Kony’s not a phony, but that charity could be
The Kony revolution is not one that can be ignored. Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army and in the late ’90s, he stole children from their beds and forced them to become members of his army and killed their friends and family. Kony is a horrific human being who needs to be stopped, who is on the run from the World Court, BUT has not been actively recruiting children to be a part of the Lord’s Resistance Army since between 2004-2005.
According to the social media blitz movement from Invisible Children, three filmmakers took off to Africa in search of a story. In 2003, they filmed a short documentary about the horrors of Kony and the children in Uganda. Then in 2005, those three filmmakers released the film to friends and family. It was then in 2006 that Invisible Children became a non-for-profit organization. The video you have been watching was filmed almost eight years ago.
Perhaps, in light of SOPA and the Planned Parenthood media blitz that revolutionized both of those movements, the founders of Invisible Children decided now was the time to tell the world about Joseph Kony through Facebook and Twitter. SOPA and PP had huge social media pushes and reversed the outcomes of both issues. That would seem like a good reason to me to jump on the PR bandwagon. Money in our pockets, under the guise of, find Kony? Hell yeah.
How do we differentiate between a solid social movement and propaganda? Now as a society we need to decide what is true or being twisted by an agenda to get us to donate money? Beyond that, how do we know where our money is going?
I have been told by numerous people that the Kony horrors are similar to Nazi Germany. I am not even going to walk down this path. Believe what you want. While the acts of horror in Uganda were despicable, in my opinion, the only connection is that you were dealing with two power hungry men. And if we want to talk about genocide, let’s talk about the Serbs, the Turks, the English vs. the Native Americans, etc.
I knew this all sounded so familiar that it didn’t sit well with me. There is a definite reason for that – the LRA hasn’t been abducting children en masse since 2004. I watched news programs back then that spoke of the evils of Joseph Kony. I was truly surprised that all of sudden, he was a hot topic. What you are buying into ended years ago (the children soldiers). I don’t doubt that Kony is a beast of man that is still doing horrific things and he does need to be brought to justice by the World Court for crimes against humanity. He was actually charged in 2005 and he has yet to be brought to justice. Why has he not been caught yet and why has no country been actively involved in doing anything about it? It’s not because we like to turn a blind eye. In fact, if America is guilty of anything, it’s butting their nose into the business of others. Do you really think that getting Oprah involved is going to save Africa or Uganda? And where was everyone in the height of the war between 1999 and 2004? It must be that since Facebook and Twitter were just in their infancy, we didn’t know what was going on in the world.
“As the organization (Invisible Children) spent $1,859,617 on travel and filmmaking last year (out of total expenses of $8,894,630) one would think Invisible Children could have shown a more current (and accurate) picture of Northern Uganda and the organizations there working to improve it.” (Deibert, 2012)
If all Invisible Children wanted was an awareness for the horrors in Uganda, they would have released this video long ago, would not have a donation button on their site, and wouldn’t be setting up a day for everyone to #StopKony coming up in April. There is way more going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about but we need to start looking at things with a critical eye. Sure that video tugged your heart strings, but if you had known that the video came out in 2003 and the war ended for the most part in 2004, would you have donated money?
Kony is out there. Now what are we going to do about it now that we are aware? Contact your alderman, senator, or congressman. Did you pick up the phone or call someone in a higher seat of the government to say that Kony needs to be caught? I think that is what needs to be done if you want to make an impact. Donating money to a cause that is showing film from 2003 doesn’t seem like a reputable charity to me. There seems to be some fleecing going on and it needs to stop. Don’t just hash tag on Twitter. Don’t just share a video on Facebook. Leave your mark. Go make a real difference. Contact people who can do something about it. Making an impact doesn’t have to cost a cent. Tell someone who matters that you want Kony to be caught.