Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY: My Two Cents


Riding on the wake of the video released by Invisible Children earlier this week, I woke up this morning and found myself immediately defending the 'KONY 2012' cause when confronted by an overwhelming amount of status updates on my Facebook newsfeed. While most were supportive, there was an increasing trend for people to comment that others showing support for the KONY 2012 campaign had become "sheeplike". I had people talking of "jumping on the bandwagon" when they posted their opinions, and others who were completely mocking the video all together. I've never been more disgusted in the people whom I'm associated with by way of a social networking site. So now it's time for my quick two cents... 

To the people who have shown disrespect for the video based on the fact that it is either; completely melodramatic, features more of the filmmakers son, a one-sided viewpoint, an issue that is two decades old, lacking in basic facts about the LRA, doesn't raise awareness about all the other rebel groups or war criminals or whatever other reason you've come up with... we get it! You're much smarter than the general public, and if pointing out every single flaw in one persons attempt at creating awareness around a particular issue is what you need to do to prove us that, then good for you. 

I am the first person to agree that no one view/video should ever be taken on face value. As with any form of reporting, there is often a need for a second, third and even a fourth thought. But nobody can sit back and deny that the video did not achieve its purpose. This video set out to appeal to the masses, specifically the social networking masses. It sought to make Kony a household name, because at the end of the day, awareness is the first step in any form of action. Even at the very start of the video it was explained that "this is an experiment", but for it to work you had to "pay attention". In my opinion, paying attention here referred not only to the information contained in the video, but paying attention to the bigger picture. It meant to recognise what was happening here. To appreciate how one video could resinate with so many people so as to form a voice to speak out against injustice. How did so many people miss that? 

Either way, in all my time of social networking I have never seen a campaign go as viral as this. In fact, I'd go so far as to say its unprecedented. By the end of the day, those who were genuinely affected by the 'KONY 2012' video will go on to do their own research relating to the UDPF and the involvement of the US Military. They will form their own opinions about whether or not to donate to Invisible Children and perhaps along the way they will learn a thing or two about the underlying problem that is at work here. But those of you who only took the time to comment negatively on what everyone else has been doing, or spent your 30 seconds to mock the campaign entirely, well you'll have done just that. By the end of the day, you'll be no wiser to the purpose of this campaign nor any closer to understanding the context of this conflict, or any others for that matter. But kudos to you, you big cool individual you. 

On another note, today is International Women's Day. This is another campaign that has been at work for over two decades, where people all over the world have stopped to recognise the role of women in society, and in particular raise awareness about the injustices specifically faced by women on a global scale (ranging from the inequality experienced in work and education, right up to issues of women's health and violence related matters). Today is about commemorating all of the achievements made to date, but more about continuing to mobilise people to strive towards a future where women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life. You FB haters gonna hate on that too? I dare you. 

11 comments:

  1. Go you! I was so ready to sit down and write a post almost identical to this one, but since you've said it for me, I'm now going to start writing a letter to help the cause instead. :)

    Thanks for sharing!
    - Felicity. x

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  2. Thank you for posting this! I've been incredibly irritated by many of the comments as well.

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    1. Shay, I can't find a clickable link on your blog to comment to you personally, but thank you for taking the time to read this. It means a hell of a lot x

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  3. Is Kony an American thing? I've not really heard about it here in the UK.

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    1. 'KONY 2012' is a campaign initiated by an American man yes, but the issue focuses on the rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda which is led by Joseph Kony. Hope that helps :)

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  4. kaisha, i love you! the end.

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  5. I wrote something similar in the form of a little status update just a few hours ago, and then deleted it! (imachicken)

    I love what you wrote, you've put it perfectly.

    Do you mind if i share?

    xx

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    1. Haha you should have! I had a bit too much to say on the issue on some people's statuses... respectfully of course. Many of them were deleted by the original person. But I don't really mind. To me that just proves defeat! You can share whatever you like lady! Thanks for the support! x

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  6. As always, a giant thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment on this. It's not very often that I bring controversy to this here blog. But its nice to see that people have the courage to respond when I do! x

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  7. My issues are with the video being stuck in 2006. It's not up-to-date. Kony is not even in Uganda and his army is reduced to around 200 spread out over 3 nations within Africa. But of course, my opinion doesn't really matter...but I think the opinion of Ugandan activists do. Rosebell is a journalist in Uganda. She covered the war in N. Uganda (the one that is now over). Attached is her response. I think if we want to know about Uguanda--we need to take some time to listen to those who live and work within Uganda.


    http://youtu.be/KLVY5jBnD-E

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