On the night of March 6, something had gone viral all over Facebook and Twitter. People were asking, “What is Kony2012?”
After watching a twenty-seven minute video, young adults across the nation became aware of the happenings in Uganda. There is an organization called Invisible Children who are trying to stop this war and the rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), lead by Joseph Kony. This war has been going on for twenty-six years.
Twenty-six years of snatching children from homes and selling the girls as sex slaves and training the boys to become children soldiers to fill his army.
“Joseph Kony’s tactics were—and remain—brutal. He often forced children to kill their parents or siblings with machetes or blunt tools. He brainwashed and indoctrinated the children with his lies and manipulated them with his claim of spiritual powers” says an activist of Invisible Children. More than 30,000 children are in this army alone.
In 2003, three filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story, and were introduced to this war. They wanted to make a difference and help these children. In 2006, Invisible Children became a non-profit organization. More than half the world has never heard of this organization or the story of these Ugandan children. But, Tuesday night, that had changed.
James Russell, one of the founders of Invisible Children, created a twenty-seven minute documentary on this cause and asked people around the world, targeting young people, to spread the word of the leader Joseph Kony and his wrong actions. Many young adults have spread the word quickly as of that night. Within a twelve-hour period, Kony2012 had spread from a small group of people to nationwide. On Twitter, there are trends saying: #stopkony, Uganda, #Kony2012, and #MAKEKONYFAMOUS. On Facebook, thousands upon thousands were either liking or sharing the famous video seen around the world.
SUNY Oswego has created a Facebook group called “KONY 2012: Cover the Night SUNY Oswego”. On April 20th, starting at midnight, people will decorate the campus with KONY 2012 awareness posters. Almost six hundred students have joined this group and are in full support for the movement.
Claudio D’Angelo, freshman at University of Colorado at Boulder, opposes the movement.“To everyone posting about Joseph Kony- The U.S. Government has already deployed special operations forces and intelligence services to the areas terrorized by the LRA to help the local forces apprehend him and his associates. The US has been helping track him down for years now. Short of open war, there is not much more we can do about it,” D’Angelo says.
He believes that people think they make a difference, “just by clicking on a button on their computer, which makes me mad.” D’Angelo goes on to say that it seems as though it makes people feel they are making a difference, but makes it less likely that they will go out, and actually do something about it.
Yoira Santos, 20, of SUNY Oswego, feels we can do something about it, but also agrees with D’Angelo, that the organization is taking minimal action to resolve the problem.
“That’s all they’re doing; they are just spreading the word. We as a society like passive activism. We put up posters and shout out words. The thing about invisible children is that a lot of people are donating and they don’t know where that money is going,” she says.
Santos goes on to say that the money is going to the activists, the trips to Uganda, and the kits.
“I think it’s a great idea, we should get this thing known, but then again there have been other movements: Occupy Wall Street, the earthquake in Japan, and Darfur,” Santos said.
She says after the hype was gone, so was the support. This guy has been doing this for twenty-six years and we just found out about it now.
“This went viral in less than a day and to think, once the trend is gone, what will happen then,” Santos said?
People need to do research on Invisible Children before they can make a decision whether they are for or against the movement. This also applies to any other organization out there. Would you vote for someone without knowing what he or she stands for? I don’t think so. If you would like to know more about the Invisible Children and Kony2012 movement, here is the official website: Invisible Children Website.