Well, here's another shoddy post. It's more of a rant. Unscripted, not outlined, and poorly researched. So let's go.
If you've been anywhere close to a computer, you've probably heard of the KONY 2012 campaign by Invisible Children. Personally, it is all over my Facebook wall. Even before watching the video, I knew I wouldn't like it. But I had to watch it because it was viral.
Let me just say that within the first ten minutes, I knew what was going to happen. Invisible Children wants to make the "bad guy" popular. As long as he stays popular and a concern for us laymen, the government (and I mean the U.S. here) will try to intervene. They want to stop KONY by December 31, 2012.
Let me tear this video apart.
- How many times have you seen pictures of starving children on Facebook? Tens of thousands of people share it, like it, and comment. You might have been one of them. But now, tell me this. What did you do about it? I'm going to guess you really didn't do anything. If you actually donated and acted after seeing the picture, I applaud you. But for most of us, we didn't do anything about it.
- How long do those pictures stay relevant in our minds? Once they show up, people spread it around for about a week. After that, they disappear. I'm predicting that the KONY 2012 campaign will be a failure because of this. They want to generate awareness. Congratulations, it's been a success. So what? In a week, no one will care...until April 20, 2012 (ironically pot-day), when they cover the night with posters. I'm going to laugh really loudly when someone thinks that Joseph Kony is running for Mr. Prez. But seriously, by May 1, it's not going to be talked about. And so the campaign will fail.
- Speaking of dates, what is this December 31, 2012 deadline they're talking about? This is one of the main parts of the video that enrage me. First off, what if we don't succeed? Do we just proclaim "G-G!!" and just give up? Most of you probably think I'm being stupid. It's a goal, not a deadline! You may be right. However, why are they going to remove the campaign video? Because it's not relevant anymore?!
- This is what pisses me and a lot of other people off. Invisible Children spends about 30-35% of the funding (depending on sources) on aiding the civilians with schools and scholarships. So roughly a third of the money goes to actual aid. I'm actually okay with that. Can it be more? Yes. But generally speaking, that's not a bad portion. The other money goes towards salaries and travel expenses. That's all good, too. But a LARGE portion goes towards making these films. They've made eleven so far. Since they're going to delete the 2012 video at the end of the year if they don't succeed (which is more than likely), one can only assume that video twelve will come sometime in 2013. Is that really necessary? What would they try to do in that one? Raise awareness? I'm pretty sure the world is aware by now. Awareness leads to solutions, but they are not the same thing. Making another awareness video isn't going to work if the first 11 didn't. People ARE aware, they're just too lazy to do anything about it.
- And now for the actual action. Invisible Children wants to fund the Ugandan army to fight little children? Does that sound right to you?! That's a terrible idea. I understand that it's a utilitarian perspective. That is, some children from the Lord's Rebel Army (LRA) might be killed, but it's for the greater cause of saving more children and civilians. I'm not saying I have a better plan, but I'm not convinced this is the best approach.
- Lastly, and this one is big, there seems to be a hint of the "White Man's Burden" here. The entire video advocates for a world effort, yet it's almost implied all this effort is to influence the U.S. government, not any other country. They want people all over the world to become activists so that 'Merica can save the world one country at a time?! I'm probably not being cogent, but hopefully you understand the point I'm undermining. The video implies that the U.S. government should be the ones to save Uganda. The pathetic thing is that 100 troops are going to be 'helping' the Ugandan military. No blood will be on American hands...Let's not forget the Ugandan military is almost as corrupt as Kony. They just have more people, so the world seems to forget that they act in a similar manner.
Some people have offered that Invisible Children is a scam. Do I think so? Nope. But that doesn't mean they are right(eous). Something about their line of logic is unsettling:
- Raise awareness (success).
- Raise funding (success).
- Raise world-wide activism (success).
- Use the WORLD-wide concern to influence the U.S.'s decision on intervention (this doesn't make sense, but will say it's been a success).
- Teach the Ugandan military to fight Kony so that the U.S. stays clean!! No.
There are other things I could rant about, but I have class to go to.
Here's one more thing, though. This issue has been polarized, people are jumping on bandwagons. My suggestion: don't say something because you saw a video about it or saw a video about the video about it. Have opinions that are your own. I personally like the cause, I just don't like the campaign. You may disagree. That's fine. Just make sure you TRULY believe what you feel. Don't speak for others, speak for yourself.
Thanks for reading,