Kony 2012

A place for more serious off-topic discussion and debates.
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This is great, but I don't see why I should care about this documentarian himself or his son. Anyone who does this needs to be completely selfless in their resolve, but it doesn't seem like it with this campaign, but the end could very well justify the means. It's also a shame how this is so commercialized, "buy this bracelet, buy these posters, this will change everything".

It's not that I don't support it, I'm just being realistic here. Just watch, people will forget about it within a few days.
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Let's give money to the Ugandan army (who have an exceptional track record of rape, etc) to kill a terrorist who hasn't operated within Uganda since pre-2006?

No, let's not. I like the idea of making people aware of those behind certain atrocities, and I'll support any attempt to bring a war criminal to justice at the ICC but I won't give any money to Invisible Children, nor will I get involved in any KONY 2012 events. Sensationalist marketing aimed at the naive, which is unfortunate because it was potentially a good campaign.

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Read this:
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com.nyud.net/
I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.

KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’m not alone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they haven’t had their finances externally audited. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on supporting African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Chris Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children supports military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.

If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.

~ Grant Oyston, visiblechildren@grantoyston.com

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The amount of time and money people are willing to invest in arresting this person is much better spent on the actual victims or people in these areas in terms of educational, medical, or economic support
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Image

Raising awareness for the world's greatest hotdogs!!!

But seriously, I feel like their is a popular activist movement that people become bandwagoners to every year. In 2006 it was global warming with An Inconvenient Truth and in 2009 it was the dolphin slaughters in Japan with The Cove. This year it appears to be the war atrocities of Joseph Kony with Kony 2012. This is a noble cause but like many activist causes it is to raise awareness for a situation that has been around for a LONG TIME. The Lord's Resistance Army has been around since 1987 and have long since committed war crimes against the people of Uganda (and many other African countries have similar issues). This isn't something that's recently arose which is what someone would think when looking at the recent explosion in the viral campaign. It'd be like if an activist group went out to try and raise an awareness of Nazism in 1945. Plus, the tone in which people are treating this online is not so different than the politically incorrect fake advertisement I have above (albeit in not nearly as poor taste). However, I am glad that more people are finally starting to take the situations in Africa more seriously even if seems to be driven by a bunch of bandwagon Facebookers.

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It saddens me to see so many of my friends supporting this movement. Even if you ignore Invisible Children's controversies, this campaign is still illogical. Do people not realize that in order to get to Kony, that the government is going to have to kill dozens of child soldiers, the same people they want to protect? Do people not realize that once's Kony's dead, someone will fill his shoes instantly? Come the fuck on. People aren't thinking this through. Guilty rich people always have to find some cause to support in order to make themselves feel less guilty I suppose.

But, I will happily get high as fuck and watch my friends hang their lame ass posters around my city on 4/20. Whatever helps them sleep at night.

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Crazy Eight wrote:It saddens me to see so many of my friends supporting this movement. Even if you ignore Invisible Children's controversies, this campaign is still illogical. Do people not realize that in order to get to Kony, that the government is going to have to kill dozens of child soldiers, the same people they want to protect? Do people not realize that once's Kony's dead, someone will fill his shoes instantly? Come the fuck on. People aren't thinking this through. Guilty rich people always have to find some cause to support in order to make themselves feel less guilty I suppose.

But, I will happily get high as fuck and watch my friends hang their lame ass posters around my city on 4/20. Whatever helps them sleep at night.
I could not agree more.
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i think thats just a risk with any organization out there that has a humanitarian goal...you always risk that the money may not be used the way they are saying

and also things like this always bring out those Hipster Sociology majors who just love to critique shit to show off how smart they are


i think whats more important is the message in the video....is it not more important than anything else?

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Crazy Eight wrote:It saddens me to see so many of my friends supporting this movement. Even if you ignore Invisible Children's controversies, this campaign is still illogical. Do people not realize that in order to get to Kony, that the government is going to have to kill dozens of child soldiers, the same people they want to protect? Do people not realize that once's Kony's dead, someone will fill his shoes instantly? Come the fuck on. People aren't thinking this through. Guilty rich people always have to find some cause to support in order to make themselves feel less guilty I suppose.

But, I will happily get high as fuck and watch my friends hang their lame ass posters around my city on 4/20. Whatever helps them sleep at night.
I think that sometime tonight or tomorrow I'm going to write a long ass note on Facebook talking about how this movement is essentially useless.

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