Kony 2012

Update: Please see this post for ideas on where to donate to help people in Northern Uganda.

Update 2: Please see my more recent post for clarification and expansion on issues raised here.

The video below, Kony 2012, has been doing the rounds on Facebook, G+ and Twitter today in an attempt to bring to the world’s attention the plight of child soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) in Uganda. Now the LRA is a despicable organisation that has been involved in some of the most sickening acts imaginable including slavery, abduction, rape and using children as soldiers and their leader Joseph Kony, from whom the film takes its name, is a piece of shit. There is no debate about this. The man is scum through and through.

This video, and the campaign that created it, is extremely disturbing. From watching the video ones immediate reaction is to share it and to try and ensure that something gets done, possibly by donating to the campaign or buying something from their line of t-shirts, badges and the like to further spread awareness of what is going on. A natural reaction when faced with such a horrible situation.

However when we look at the facts surrounding the film a rather unpleasant stink begins to fill the air. Something that smells a lot like the white man’s burden and possibly cynical opportunism.

The campaign calls for military intervention in Uganda to capture Kony and bring him to justice, something he most certainly deserves. However the film and campaign are rather liberal with the truth. Kony and the LRA have been pretty much smashed and have been inactive in Uganda since 2006 and there is now a peace process in place. A process that stammers and stalls, but that is what they always do.

Of the money that gets made by Invisible Children only 31% goes on their charity work and the rest on film making, though the charity has never been audited so we assume. But this 31% of your money, that you either directly give to them or help them raise through sharing their video, goes on things like funding Uganda’s military and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both forces have been associated with despicable acts such as using rape as a weapon of war.

Founders of Invisible Children pose with members of the SPLA
Photograph of the founders of Invisible Children posing with members of the SPLA.

 Do you really want to fund this? If so then share the video to your hearts content and be glad when the violence continues and more children die. Seriously, how do you expect to take military action, which Invisible Children support, against a person who uses children as soldiers without killing children? What do you think will happen when military action is taken? Do you not think that there will be more reprisals and bloodshed?

All the while that you are sharing this video, changing your Facebook status or photograph and tweeting about this far and wide you are promoting a wrong headed initiative that supports a most brutal regime, one that tortures prisoners and has sought to condemn homosexuals to death for simply loving people of the same sex, which can only make matters worse in the region. We need to support people when they seek to better their living conditions, when they seek to put an end to murderous scum like Joseph Kony and Yoweri Museveni. What we must not do is support, probably well meaning, rich Westerners flying around the world trying to solve the problems of poor old Africa.

Some more on the story and on Invisible Children can be found at the following blogs.

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com.nyud.net/

http://www.wrongingrights.com/2009/03/worst-idea-ever.html

http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/the-visible-problem-with-invisible-children/

The last one there, ilto, is a post from 2006 showing that this criticism of Invisible Children has been around as long as they have.

Please, if you want to do something to help the people who suffer in Uganda, and anywhere else in the world for that matter, educate yourself on the situation there in ways that go beyond Youtube videos and listening to a bunch of rich white people. Try reading the local news, reading blogs from the area if any are available. Hell even start with the Wikipedia entry or reading the New Internationalist world guide. Don’t allow emotive and snazzily made videos play on your basic humanity. Read, read and then read some more before you go making a mistake and supporting an initiative that could just make things so much worse.

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448 thoughts on “Kony 2012

  1. Well it does seem like allot of you have been to Africa and seem to have a very detailed personal knowledge about all the problems over in that part of the world.

    What is this “I’m the most worldly and greatest Samaritan” competition? I have never been to Africa and all my information of the issues there is second hand, however I am a pacifist and even I know it is not our business to fund and train a foreign army to fight a war in Africa that has been going on for decades.

    Do you not think that it is possible that both rebel sides are guilty of atrocities? Why do white westerners think that it’s ok to interfere in international affairs on the basis of some tenuous moral campaign?

    Things are always far more complicated than they seem.

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    1. It’s 2012 , it’s not about race it’s about classism , westerns are middle class high class , groups of people , solidarity can come from any body regardless of race , so I think people need to stop going on about white westerns , as I siad classism is what boils down to, yes westerns are the real colonist the real devils , they are the poisen , but to state again please don’t put white people under lebal of westrens , cause invisable children team are from all races

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  2. Hi to all , thanks for this article were a lot of good valid points, it is about empowering people , and to stand in solidarity with others , I think there a lot of postive outcomes from invisible children org, one being 2012 a year of connection that people can use social networking to stand up Agiast humanity issuess , and don’t have to wait for governmental support. I really think that what I get from the video movie that recently aired on utube, the sense that movements and connecting together to be proactive , regarding kony I think he needs to be stoped, yes since 2006 he’s not been the same , but he still has the mentality that all kids should carry guns, his influence is the most dangous , who knws who is the next kony to rise up , who follow him, he needs to be stop before the joseph kony rises up, so yes the unvisable children org have sum nagetive aspects , but over all they have done sumthing rather than nothing , I belive the have chosen to stand in solidarity with the kids and they are not just a western orgnistion , you’ll find that invisble children org are every conor in the world , ps if you knw kids anywhere in the world that are invisable , spend time talk to them just be there for them , big shout out to kids of this world your beautiful , one love one world 🙂

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    1. No matter what there will always be corruption , and yes it was a Hollywood style video which is not good ,people who wrote on this blog let’s start a page on facbook to work together and get real facts what people think

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    1. Do you actually know what’s happening in Uganda or are you taking your entire understanding of the politics of central and Eastern Africa from a 30 minute video on Youtube?

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  3. This whole Kony 2012 thing is a total scam! Don’t fall for it. THINK! As a professional tv maker I can tell you this is one crafty piece of pure propaganda. Very cleverly put together by professionals that know what they are doing. It’s 30 minutes of hollywood style trickery, intended to hit an emotional chord with people who do not think, but primary act on emotions. If you watch carefully, you can even see how deceitful the whole thing is put together. I give you one such example. At approximately 13:38, Nobert Mao is interviewed. He says: “We are determined to cooperate with any friend of Uganda to ensure that this…” ->CUT!!!!<- "…mindless killing and slaughter is ended." A casual viewer might think this is what he said, while in fact, the producers of this propaganda piece cleverly glued two (possibly unrelated) sentences together to produces this supposed quote. So, now there is no way of telling if this guy was even talking about Kony at all. There are many, many more of these kinds of examples in this video.

    I am just disgusted by this kind of deceitful propaganda targeted at young and impressionable people. This video is selling war, occupation and supporting corrupt regimes, all in the name of peace. This video is NOT about the children in Uganda. The makers of this video couldn't give a rats ass about them. This is about swaying public opinion to support the coming invasion of the African continent under the guise of "humanitarian war" (how's that for a Orwellian term). We really need to wake up and educate people about this, before things get really out of hand. Time is running out. We need to learn people to THINK again! Otherwise they WILL become the mindless puppets and useful idiots, these people are desperately hoping for.

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  4. Stop bitching and get on board some good causes that help those who need help. Get out of your safe comfortable beds, tap your full belly, and go to your paid job and contemplate what the hell you have to moan about!!

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