My Take on the Kony 2012 Campaign

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: My Take on the Kony 2012 Campaign

We live in the age of the internet and, for better or for worse, Social Media is King.  Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Myspace, Tumblr, YouTube.  There are hundreds of sites that are designed to keep us connected, allow us to share ideas,  and make the world feel smaller.  With the invention of smart phones, the drunken bar argument about when an event occurred in history, or who wrote a certain song, or how to pronounce a word is a thing of the past.  My generation have grown up with the equipment and the know-how to look up anything we want to know at any time, without much effort.  Some organizations are using this to their benefit.



This video, according to the caption on YouTube, ”aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.”  (I believe they really want to make him infamous but that’s just my opinion about word choice)

To summarize the video, Joseph Kony is an evil Ugandan warlord who kidnaps children and uses them as soldiers and sex slaves for his militia the LRA.  Jason Russell has been working through the organization, in which he is an original founder, Invisible Children, for a decade to bring an end to Kony’s reign.  They want to catch him this year and they need everyone to know about him.  What they don’t tell you is that according to this article, both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, that Invisible Children is working with to find Kony, are just as corrupt.

Invisible Children Inc. has good intentions and I can respect that.  They have their heart in the right place but I’m not so sure about their head.  This article explains why the author doesn’t support the Kony 2012 campaign.

When I began writing this blog, on Tuesday after I first saw the YouTube video. I was inspired.  I was sucked in by good marketing and the need to feel involved.  As I started doing more research on the topic to find the facts behind the video, I realized that I am very confused.

My optimistic, do-gooder side says, “We can do it!  Let’s bring justice!” and my logical questioning side says, “Who are they kidding?  They’re backing the lesser of two evils.”  I want to believe in this campaign but I’m not so sure I want to support Invisible Children.  I want to live in a world where the people have the power to band together and precipitate change but I know it’s more complicated and there are many hoops to jump through.

It’s taken me three days of editing and thinking and discussing and writing to finally come to the conclusion that nothing is ever black and white.  I think the biggest lessons I’ve learn through my research are that just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s factual, that knowledge is power and to never take something at face value.

Further Reading:

Help me make up my mind: What do you think about the Kony 2012 Campaign?  What is an issue you believe in?

***UPDATE: I know I’m about four months late on this update. Like many other people, I jumped on the bandwagon of this cause and forgot about it after the fad was over. In my blog revamp I saw this post and decided to check up on the campaign’s progress. In April 2012 this video was released:




Any thoughts?

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One thought on “My Take on the Kony 2012 Campaign

  1. Dustin

    I don't think that raising “awareness” is going to do anything. Does he really care if a bunch of 20somethings in America are aware of him? To me, awareness movements are just a way for people to pretend that they're doing good. “Maybe I'll make someone aware of the problem who can fix it!”

    I also agree with your thoughts on backing the lesser of two evils. Sometimes it's necessary, true. My own personal opinion is that we (the rest of the world) need to stop meddling with Africa. It's not a simple issue, and obviously there are downsides to every course of action, but I think that (seemingly) every interaction the rest of the world has had with Africa since… pretty much ever has had a negative impact.

    Regardless, I was happy to read your thoughts on the matter — being conflicted just means you're actually thinking for yourself instead of hopping on whatever the latest “movement” bandwagon is, and for that I give you one internet high five 🙂

    Reply

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