Three days ago I was completely unaware of who Joseph Kony is. Completely in the dark.
This video changed all that for me.
The magnitude and viral popularity of this video reminded me of one released just a month ago; Jefferson Bethke’s rapid-fire popularity with his “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.”
At first viewing, I felt inspired to act right away. In fact, the campaign puts a lot of emphasis on doing something NOW. So, I did. I bought the “kit,” which I’m assuming includes a shirt, poster, and other guerrilla-marketing material. Then, just two days ago, a friend of mine posted another blogger’s response to the entire campaign which, when read, caused my stomach to knot up.
What did I just give my money too?!
I was immediately brought back to being in high school and going to a concert with my friend Ben just because it was rock ‘n roll and it was $10. Later, when I mentioned to another friend’s mom that we went to this show (insert name of rock show), she immediately perked up and shouted, “do you know what you just gave your money too!?”
It was an organization that supported young women financially with abortions.
Yeah, yikes! I decided from that point on I’d begin to read the fine print.
Yet, when the 29 minute video concluded, I wanted to act immediately. I was convinced Jospeh Kony must be known! And stopped!
Then to get rather impressive information questioning the video’s credibility, I began to sink. I began to ask if I was going to wear my cool red “Kony 2012” shirt. So, I took a look at all the financials these opposing bloggers were indicating.
First of all, the organization behind the Kony 2012 campaign is called Invisible Children, and obviously they claim their mission is to assist the Ugandan government in the arrest of Joseph Kony (a very, very bad guy).
Wait, let’s not G-rate this, or even be cute. For over 25 years, Jospeh Kony has led the Lord’s Resistance Army in various parts of Africa and is responsible for 10s of 1,000s of child abductions, murders, rapes, and abuses. He tops the lists for “world’s evil-doer” (Sorry, Dr. Evil).
It’s worth repeating. He’s responsible for 10s…..of 1,000s…..of:
So, really, ANY awareness of this heinous crime is GOOD awareness, because to quote my favorite protagonist, “this aggression won’t stand, man!” (“The Big Lebowski,” 1998).
The blogger of “The Daily What,” (the first criticism of the Kony Campaign I became aware of) claims that Charity Navigator, a non-profit company watch dog, only gives Invisible Children a 2/4 star rating (which, apparently is bad. Bad enough to illicit blog-slamming). However, after I visited the site, www.CharityNavigator.com, I found IC to have a 3/4 star rating. The knots in my stomach began to loosen.
Now, don’t give up on me yet, I’m not taking the IC’s side. Not yet, at least. Because, it is quite obvious that their financial report certainly deserves to be questioned, if that’s what you’re compelled to do….drag non-profits out on to the floor that is. But, why stop at IC? Perhaps we should consider all the advocates of “pink-washing?” You know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! It’s become engrained in our American media-controlled minds that we need to wear pink through the month of October, that you’re likely to lose a few Facebook friends if you don’t! I mean, gosh, what are you insensitive or something? Don’t you want breast cancer to go away?
Yes, I do. But, organizations like Komen for a Cure don’t! That’s right, they don’t. Because if breast cancer was cured, then the CEO would lose her $500,000 annual paycheck! That means if we say good-bye to breast cancer, she says good-bye to her paycheck, and her bonuses!
If Komen for a Cure was so committed to finding a cure the “education” they push would include abstaining from sugar (cancer’s favorite food), and include the dangers and cancer-causing (yes, causing) aspects of mammogram procedures! In fact, science has found that just absorbing Vitamin D3 dramatically reduces your risk of cancer–far greater than ANY pharmaceutical alternative, and yet you only find Komen endorsing products containing artificial sweeteners, MSG, and toxic chemicals!
But, wait – we’re talking about the Phony…err..Kony Campaign, not breast cancer you insensitive nit-wit. Yes, you’re right. And, perhaps it’s rather naive to expect any organization that operates like a company to be 100% transparent and 100% innocent. Perhaps.
Here’s the bottom line: The IC has shed light on Joseph Kony – a man who just a couple weeks ago was NOT known by the world.
Now he is. Maybe it’s one of those “the ends justifies the means,” things? Because, let’s face it, while we all may not like the idea of people getting rich during a charity drive, what we do like is the intended goal of the charity drive.
So, will I wear my shirt? Yes. Because, I want people to know about Joseph Kony. I want people to do research and write letters. I want the US involved so these children don’t have to live and sleep in fear. I will default to supporting a mission who’s “gas-in-the-tank” is composed of the support of it’s fanbase and not the complexities of a self-serving government.
As the video points out, today’s socially connected community (i.e. Facebook) is a larger community than the United States! Imagine the potential! The ability to send an important message is unparalleled with any other moment in time. In a time where we tend to rely on our government to solve our problems (gas prices, energy concerns, health care, etc.), we are presented a message that is built by and supported by the people. Not the government. At the very least, that’s something worth supporting.
Update: In case you’re interested in the opinion of the young Ugandan man (Jacob Acaye) featured in the video, read this.