Mar 9, 2012

My thoughts on the #KONY2012 Movement

Over the past week or so, social media has blown up with this #Kony2012 movement by the group "Invisible Children".  Their plans is to "make Joseph Kony famous" by highlighting all the atrocities that he's done, and hopefully that would lead to him being brought to justice.

Now while everyone has been going crazy with the facebook posts and retweets, I've held back on that because there are several issues that I have with this whole thing.  I don't debate whether or not Kony is a bad guy.  From all accounts this guy isn't your neighborhood barber.  He's a bad guy who's done a lot of horrible things.

That said, why is this suddenly a big deal? Kony has been doing his thing for decades now.  He's not even IN the area that they are talking about in those videos going around, as Kony has been out of that area for five or six years, something that Invisible Children admit.  The area is dealing with peace now, and the people there are actually afraid this whole #Kony2012 thing will end up bringing him BACK.  There is no threat to that area by Kony at the moment, and yet Invisible Children are hyping up this specific aspect while ignoring it seems the areas that he's actually in.

The people there in that area have even expressed concern over the group Invisible Children saying they are simply using them for their own goals.


There are a whole slew of problems with The Invisible Children group, from their finances and how they're spending money that is donated, to them supporting the Ugandan Government and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which themselves have been accused of rape and other atrocities, to their members supporting military involvement of the United States in Africa, the list goes on which you can see by clicking here.

Members of Invisible Children
However my biggest issues tend to fall along the lines of why should we bother with this?  The guy's a bad guy.  Fine.  Why is that our issue?  Why do we have to be the world's Big Brother, going around rescuing this country and bringing democracy to THAT country? 

All these people on twitter and facebook that are oh so concerned right now with those poor Ugandan children, where were they two weeks ago?  Where were those celebrities that are so outraged at what is going on and who are championing the poor Ugandan Children?  Suddenly it's like they're super dedicated.

Tell me again how you've always cared for them?  Tell me again how in six months you'll still be fighting for them. 

Where was your outrage for the children that have died on the streets do to their being homeless? Homeless children make up 25% of the homeless population.  Where's your outrage over THAT? Where was your outrage for the veterans of our military that are returned from overseas with mental health issues and are now homeless with those in power turning their backs on them?  Where are your retweets and facebook posts about that?

I'd like to see some of that outrage that you are showing for the "invisible children" here in our own United States that are going hungry tonight, who are sleeping outside tonight in the cold.   Where are your retweets for them?

Where are your retweets for those who have been wrongly convicted of crimes they didn't commit, and spent decades behind bars before being released?  Where are your retweets for those who have been wrongly executed due to false testimony or corrupt and/or racist politicians and others in power?

Does your outrage only extend beyond our borders?  Is it easier to champion something so far away because you don't actually have to get involved beyond lip service?  Is it easier when you don't see it up close?

Think about that the next time you pass by a homeless person living on the streets as you make your way to the internet cafe to get your coffee and then get online to champion those poor children in other nations that are being victimized.

Because it's always easier to make yourself feel better for all those that you ignore in your own town, to do some retweets and facebook posts and maybe text a few bucks to a charity secure that you are truly making a difference in the world.

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