Something felt strange about IC, and while I couldn’t really articulate it then, I didn’t get into their cause. It felt uncomfortable that they commercialized poverty to sell wristbands & t-shirts. It seemed strange to send culturally ignorant people with cameras out to invade the lives of struggling people in the name of “helping” them. While Invisible Children appeared “trendy”, I couldn’t get into it.
When this viral video came out, it had FISHY written all over it. I was like – woah, since when do people actually care about social ills? Imagine if people always became so passionate OVER NIGHT about widespread problems! Lol.
Since it hit, I have been investigating Invisible Children, the film, and all the resources around it. The debate around it is confusing. Using the facts, trustworthy sources, some Ugandan history 101, and my own social analysis, I am going to give you my current thoughts on the matter.
Invisible Children and “Kony 2012″ are doing more harm than good. I do not support the Kony “campaign”.
A statement by Invisible Children’s Director of Communications has indicated that Invisible Children is now working with the Ugandan Army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, both of which are violent forms of intervention. I understand that sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, but as I will discuss in sections 2, 5, and 6: violent military intervention is not necessary or even justifiable in this case.
Additionally, the Ugandan military & SPLA have wreaked havoc on its people, including raping them and stealing from them.
False Solutions & Faux-activism
Do not get me wrong, I want this Kony asshole caught as much as the next person. I would never condone or support such inhumanity. I hope this would be obvious.
However, the solutions proposed by IC to catch Kony are strange. The film sets out to make Kony famous. This operates so that Obama will keep pressure on Uganda with American advisors until Kony is either captured or dead. Fine – but I can’t find anything saying that Obama/America will pull out. So uh…..what is prompting all the urgent “save the world now” “put posters everywhere” crap? 0 effective value.
Further, the proposed military solution is oversimplified. To quote Wilkerson:
“One of the biggest issues with a simplistic “Stop Kony” message is that discussions of Navy Seals or drone strikes are inevitable when patience runs out with Ugandan-led efforts . But what about the dozens or hundreds of abducted and brainwashed kids? Should we bomb [the kids too]? Will they actually stop fighting after Kony is gone? What if they shoot back?”
So….KILL KONY! (?) AND ALL THE KIDS TOO!! (?) OR….JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T HIT THEM WITH YOUR BULLETS! Right? Or what? How can so many people support a goal that is so vague & unclear?
“Coming back to the ‘Kony 2012′ video and its celebrity endorsements, what are the consequences of unleashing so many exuberant activists armed with so few facts? Defining Uganda in the international conversation by issues that are either geographical misfires (Save northern Uganda!) or an intentional attempt to distract the international community (Death to the gays!), do a disservice to the many critical problems Uganda has.”
This brings me full circle to my frustration with people becoming so “passionate” over something they know nothing about while constantly turning a blind eye to the issuesinformed activists try to bring to light every damn day.
Here’s to practical, culturally sensitive, humane, and informed solutions to finding Kony.