If you’ve had access to the Internet these past two days, chances are you’ve stumbled across some variation of the phrase KONY 2012. Basically KONY 2012 is a 29 minute film and campaign brought to you by the not-for-profit group the “Invisible Children.” The goal of the video is to raise awareness about what is going on in Africa, specifically with Joseph Kony and his Lord Resistance Army, who for the past twenty five years have been pillaging villages, abducting children, forcing them to kill their parents and fight for him as child soldiers. The KONY 2012 slogan is aimed to raise awareness and bring national attention to Joesph Kony, making him a household name so that all are aware of his evils.
But there are two sides to every story, and this particular one is no exception to that rule. The Invisible Children support direct military intervention, which is a slippery slope for a few reasons. One, their money (well, the money that they actually decide to donate. Last year only 32% of their funds went to direct services) supports the Ugandan government’s Amry, who fights to stop the LRA. Only the Ugandan Army has to been known to do it’s fare share of raping and pillaging themselves, so supporting them could ultimately end up being counterproductive.
Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t support the KONY 2012 movement, because I think at the very core their intentions are pure. It’s just always important to look at everything with a critical eye, and not dive head first into a cause just because it has great production value and tugs at the heart strings. Although America could certainly help out the situation in Africa, any direct attack on the Lord Resistance Army would result in the deaths of many children, since their army is made up primarily of child soldiers, which is the complete opposite of the intended goal.
I think it's great that the evils of Joseph Kony have been brought to millions of peoples attention this past week. Let's just make sure we're on board with the exact plan of action before supporting this mission. Like I said, love the idea, question the execution, but at least people are aware, and that is a great first step towards a solution.