#KONY2012

I was going to wait until next week, to avoid interrupting Beard Week, but it’s gaining a lot of momentum.

The organization behind this, Invisible Children, are doing everything right. They’ve been at work for years, but they’ve set a deadline for bringing Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord, to justice before the end of 2012. In order to accomplish this they’ve gone to where all of the major revolutions have grown in the past 5 years, the Internet.

They’re hitting all of the major social networking platforms. They’re enlisting celebrities and politicians who have the ability to make a large, social impact. Most importantly, they’re teaching young people how to make a difference by reaching out to their government, even though it doesn’t yield an immediate response. The video above is well constructed and makes the concept so easy to grasp that even a young child can understand what they are attempting to accomplish. It’s quite amazing.

There is some opposition to the claims made by Invisible Children, stating their facts are incorrect or grossly exaggerated, but it doesn’t change the fact that Joseph Kony is still #1 on the International Criminal Court‘s list.

It will be interesting to see the impact of this movement, not only in its effectiveness in bringing a monster to justice, but how the apathetic youth we all once were/are reacts. Will they bring the same kind of enthusiasm to be the change they want to see locally, or will it be a flash in the pan moment of action?

UPDATE:

During the time since posting this I received a few links to articles from friends on Twitter and Facebook that focused on Invisible Children’s use of donations and questioning what would actually happen if Kony was taken out of power. Watching the video the first time I was a little put off by the push for people to buy their “action kit”, or whatever they called it. At no point did I feel the need to send them anything. Getting people to buy trinkets isn’t horrible, but the question of how the money is put to use should always be asked. The Daily What have an article with a fairly extensive number of links to educate you further. After that, decide whether or not you want to give them money. What I want is to see young people come together to accomplish SOMETHING. Get the sense that if you’re passionate about a cause, it is possible for you and a few friends to make a difference.

SECOND UPDATE:

I think it’s only fair to allow Invisible Children the chance to respond.

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6 thoughts on “#KONY2012

  1. I was also going to wait. Mainly because I am full of doubt. I don’t know why the video starts off with YouTube clips and features a pretty, blue-eyed, white boy. I don’t know why it’s important that I know the founder’s name. I don’t agree with the assertion that if this happened in America, it would be all over the news.

    My criticisms cannot be nearly as articulate and relevant as this blog: http://innovateafrica.tumblr.com/

    In the end, I support awareness. And last night I didn’t know Kony’s name. But this war is over. This is now a witch hunt.

    I support this campaign insofar as I support continued aid by U.S. intelligence in all devastated regions of the world … that requests our help.

  2. I’ve been sent a few articles as to the dubious nature of the group’s spending. I didn’t give them any money, didn’t plan to, but I think creating awareness and motivating young people is a worthwhile endeavor. I’ll edit the article to include a disclaimer with a link to one of the articles.

  3. Yeah, I’m not saying that the company is fraudulent. I’m certainly not saying that. I’m saying I don’t like the tone of the message.

    It’s a privately-run charity. There are plenty of Charity Watch groups who can and do monitor them. What they do with their money is not in question. And if it takes a 30 minute long video with top-tier production value to achieve their goal of spreading awareness, cool.

    What I don’t like is white America rescuing black Africa as the marketing message. And I also close my ears to any argument that begins or ends with ‘babies are dying.’ If it obscures internal, political discussions of Roe v. Wade, it will certainly obscure complicated foreign struggles.

    Jason Russell is a good man. I support his crusade to promote awareness.

    I apologize if it sounds like I’m playing both sides.

    If we continue Jason Russell’s quest, after Uganda, will we discuss Burma? Then Qatar?

    At what point do we come back to Kissinger and Cheney?

  4. Well, everything I had to say has been said now.

    Except for this: I sincerely look forward to a future where the internet brings people across the world together to fight injustice and propagate social equity.

  5. UPDATE: I originally just posted this link without comment – click through for a discussion of the legitimacy of the charitable fund as broken down by Givewell, a watchdog organization that rates charities after in-depth research.

    It shows that malaria is a much bigger (and less fraught) threat. Though it’s not one that you can shoot in the face, so it’s hard to say how Americans could rally behind it.

    http://blog.givewell.org/2012/03/08/the-worst-killer-of-invisible-children-is-not-joseph-kony/

    I add to this link another great discussion I just saw on Boing Boing about the bigger picture.

    http://boingboing.net/2012/03/07/kony-2012-a-viral-mess.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29

    The LRA is not new, and it is very much responsible for many baldly horrific things. But, as it turns out, the biggest culprits are slipperier, amorphous, and very often noticeable only through their impact. Like malaria.

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