I’m Confused about Kony2012

Let me just say, I’m confused about Kony2012. I was on a video gamers channel on YouTube yesterday and I see that he had uploaded a video about Kony2012. I had seen comments on various unrelated channel throughout the day about Kony, so I was wondering what was going on. I’m sure you all know the video went viral. I didn’t want to watch the video, it was too long for me, but I was forced to.

The video was good, the graphics were really good, it was touching. I saw a bunch of people holding up the black power fist, it wasn’t a bad  video. The only thing that I wondered about was why was the movie more focused on the guy’s son, I didn’t even really feel like we were told much about the actual child soldiers or the little girls who were forced into sexual slavery. Like he could have cut some of that stuff out and actually focused more on the atrocities.  Kony committed horrible atrocities, crimes against humanity and he should be brought to justice, that goes without saying. I mean, how can you go around claiming to be fighting for the ten commandments, but you’re breaking them all? “Thou shalt not murder,” anyone? The guy is clearly insane. Please, bring him to justice.

BUT…BUT…

I really am confused as to why this was brought up now. I remember in high school I did a little mini-research paper on child soldiers in Uganda. I remember that I got all of my information from amnesty international’s website. They had been covering Kony and the child soldiers for many years. (Africare, an African-American run NPO has also worked in Northern Uganda)  Even though I didn’t fully understand the politics of the situation and still don’t, I knew it was wrong.  But that was maybe 8 years ago, so this is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while.

Now I KNOW that if I could find out about this years ago ,and all I had to do was check amnesty’s website to get information,  then the US government knew about this. They knew about it, they didn’t get involved because they didn’t feel they had a vested interest.  So, I did my little presentation and then I stopped keeping up with it after a while because I became preoccupied with other things, so I’m probably out of the loop, but from what I understand Kony is no longer in Uganda and things in that particular region of Uganda are finally starting to wind down and they’re working on rebuilding things, so why is this video just gaining popularity NOW that he’s moved on and is in hiding?

That’s what confuses me, the movie makes it seem like he’s still there.

Another thing is that the movie made it seem like the Invisible Children were the only ones who had anything to do with bettering the situation in Northern Uganda. I had a problem with that and I know a lot of people have been blogging about the organization almost taking on the role of a neo-colonizer or a white savior. I can understand their feelings because it would upset me if I had been working diligently in the Black community and then a white person with money came and made it seem as if we’d been doing nothing the whole time. I mean, it seems like if they were gonna do something, they should have done it some years ago, not now when he’s been forced from the country.

I agree with the other bloggers who are advocating for the local grassroots organizations that are run by Ugandans to get their due. If anything, we should be giving money to the grassroots organizations so they can help rebuild the community, not just to “Invisible Children.”

Finally, why do I not see this type of outcry or care when it comes to  other things, like why didn’t the film The Greatest Silence about the rape in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo get this type of response? Panzi hospital  is one of the only hospitals in Bukavu that has been providing care to the rape victims, but the women still have lasting psychological effects. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t think it got the same outcry. They needed and still need help too. Why don’t we get viral videos for problems and injustices here in America like homicide in Black community or police brutality? I’m just confused. I’m not saying the video was bad or anything, I guess I’m just not fully understanding every thing.

I know I’m not the only one who is confused by this,  but it seems like every one is jumping on the bandwagon without fully understanding. I don’t fully understand, I know the guy should be caught, I know what he did was wrong, but is military intervention by US government really the best thing? There’s a time and place for outside military intervention, wouldn’t it have made sense to have done something years ago… NOT now. Why should one organization that isn’t even run by Ugandans get the credit for “saving,” Northern Uganda when many Ugandans  and other human rights organizations have already been working so hard to build up their community?

I’m not a political scientist, but I do know there are complex issues here and probably before just jumping on the bandwagon, it would make sense to try to understand the politics and I agree with the many people who believe that military intervention is not the answer at this point. The guy has left the country.

Closing Thoughts/ Other Concerns: 

I’m not going to get into how Invisible Children allocates its funds or how the founders were pictured posing with guns because I’m not really sure what to say about that.

Finally, I’ve always felt uneasy about the way various countries in Africa and Africa in general, in all its rich diversity and history, is portrayed as this one big messy, corrupt place. The image we get of Africa is one of war, corruption and famine, when that is not true. In fact there is great diversity, stability and beauty in many countries and cultures across Africa, but we are never shown these images. This is not to say that we shouldn’t talk about issues and problems in certain African countries, but that’s not the full story and I agree that the people shouldn’t be made to seem inferior and incapable of governing themselves in the process.

I’m going to quote blogger Eric Wanderings

One day I was walking through the subway and passes a man with a donation box. Above the din of all the people rushing by, he was shouting, “Africa! Africa! Africa!”

No more needed to be said to raise money. People had their own perceptions to fill in the blanks, to create images of need, to feel guilty and give, etc… Africa has been portrayed as disease ridden, famine stricken, and war riddled. This is not an accurate image of Africa, it is not an accurate image of Uganda, but still these are images that Invisible Children chooses to benefit from

*and p.s. people will soon forget about this once it stops trending on twitter*

Ugandan Organizations:

http://www.ccyauganda.org/ccya_005.htm

http://www.kairoscharity.org/about.html

Other Resources:

Beautiful Pictures of Africa

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/solving-war-crimes-with-wristbands-the-arrogance-of-kony-2012/254193/

The Group has addressed some of the criticism 

I’m Confused about Kony2012

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