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.
- This Reddit Comment
- The Globe and Mail article
- Washington Times Communities article
- Foreign Policy blog
- Invisible Children’s official response to negativity
- Kony 2012: rebels without a pause
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: