For those who are not aware, recently a documentary on Youtube has gone viral accumulating over 11.5 million views in only 2 DAYS! It is a video that aims to bring awareness of the Invisible Children Inc.’s campaign in Uganda called “Kony 2012.” If you have not watched this video, I would highly recommend taking the time to check it out here:
There has been huge support for this campaign, especially on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. It has been getting a ton of hype (IMO, maybe too much hype :S) and as a result, there is much controversy. In this article, I will be writing about what I think about Kony 2012, and it’s not positive.
1. Kony 2012 represents the ignorance in our generation
It’s truly unfortunate that the only (well, it seems that way) way to get people to be concerned about international affairs is through flashy cinematography. The fact is that the majority of Kony 2012 supporters don’t even bother researching the issue before they like/share the video on Facebook. I think it’s great that the campaign is “empowering” our generation to “fight” for a cause they believe but, how much change can be accomplished by one Facebook like? Some advocates of Kony 2012 assert that people are supporting the campaign (which I will refute in a later point) and becoming more aware about the issues in Uganda (which are undeniably huge, I admit). However, the fact is that support from our generation, whether through the internet or not, is tangential. If Kony 2012 reaches their goal and manages to keep American advisors in Uganda, so what? Are people going to sit, twiddling their thumbs, staring, waiting by their computer screens for Kony’s arrest with the same amount of ebullience as they have now? Of course not!
And while there is so much of this superficial support of Kony 2012, the public are turning a blind eye away from possibly larger international issues. (*cough* Syria *cough*) Now, I’m not saying at all that Kony 2012 is bad, I support the campaign and its mission, I just find it sad that people (most of whom aren’t even well educated about issues!) pay so much to this issue, something that has been going on for years, but not issues such as the Syrian government military crackdowns, because of a flashy video! (Flashy ≠ Derogatory) IMO, I just think that this whole situation reflects poorly on our generation, and shows just how ignorant some people can be.
2. Kony 2012 is fighting for the STATUS QUO (Not for change!) and WAR
The reality is that Kony 2012 is NOT a campaign for change, it is a campaign for maintaining what currently is in place. Jason Russells (the man in the video) essentially needs support to keep the American advisors in Uganda (Because the American Government wants to take them out), which makes me feel like the amount of attention that Kony 2012 is getting is not good. Not saying that what Russells is fighting for is not good, but when people could be supporting issues like the Syrian government massacring its citizens, but instead they are supporting, essentially a war, I think we are in trouble. Now let me explain what I meant by war, when you sponsor Kony 2012 (buying action kits, etc.), you are essentially supporting the American soldiers to hunt and find Joseph Kony. But in the video, it clearly states that Kony kidnaps Ugandan children, gives them guns, and forces them to fight as soldiers. Do you know what this means? When the American army is hunting for Kony, Kony is going to command his “army” of children soldiers to protect him. This means children soldiers shooting American soldiers, WHICH MEANS AMERICAN SOLDIERS RETALIATING AND SHOOTING AT CHILDREN SOLDIERS. There is no peaceful way of arresting Kony, there will be violence, there will be a “war” and worst of all, it’ll be against Ugandan children. I don’t know about you but I’d be hesitant to support such an idea.
3. Kony 2012 is bureaucratic and support vandalism
So, the people behind Kony 2012 are selling “action kits,” and what these kits comprise of are a t-shirt, a Kony 2012 guide, a (admittingly snazzy) bracelet, stickers, buttons, and posters. (You can buy them for $30 here) But, where do you think that $30 is going? The Kony 2012 campaign doesn’t need money, right? The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness and support, to make Joseph Kony “famous,” right? So, where else could this precious cash go? Well, there are two possibilities, either to Invisible Children Inc., or the pockets of those behind Kony 2012. Neither of which would be directly supporting the driving impetus behind WHY a person would buy an action kit. Frankly, I don’t think this is okay.
As well, although a small note but, it is rather illegal to just paste thousands upon thousands of posters on public buildings and property… I’m not sure if those behind Kony 2012 know this but, this is called VANDALISM. And no matter how great the cause, it’s not justified to break the law, and so on a practical view, I don’t support the campaign.
Again, I’m not saying that I’m right. I’m not saying that Kony 2012 is bad, I just think that it reflects some obvious flaws in our society. But I’d be more than happy to see your opinions on this extremely controversial topic, so please post a comment below. And maybe, we can have a little bit of a debate. 😉