Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kony 2012

   Most people have seen the Kony 2012 "Invisible Children" video. It went viral on YouTube a couple of weeks ago, and it has proven to be very controversial. While it addresses a very emotional and heartrending issue, some people are suspicious of the video's nature-could it be a scam?
   This video is about the LRA, or the Lord's Resistance Army, a group of people who kidnap children and force them to fight. They centered in Uganda for quite a while, but this issue remained widely unknown and unaddressed-until now.
   About halfway into the 30 minute video, however, it mentions-in passing-that the LRA has left Uganda. It doesn't mention how long it has been since the rebels' exodus, nor does it mention (in words) where the LRA went after leaving Uganda. I can see how this would make the video seem invalid, but I, personally, do not think that where this atrocity is taking place is what really matters. The fact is that is has been done and will probably continue to be performed for a long time. That is the real issue here.
   In my youth group a couple of weeks ago, we discussed the repercussions made by this video. Many shared Kony 2012 on Facebook, or Tweeted about it, even put pictures from it in their binders or offices. For every positive reaction, however, there is an equal and opposite negative reaction. Parents have complained that their children are being taken advantage of and spend money for the cause without knowing anything about the organization the money goes to. Some say that "Invisible Children" is a scam, a ploy to get money. Others complain about the title "Invisible Children," itself. I read a letter where one very emotional and adamant woman said that this title is "insulting", that it "made it seem like the children were unknown by all before". She argued that the children and their families knew about it, and the organization who made the video made it seem like, "Oh, look at us, we validated this issue all by ourselves! Now how about giving us some dough?"
   However it may seem to all the nut jobs out there, I think that this video was made for the sole purpose of raising awareness about the LRA, Kony, and the child soldiers. This seems to be a plain, simple, worthy cause, and anybody who thinks otherwise should just try to look at it differently.
   The best way to stop this is to raise awareness. Fighting Kony with guns will never help. It will just hurt the children, our country, and our adversaries. We need to learn as much about children soldiers and the LRA as we can, and we need to spread awareness all over the world. The more people who know about it, the better. So next time you meet up with a friend for lunch or coffee, ask them if they have sen the Kony 2012 video. If they haven't, tell them to clear a half hour out of their day, watch the video, and tell all their friends about it. If they have seen it, great! Talk about it in depth. Don't just let this be a passing fad. Make a difference.

Watch the video today!


  1. I'm glad you are thinking about things and encouraging the rest of us to do so as well.

  2. I found this opinion piece ( by Brendan O'Neill to be an interesting counterpoint to yours. (The Telegraph blurb describes him as "the editor of spiked, an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms.")

    He's writing for shock value, of course. It's always difficult for me to get a read on viral politics like this because it moves so fast and is so quickly filled with the opinions and criticisms of SO many people. I appreciate both your essays.