What do I think of KONY 2012 ?

I’m sure you have all heard about the KONY 2012 Campaign – if not, I suggest you come out from under that rock and read a newspaper, logon to Facebook or update your tweets because it’s EVERYWHERE and rightly so.

Today I received a post on my Facebook in reply to my support of the campaign. The article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald and gave a brief insight into the other side of the movement (ah, the skeptics, those guys HATE being left out!)

Having completed my undergraduate majors in International Politics, I swore that I would never again overtly engage in political discourse (perhaps it’s the same reason I can never wear royal blue again or watch Clueless without dissecting it like a year 12 English student… my high school uniform ruined that shade and destroyed Clueless…anyway).

The response I have provided for the SMH article posted on my wall is below. I would like to preface this with the fact that I realise there are two sides to every story, but until worse details regarding the underlining reasons for the skepticism come to light, this is my opinion and this is where my loyalty lies. Being female, being young and not having all the facts gives me the ability, the right, to change my mind – and I suppose that is the crux of this whole movement…the power of social media to debate and promote discussion, allowing the positions to swing and votes to sway. Given that, I consider myself an open minded individual and my ears are prepared for the deliberations of those on both sides of the fence – bring it on!

I suggest readers check out the ‘Invisible Children’ video on Joseph Kony and also have a read of the article that I am referring to (see links below).

Here is my 2 cents…

In my opinion this article (by the SMH) does not provide anything worthy enough to substantiate claims that this campaign is harmful or holds motives that are untoward. It does highlight concerns for what this movement may or may not achieve, but I don’t feel they are concrete enough to cause great concerned.

“Later, I worked with a colleague to try and publish a story about what we saw as their questionable practices, but we couldn’t get a publication to bite.” This is probably because most publications would fear the immense public scrutiny that would come with the potential overshadowing the ‘greater cause’, with political B.S. Without military intervention, how else are they going to stop this horrific chapter in history?

It’s all fine and well to criticise the campaigns means, methods and motives but at the end of the day it’s important to look at the bigger picture – that is, putting an end to the raping, pillaging and murder – the unjust actions of Joseph Kony and the LRA.

This article (and the cynics interviewed) is an example of the typical behaviour and everything that is wrong with governments in general (generalisation warning). Everybody stands around and jabbers on about ‘doing something’, debating “the positives of this – the negatives of that” and time passes so quickly with nothing ever actually getting done, the issue only growing bigger and bigger. Have you done anything to try and stop this genocide? ‘Invisible Children’ are having a crack – so, who are we to censure that?

I’m not sure I agree with the notion that Invisible Children “…have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasising the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony…” Oh come on – let’s get serious here, this man is vile. Whether he has murdered and raped 10 or 10,000 is irrelevant. The problem is that he has done it, and has the power to continue doing so – at what rate, is immaterial.

I applaud this group for being ‘doers’ rather than ‘gunners’ – it takes bravery and courage to move forward and take a chance on something that no one else will bite the bullet for…

I would hate to see a bunch of gutless hypocrites ruin something that could potentially work – and if it doesn’t, what have we lost? “pushing Kony across borders and having weapons fall into the wrong hands in Africa.”? Are they serious? What do they think is already happening? Kony does whatever he wants, weapons are in the hands of children brainwashed into kill their parents…I think the wrong hands have already seize violent means in Africa…don’t you?

As someone recently commented; The central thesis of Kony 2012 is that social media can be exploited to place great crimes in a bright spotlight. Hard to criticise that.” AGREED! This is a great crime – the flimsy details that the scoffers are choosing to highlight are selfish acts of greedy spotlight thieves. Shut up…let this campaign run its course and if Joseph Kony is captured, how great! If not, honestly, what have we lost? The 2 seconds it took to ‘Retweet’ or the spare change that you would have bought that extra coffee with, that you didn’t really need.

Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 video:

http://vimeo.com/37119711

The Sydney Morning Herald article:

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/get-kony-goes-viral-questions-raised-about-charitys-social-media-blitz-20120308-1ulnk.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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8 thoughts on “What do I think of KONY 2012 ?

  1. This blog is so cutting edge, two fingers on the carotid political pulse of the globe.

    Having been to Africa several times and seen just a handful of the atrocities that occur in certain parts makes me want to support and spread this movement. I love its innovative style and the use of social media to engage on a personal level rather than distanciate as it can be prone to. More power to the movement and on a greater level more power to the betterment of humanity…in the end isn’t that what it is all about?

    • Thank you Hannah.
      Hitting the nail on the head there. At the end of the day, that is what this movement is – pure and simple – the betterment of humanity!
      In a case of majority rules here, the cause is for the greater good. It frustrates me to see people trying to cloud what is a positive thing, with guesstimates and worries of what might be.
      Kony is a bad man. Bad men need justice.
      “Where you live shouldn’t determine WHETHER you live.”

  2. Nice little piece there split beans.

    This comment is based around the point in your last paragraph which reads ‘let this campaign run its course and if Joseph Kony is captured, how great! If not, honestly, what have we lost’.
    I take issue here as I do see a big downside.
    First let me point out that there is one glaring fact that is missing from all the pro lets catch Kony reports (by ‘reports’ I mean the emotional rollercoaster youtube video) – when was Kony last spotted doing bad things in Uganda. I saw one source stating 6 years ago and read comments from Ugandans saying 10 years ago.
    It seems odd that the American military would go to a country to find someone because they were once there. Staying with the American military for a sentence or two, what does their past and recent history of operations abroad look like? Sadly it is not good nor was the presence well intended, as like the Middle East, Uganda (has recently) declared the discovery of huge oil reserves. This is the downside I am referring to above – the demise of a country via the presence of a foreign military, just like Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Something which should not be taken into account when considering whether a military should travel abroad or not – emotion. Facts and facts only. The repercussions of the decision are imaginably vast and somewhat incomprehensible as we do not live in the soon to be occupied country. I will reiterate the Kony video is an emotional rollercoaster.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the article, have a great day 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Stewpert. It’s always nice to hear the other side of an opinion.
      As stipulated in most of my entries, its this blog is based entirely on my own personal opinion, however I think that you may have missed the point of the article all together…My entry was to highlight the innate tendency we have to immediately jump on the cynical bandwagon and go against anything we have lost the power to claim as our own, losing sight of the ‘big picture’.

      Considering you have gone to so much trouble in your response, I will humour you.

      Let’s get one thing straight, I am in no way an advocate of military force or violence. I think that the mercenary undercurrent moving most of the US activities with regards to foreign affairs is fairly obvious these days…HOWEVER sometimes I think you have overlook the self-interest of others and focus on their efforts instead. They are there trying to find a bloke that is causing torment and jeopardising the welfare of many. It’s a case of much needed utilitarianism.

      In response to your comment r.e. Kony’s relevancy: “…when was Kony last spotted doing bad things in Uganda. I saw one source stating 6 years ago and read comments from Ugandans saying 10 years ago”
      God forbid, someone had hurt one of your family members. Whether they committed the act yesterday or 10 years ago shouldn’t make a difference in the face of justice. Right? It’s difficult to think that because someone (a very very bad someone)has gone under the radar for so long, that he might get away with the horrible offences and crimes on humanity that he has committed.

      With regards to the notion of oil reserves…hey – If I had pots of money, and those pots of money would go towards ensuring the safety of my family, I would make that trade every day of the week. MINE!
      All I ask, is that people be less quick to jump on the cynical bandwagon. I ask for a bit of thought and a bit more acknowledgment of the bigger picture, which is so often lost these days. Whether the US are searching for Kony because they want oil or because they are trying to do the right thing is irrelevant. The act itself should be the focus. People trying to make a difference when no one else has the balls.

      Thanks again Stewpert, t’has been fun.

  3. I wanted to rejoin this comment thread too after seeing yours and Stewpert’s responses…hope that is ok.

    After reading more about Uganda and considering the great challenges that they face my views on the KONY12 project has changed. I do agree that it is emotive, but I think that is a central mechanism for how it works. By appealing to our emotions it has shed light on some serious atrocitiies that are occuring in our world to some of the most vulnerable people – children. It may not be factually exhaustive, it may use hyperbole and emotive images but at the end of the day it got people like me to think about something that was far from my mind. Something that I have since researched and formed a more fully-fleshed opinion on. I think this might have just been the point…for me, it’s unreasonable to think that a 30 minute video can capture and detail a vast political history of the interaction between two countries and the complexities of the current status. But KONY has shown me that is is certainly possible to prick people’s interest in these important global debates and circumstances within 30 minutes of creative footage. It showed me that a simple video can be the catalyst for people to really expand their minds and understanding of a pertinent issue through further research. For me it was like getting a taste of something deliciously new and intriguing….I wanted more but to get more I needed to do the ground work myself. I liked this effect that it had on me.

    I can’t say I totally agree with the greater political arguments that it makes or for that matter the political and military approach that the US government has taken to Uganda. But for me, some of my greatest concerns stem from the more deep seated philosophical issue that KONY no doubt exposes but has not invented, it has existed for centuries. In so many circumstances, particularly when an instance involves black and white people, the white saviour complex is promoted and accepted. Africa has sadly become a place for white people to realise their lifelong dreams of heroism and conquest under the guise that they are “making a difference.” This is what disturbs me most, there is so little respect for the autonomy and choice and capabilities of black people in places like Uganda. It puts people in a disadvantaged, underprivileged position that is unwarranted, and subsequently it elevates a group of people that are underserving. If I were to criticise KONY this would be what I would level at it…where is the humility? Where is the empowerment of the Ugandans…why do the white people have to be seen as the saviours? I like the idea of KONY educating or enlightening people to a greater problem but I don’t like the idea it espouses that white people intervening is the answer to the problem.

    • Another incredibly well written and eloquent response from one of my favourite readers. Thanks Hannah, I can’t say I disagree with anything there, truly articulate and a very valid point regarding the tone of inflicted white superiority.
      No one is going to get it right all the time, if at all – especially with personal motivation and greed playing such large and overt roles in today’s society.
      There are so many issues in this world, and so many people with so many ‘solutions’. I think I will take solace in the fact that there are still people out there willing to stop talking and ‘have a go’, in an attempt to try and help a situation that is far less than acceptable.

  4. Apologies for going off topic, I did have this niggling feeling when writing that I was moving 10 degrees in the wrong direction but couldn’t stop myself!

    My feelings on sending (American) troops to Uganda to find Kony/Oil remain the same however the points raised by you and Hannah have caused me to thoroughly go over my reasoning.

    Good day to you ladies

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