil) and Sean’s Brazilian family (evil), prevented Sean from living with his father(good). That’s how I see it. Suddenly, my memory was taken back 10 years to young Cuban, Elian Gonzalez. The case of Elian captured the whole nation. The similarities between Elian and Sean are striking. In both cases, the mother took the child away to another country while the father was left behind, the mothers perish, and the new country and family want to prevent the child from being reunited. Back then, the father and Cuba were the enemies, while the family in Florida were the good guys. So I ask myself, why have I switched sides in the same argument. My gut instinct is to say that it is better for a child to be with their mother or father, regardless of the country. What I allowed to happen in the case of the Elian Gonzalez was to convince myself that it would be so much better to live in the United States because of all we have to offer than for a child to grow up with their biological parents. And since the Clinton administration also assisted in removing the child from his Florida home, I sided against this decision.
The lesson I feel I have learned is that as I have gotten older is that I look at things in a less partisan way. Republicans aren’t always good and Democrats aren’t always bad(I have to assume on this one). I can take in a set of variables and way it against my principles instead of those of a party.
Just as a fun exercise, where did you stand on the Elian Gonzalez story and where do you stand on the Sean Goldman story. How are they similar and how are they different.