KONY 2012: A guide to armchair activism
So I’m sure you’ve seen today the internet exploded with this 30-minute-add-defying video made by a charity called Invisible Children to raise awareness about what’s happening to children in Uganda.
The video in question:
I’ve seen people just watch the video then instantly become an internet activist reposting the video everywhere, using hashtags and declaring how well versed they are in current worlds issues. Some even have donated money, which is where in lies the real problem.
From Visible Children:
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.
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
In their campaigns, such organizations [as Invisible Children] have manipulated 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.
Watching that Kony video is essentially watching old news. They started filming in 2003, and northern Uganda has been free of LRA violence and war for over five years. In fact, the LRA have signed a peace accord! They are rebuilding and are restoring the peace.
I’m not trying to shit on everyones good intent to stop Kony from killing and raping, but there’s way more to what is happening and you should be careful when throwing your dollars around. Unless you’re at DiCarlos.