KONY 2012: Who? What? Why?

"Where you live shouldn't decide whether you live."

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you’re aware of the viral internet movement that vamped up between yesterday and earlier today. “#MakeKonyFamous” and “#StopKony”, among other word choices reflecting the Kony 2012 movement, stampeded down timelines throughout the world. Like most movements of this nature, there is a positive and a negative side of the story. 

Who is Kony you ask?

Joseph Kony is native Ugandan war leader leading the rebel group, LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army).For 26 years, Kony has abducted over 30 thousand children. When kidnapped, they are forced to join the LRA. The girls are forced into sex slaves and the boys serve as his child soldiers. The children are also forced to kill their own parents and mutilate people’s faces. The number of children affected by his tyranny is staggering. 

What is Kony 2012?
 
Troubles in Uganda have been widely known, but not of its extremes until now. Jason Russell has used social media to spread the word. The movement is called “Kony 2012”. His theory is chains of command that will ultimately result in the capturing of Kony. Through social media, policy makers, celebrities, and peaceful action, we the people can make a difference. If we let our government know that we are concerned about this issue, they will respond. The movement is explained more in depth in his video. Several celebrities, including Rihanna and Oprah, have climbed aboard this movement.

Why make him famous?

Kony is number one on the list for the International Criminal Court, whose objective is to arrest the world’s worst criminals. The movement to make Kony famous raises awareness. “Our goal is to change the conversation of the country,” states Russell. Before, Russell tried many times to talk to the US politicians. They knew of the troubles that have been going on in Africa for years, but they would not get involved because of its irrelevance to the people. Now, there is a group of US soldiers advising the Uganda army.

THE GOOD?

The younger generation has played a crucial role in the publicizing of “KONY 2012”, along with social media. The goal of the movement is to change the conversations of everyone to help solve a problem. Many collegiettes around the world are putting their efforts together to stop  Kony’s violent mission. With everyone's efforts, Kony may indeed be caught.  On April 20, 202 there will be a major publicity effort to make Kony famous. If you wake up to posters flooding your town’s street or campus, keep calm...and make Kony famous?

THE BAD?

While I’m sure most people who are helping the KONY movement go viral are geniuenly concerned with the safety and welfare of the children, it is important that people look at such a huge movement from both angles. Invisible Children is an activist group that “pushed” KONY 2012, along with the other videos documenting the movement, publicity materials, and support materials. There is controversy over the group’s mission and funding. According to a critical social and political research article on the movement, “Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services, with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.”

While the brutality spread on the children is bad, and any person who leads such an army could be assumed as immoral, the media can be questioned for over-exaggeration. Most importantly, when action is taken to capture someone under such circumstances (involving a child army), bloodshed could be inevitable.  Ask yourself this question, “If the lives of other children are lost to capture one man from harming other children, is it worth it?”

I’m sure the intentions of collegiettes and people across the world are good, but take in account the positive and negative effects of the situation. If you choose to support, support! If you choose not to, that's fine as well. For more information on the Kony2012 movement visit the website and watch the twenty-nine minute-and fifty-nine seconds video that might change your life, and possibly save someone else's life.

 
Sources:
kony2012.com

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/invisiblechildreninc?feature=watch