I’ve started seeing a bunch of people tweet and post to Facebook about Kony 2012. I’ve never heard of it until today.
The gist of it is this film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous so that he’ll be brought to justice. Who is Joseph Kony? Kony is the Ugandan leader of the violent Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who uses children as soldiers.
According to the Washington Post, “the World Bank estimates that under his leadership the LRA has abducted and forced around 66,000 children to fight with them during the past two decades. In October, President Obama committed 100 U.S. troops to help the Ugandan army remove Kony.”
That’s to say that Kony is a brutal thug and it’s easy to rally behind the cause to bring him to justice. The Invisible Children charity hopes you feel that way and more to the point, hopes you’ll donate to their charity.
On the flip side, Invisible Children has been accused of only donating 31% of donations to help Uganda, with the rest of the money going to line the pockets of the three founders, filming promotional videos, travel expenses, that sort of stuff. Not only that, but the charity supports military intervention from other African militias that have been known to advocate rape and the use of child soldiers as military tactics.
Grant Oyston, a sociology and political science student at Acadia University, runs the Visible Children blog, and points out the issue deserve more respect than merely reposting a video on your social networks.
So, before you get swept up in Kony 2012 fever because some celebrity posted a video to Facebook or tweeted about it, just keep in mind that, yes, Joseph Kony is an evil man. However, giving your money and support to a poorly run and misguided charity isn’t a solution either.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that The Daily What just posted a similar thing and their post is much better than mine because there are way more links and fiery gusto contained within.