Allow me to first begin by saying that I have the utmost respect for what Invisible Children has accomplished. The agency’s ability to create a message effective enough to penetrate through the apathetic walls of today’s youth is a feat that deserves recognition. In addition, their overarching goals to bring an evil man to justice and to create awareness for political strife in Uganda are both admirable. I would also like to disclaim that I am not criticizing simply for the sake of criticizing. I am criticizing because I see a need to further question something that many people have accepted at face value. I’m not claiming to have the answers to all the questions I will raise but I think it’s important to ask them anyways.

My initial question asks whether or not the majority of people who have seen the Kony video have conducted further research beyond the scope of the 29 minute video? If yes, and you have made an informed decision to support the Invisible Children foundation, then you may stop reading here. If not, and you are one of the people who hit the ‘share’ button on facebook before the video even ended, then I think you need to seriously re-evaluate your idea of what it means to be informed. You have done nothing except for watch one video, created by one agency. Did you even stop to think about the bias that is being presented? At this point, you are no more informed about Uganda than a person who has watched a conspiracy theory documentary about the moon landing is about Nasa. To be clear, I’m not saying that the KONY video is a conspiracy theory, I’m simply saying that it has an inherent bias. Have you investigated Invisible Children’s financial statements and reviewed how much money the company spends on aid and assistance vis-à-vis how much it spends on marketing, filming, and promotion, etc? The numbers may shock you. Might you want to donate or give your support to another agency? Perhaps. To be clear, I’m not saying Invisible Children is an evil organization; I’m just saying, you might want to do a little more questioning. Here is the link to the financial statements for reference: http://c2052482.r82.cf0.rackcdn.com/images/737/original/FY11-Audited%20Financial%20Statements.pdf?1320205055

Another problem I have with the video is its call to action. From what I’m to gather, the video has asked us to lobby our politicians in hopes that they’ll militarily intervene within Central Africa. Aside from the fact that U.S. operations aiding the Ugandan government already exist, I wonder if anyone thought about the implications of this. Did anyone stop to consider whether the Ugandan government wants military intervention? More importantly, do the Ugandan people want military intervention? Does it not sound a bit like intervening in Iraq to find Saddam Hussein? Also, did you consider that the LRA might not be the only guilty party? To be sure, the Ugandan military has also committed many human rights atrocities during the course of a long, bloody, complex civil war. What about the fact that a full scale military intervention would put an end to any peace talks that currently exist, albeit even though they are filled with rhetoric?

Of course, there’s also the issue that finding Kony may not be the best way to contribute to productive development within the region. Sure, let’s say hypothetically that we find Kony; then what? The LRA disbands? Not necessarily. Even if it does, does this put an end to deep-rooted hatred that has existed between two groups of people for many years? Would it maybe be more productive to focus our efforts on dealing with the inherent problems in the region that led to the beginning of the conflict and those that have facilitated its long term persistence? Again, to clarify, I do believe that Kony being brought to justice will have a positive impact, I’m just unsure as to whether this is where all of our attention should be focused.

In my opinion, the Kony 2012 campaign falls victim to the same problems as many internet fads. Though it is a bit course to call this a fad when it has sincerely touched so many people, the truth of the matter is that it’s accurate. When looked at objectively, it is a bunch of people who have focused their collective consciousness on one event for a short period of time, stopping only to gather the minimal amount of information needed, because it will be gone from our consciousness before we know it. I mean, I even saw an Antoine Dodson picture about it. If that doesn’t make it a meme, I don’t know what does. Of course, we can prevent it from going the way of so many other memes by bothering to actually get informed. Please don’t take my word on anything I’ve written here. Feel free to conduct research yourself and argue with me. In fact, I encourage it.

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