So the other day (3/6/2012) I was told by a couple of friends to watch this video about Joseph Kony. I knew nothing about him, although I had briefly heard of Invisible Children. Here is what I saw:

Now, this video is going around Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube like crazy. Everyone’s watching and sharing it to help the cause. I just have one question for everyone… Why?

Now don’t get me wrong, this guy sucks, in fact he might be the worst guy. However, I have a few problems with the video.

Upon my first time seeing the video, these were my thoughts:

  • Why is this guy using his kid so much? It’s kind of cheesy and doesn’t really convey any thing of importance.
  • Then I thought… All documentaries are skewed to get people involved and make them feel for the victims…
  • If this guys is already on the run, why would we need mass awareness now?

I kept thinking about the video for awhile. I really didn’t like his use of his kid. I mean, “We get it, you love your kid, but who doesn’t?” I thought it was a rather corny, and a shallow way to get people to be aware of Kony. However, that’s besides the point. Ultimately, I was moved by the movie, as everyone else.

I wanted to help out. This documentary was definitely well produced. Furthremore, the use of Facebook and timeline made it appealing to a younger audience. Who could resist wanting to help out? That’s when I decided, “Hey I’ll get the action kit.”

Now the video gives you three ways to help out: sign the petition, get the action kid, and donate. I immediately signed the petition and wanted to get the action kit… I figured I’d donate later, as I didn’t really know exactly what I was donating to. Anyways, I went to get the action kit and I realized it costs money… $30! So I figured, maybe I’ll get the bracelet, but that was still $5.

At this point I was wondering, “If they want to spread awareness so bad, and they’re a non-profit, why aren’t they just giving this stuff away? Or at least selling it cheaper.” For example, Live-strong bracelets were what? One dollar? That’s low enough that you can buy one and go about your day without thinking about it. But $30 for this Action Kit that’s a commitment. Needless to say, I didn’t end up getting anything.

However, I did want to do some more research, so I stumbled across some articles:

http://guyism.com/lifestyle/advice/kony-2012-viral-video-scam.html

http://thedailywh.at/2012/03/07/on-kony-2012-2/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-what-s-the-story?newsfeed=true

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

Basically, these articles all point out flaws/shortcomings of the Invisible Children foundation.

  • Only 32% of their income goes directly to the children in need.
  • Their footage from the KONY 2012 video was shot back in 2003.
  • Kony hasn’t been active in Uganda since 2006.
  • Kony is on the run, much like Bin Laden/Hussein, and could even be dead by now.
  • They are helping the military and banking on them to solve the problems.
  • The LRA and Ugandan situation is way more complicated than we realize. It’s not so straightforward.

Upon reading this I was little down on KONY 2012. Yet, as I wrote this article, some of my questions seemed to be answered.

Invisible Children released answers to their critiques, from financial concerns, to their information being out of date. All of that can be seen here: http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html

For the most part, this cleared up my worries. But I still wonder if KONY 2012 is the right way to go about it.

  • Since no more than 40% of their money goes to help the kids, why would I buy a $30 Action Kit?
  • Awareness is already spreading like wildfire due to Fbook, Twitter, Youtube, ect, shouldn’t we focus on something else?
  • It seems that Uganda is very much in control of this situation, and has dealt with it for years; Perhaps, Joesph Kony is only a small part of the situation?
  • Bin Laden and Hussein were put on the back-burner in most people’s minds, when they were on the run and hiding. Why is this awareness so important for Joseph Kony?
  • There have been a number of people in Uganda that disagree with this movement. Shouldn’t we hear what they have to say on the matter? It’s their country… 

In conclusion, I think awareness about Kony is good, but the Kony 2012 campaign might not be the best way to solve the problem. This leads people to support something they don’t fully understand. There is something to be said about that kind of ignorance. We all watched a 25 minute video and now we are doing everything it said. I say we educate ourselves first, then help educate others. That way we will all know what is really going on and we’ll make the most informed opinion. This should lead us to help out in the best way possible. Joseph Kony is an evil man, yet maybe it’s not Ugandans that we should be worrying about helping. I leave you with one final article… It basically says Ugandans have been safe and LRA/Kony free for over 5 years and more military action is not the right way to help; Kony 2012 doesn’t convey this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9131469/Joseph-Kony-2012-growing-outrage-in-Uganda-over-film.html

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