KONY 2012

7 Mar

I’ve seen the word Kony floating around twitter recently and just assumed it was some sort of GOP candidate joke, turns out it’s anything but.

Joseph Kony is a war criminal in Africa who abducts children and then forces them to kill their parents before turning them into prostitutes or child soldiers.  One would think that these crimes against humanity would be enough for the government to go after him but it turns out the American (probably YOUR) government is unwilling to spend the time or resources to capture Kony because the American people don’t care.

Kony 2012 is an organization working to bring down Joseph Kony by making him a household name.  Making it clear to Washington that America cares and that we want to continue to use American resources to bring him down.

Watch the video (it’ll make you cry) and then spread the word.

KONY 2012

One Response to “KONY 2012”

  1. Kaptions March 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    So I had no idea that this thing was until about 18 hours after everyone had decided that it was A Big Thing. I found out about what this Kony thing actually was from various feeds posting criticisms of it; for that reason, my initial reaction is one of skepticism rather than approval, although it’s entirely possible that if I had watched this first, I would have been more in favor of it.

    So the first thing I read was the criticism delivered by Jezebel (http://jezebel.com/5891269/think-twice-before-donating-to-kony-2012-the-meme-du-jour). I thought it made a lot of interesting points, but that stuff was kind of in a vacuum. The followup commentary was more interesting, because it incorporated a lot of external opinions on the campaign as well as some of the responses from Invisible Children itself: http://jezebel.com/5891605/kony-2012-group-responds-to-increasing-criticism?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow.

    To summarize in my own words, I think the idea of the criticism is that Invisible Children is very much a Facebook movement: it’s a decent idea heavily wrapped in style, but there’s much better ways to participate in supporting the purported cause. Honestly, the upset in Africa has never been one of my top issues, and I prefer to spend my charitable dollars on other causes, but I worry that for people who are more concerned about this issue, the success of the Invisible Children will prompt (because it will have been well rewarded for its efforts with donations) a lot of similar reductive styles.

    I guess this quote from the Jezebel article says it better than I just tried to:
    “Wronging Rights has a great response to this:

    First, organizations like Invisible Children not only take up resources that could be used to fund more intelligent advocacy, they take up rhetorical space that could be used to develop more intelligent advocacy. And yeah, this may seem like an absurdly academic point to raise when talking about a problem that is clearly crying out for pragmatic solutions, but, uh, the way we define problems is important. Really, really important. Choosing to simplistically define Congolese women as “The Raped” and Ugandan children as “The Abducted” constrains our ability to think creatively about the problems they face, and work with them to combat these problems.

    Second, treating their problems as one-dimensional issues that can be solved by a handful of plucky college students armed only with the strength of their convictions and a video camera doesn’t help anyone. These gets back to something very simple and very smart that Alanna Shaikh wrote a few months ago: “Bad development work is based on the idea that poor people have nothing. Something is better than nothing, right? So anything you give these poor people will be better than what they had before.””

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