Kony 2012: Haters Gonna Hate.

You have almost certainly seen the video or known what Kony 2012 is about by now.  If not then take a look at the Kony 2012 Video on YouTube.

The short version is that there’s a warlord in Africa who has been committing war crimes of the worst sort for the last 20-odd years and the makers of the short film want to make him famous to raise global awareness of this individual.

So far so good, right?

The video went viral and over 80 million people have viewed it and it has generated a mixed response.  The negative responders are suggesting that the issues in Africa are complex and that the video over simplifies them (probably very true) and that the group that created the video (Invisible Children) is a evangelical Christian group and that contributing to them would be a mistake because they would likely use funds to promote other less appetizing causes like anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc. and finally that just raising awareness would do nothing to actually get Joseph Kony in jail.

Since the negative views came out the spread of the video has slowed in the extreme which, to me, is a sad thing because it was working.  In fact it may already have worked enough to get Joseph Kony caught but if it hasn’t and these crab-like comments prevent this campaign from working them that really is Total Suckage.

So, what about the negatives then?

The Video Oversimplifies the Situation in Africa

Yes, I’m sure it does.  In fact the authors of the video say as much in an information page and the CEO of Invisible Children address their goals and their finances in a video:


Invisible Children will use funds to Promote Unsavory Agendas

This hasn’t happened.  I don’t think there is justification to stop a campaign because of what people might do.  If Invisible Children start using donations to promote ridiculous and or hateful things then that will be the time to stop supporting them.  In fact supporting this campaign doesn’t require a donation of any kind—it really just requires people to be willing to spread the video though social media.

Raising Awareness won’t help catch Joseph Kony

This, I think, is one of the hardest concepts to grasp.  On its surface it seems like just knowing about Kony won’t do anyone any good, but the truth is that people like Joseph Kony need to be invisible themselves.  Other well respected charities like Amnesty International know this well and a large part of their efforts in support of political prisoners is just sending letters letting the countries and prisons know that THEY know certain people are being held there.  That awareness is the enemy because they want to be able to continue their agenda without resistance.

Ultimately the awareness may turn into greater support from countries like the United States to provide intelligence (not direct military support) to the countries that the LRA and Joseph Kony work in so that local government can efficiently isolate and arrest him.

I encourage the continued spread of this video and hope that by the end of 2012 that hundreds of millions of new people will be aware of Kony and that he will be arrested and tried for war crimes.



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