So, because the 'Koney 2012' thing seems to be big hype right now, I'll say my piece. It's old news. New news to many because it hasn't gotten a lot of face time, but old news none the less.
For those just catching up, here's a down and dirty version.
Joseph Kony is a Ugandan military leader responsible for what's known as the LRA or 'The Lords Resistance Army'. He's been kidnapping children for years, and at the moment the number is well over 30 thousand. He's been doing this since about 1988, when he formed what would become the LRA. The man has been known for attempting to make peace talks, then going against his agreements.
It wasn't until about 2006 that he was indicted by the International Criminals Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity, kidnapping, sexual slavery, murder, rape and other charges. Koney is one of the ICC's top ten targets on their most wanted list.
2003 rolls around, and 3 filmmakers go to Sudan and travel to Uganda looking for a story. They stumble on Kony and what he's doing to the Ugandans. And they begin a movement that spanned the globe, soon to be known as 'Invisible Children', an effort to capture Kony, get government awareness and to get the kidnapped kids back to their families. It's a beautiful thing, and millions of people joined the effort.
America got involved in 2011 with Barack Obama signing documents to allow the sending of 100 U.S. troops to Uganda to help the Ugandan military remove Kony from power. They weren't there to fight but to advise the Ugandan's. This is on top of the U.S. already being aware of Kony, in fact Kony has been on the U.S.A.'s 'Specially Designated Global Terrorists' list since 2008.
A documentary called 'Invisible Children', created by the group of the same name, has been in circulation since 2006. Recently, a new video to direct awareness to the necessity of Kony being brought to justice was released by the Invisible Children Organization on March 5th, and has been circulating like wildfire. The video is called 'Kony 2012', and it's job is to bring awareness to the world that Kony should be captured by no later than the end of this year. It's intent is to make governments aware, especially the American government which is already invested in the situation, to not pull out and to see the mission through to Kony's arrest and trial. A wonderful thing to do except...
... Koney is probably hiding in the congo or doing a Saddam impression of hiding in a hole waiting for America to pull back. The LRA is no longer a significant presence in Uganda anymore, in fact they're under peace treaties with the Ugandan's.
U.S. troops were deployed LAST year, specifically in October, to help the Ugandan military. While Koney hasn't been physically caught, he will be.
The big hype right now is people crying 'If we don't show enough effort to our government, the US will pull our troops from Uganda and Koney won't be caught!'. The thing is, Kony is a marked terrorist by the U.S.. Our government is invested already, and they probably won't pull out until the bastard is caught. The ICC is also invested in his capture.
And that's where the group Invisible Children is possibly doing damage right now by taking money they don't need to take to do a job that's already being done. The only reason it's catching so much attention right now is because of the video circulating the net. People just never heard about him until recent years and they want to jump on being a part of history like it's a notch in a prizefighters belt.
I'm not saying Invisible Children started out bad. They did a good thing by bringing awareness to a threat that should be extinguished and for bringing that awareness they should be commended. But right now, I think they're waving their arms around needlessly and promoting poor practices for a non-profit foundation. 32% of their funds is given to the charity, out of $8,676,614? Advocating direct military intervention? Defending the LRA and Ugandan militaries after they've been accused of rape? For every poster, every bracelet, every time you watch the video, that's money in their personal pockets instead of being put towards actually solving the problem. Doesn't exactly seem 'charitable' to me. And there are worse things they've done, but I'll leave that for you to read up on.
Cast your own judgement, do your own research. But for me, I'm not putting money into the pockets of the Invisible Children Orginization, and I'm honestly not worried. Kony will be caught, he will be tried, he will be found guilty. Justice will be served. But don't go blindly following after the first video you see posted or the first tweet you read without checking the facts first. And there are plenty out there:
Further proof that there is so much wrong with the Kony 2012 movement.
The movement of Invisible Children has brought awareness to a problem that pretty much no longer exists as it is named. Worse, it has successfully taken African nations, countries that are powerful and strong and cultures that are as diverse and beautiful as our own, and throws them back hundreds of years thanks to what comes down to a bunch of white people playing saviors to 'the poor black people who need rescuing'. No. Screw you, no.
People can argue all they want that 'We're changing history by helping this group!'.
No. No you aren't. You're lining the pockets of people that haven't helped the Ugandas for YEARS. You're helping an organization that colors these peoples plight so sourly it makes me sick. You're helping TRIVIALIZE a problem, minimalize it and then have the balls to feel justified because you 'changed your status' or 'tweeted about it'.
You want to help people, do some research and look into GOOD charities to help people, and not just people outside your country. Pretty sure we all have problems at home too. You want to feel good about helping someone, good for you. Make sure you put yourself behind something that won't make you regret your choice.
And before anyone decides to go 'You're a hypocrite, you don't donate to anything', I unfortunately can't because I live paycheck to paycheck and pay bills bigger than what I earn each week (Thank Americas secondary education system for that). All the same, I've got my eyes on at least THREE charities I intend to donate to when I've got the funds to do so regularly.
I'm doing my research to make sure the right people are going to get the money, get the supplies and the problems being presented are being presented without slanted view.
Can any of you say the same? Can any of you say without a shadow of a doubt that you take the time to educate yourselves, to look into the subject and compare notes? Or are you only parroting whats trending to make yourself feel good?
Think careful before answering.
But I can say this, in the style of Penn and Teller: Kony 2012 is Bullsh!t.