I’m Not Shutting Up (and neither should you)

Why KONY 2012 deserves your support even though everyone on the internet is telling you it’s a scam- 6 Reasons to THINK before you Judge.


1) Harry Potter & Star Wars: okay, so I get that the post-modern life is one of inherent hypocrisy and paradoxical world-views. On one hand we (and by that I mean Americans) are a culture obsessed with violent sports and games and yet our good ol’ Enlightenment-inspired political paradigme is one where reason, diplomacy, and democracy (theoretically) reign, but at the end of the day at our core most of us know that when it comes to Good vs. Evil, “Good” better not show up to the Battle for Middle Earth (okay so maybe it’s HP, SW andLOTR) with a peace treaty and an Olive Branch. When someone as Evil as The Emperor or He Who Must Not Be Named shows up to kill magical students and blow up entire planets, we route for the good guys to go in blasters-a-blazin’ and wands-a-raised. According to the International Criminal Court, Joseph Kony is Undesirable No. 1 (and no you HP nerds, Umbridge doesn’t serve in that ministry so it’s legit.) and it’s not for blowing up a make-believe planet or giving someone a lightning-bolt scar, it is for the very real crimes of forcing 30,000 children to mutilate, murder, and sexually assault their families and friends… Oh yeah, and he’s doing this because the “Bible told him so.”

2) You aren’t betraying the memory of MLK: I’m a huge fan of Dr. Martin Luther King and believe in the profoundly important work of his life and legacy, but it makes me cringe when people use his attitude of non-violence as a reason to sit on their comfy-middle-class-couches and pontificate about how the use of force is anti-Christian, anti-peaceful, anti-hippie or otherwise inmoral. We often forget that long before MLK, an entire war had to almost destroy our entire country before we decided to grant Black people even a fraction of their inalienable rights and that the Good Reverend came to help continue that work. Dr. King was right when he talked about violence on a macro scale, on a cultural scale. Violence spurred by ignorance and hate only lead to more of the same, but I doubt Dr. King would have advocated against using force in order to protect innocent children who would were being used as pawns in one man’s arbitrary and bloody war games.

3) This Ain’t Yo White-Guilt: I have seen several people post objections to KONY 2012 and to Invisible Children because of the “White Man’s Burden” argument. And while I won’t deny that sometimes that can factor in, I think these arguments and the people who use them do a great diservice to themselves and to our culture. If helping someone who happens to be Black or live in Africa is automatically deemed as an act of guilt or obligation due to one’s own skin color rather than an act of kindness from one HUMAN to another HUMAN then that says more about the person pointing the finger than the person doing the helping. But you know what, so what if it is to ease my conscience? If helping people for ANY reason and in ANY place is a crime, then maybe I’ll just plead guilty.

4) Invisible Children Pays Their Employees: I’ve heard so much crap being talked about IC because of their budgets and how only 35%-odd percent goes directly to helping people in Africa. I say, awesome! These people don’t need money for cable and ipads, not saying they shouldn’t have them, I’m saying the problems the people face on a daily basis are so much deeper than just financial. These people need partners all over the world who are interested in the story Humanity is telling with and through relationships and not just nameless and faceless benefactors who send pennies a day and never once see that poverty and conflict in Africa are mere symptoms of bigger Global issues. IC spends most of it’s resources to raise awareness, to mobilize and inspire independent civilians all over the world to the action of attitude shift because IC realizes that sustainable cultural change doesn’t happen with a monthly donation, it happens by setting an idea on fire and fanning the flames. Anything else probably is just white guilt.

5) Spider Man Said So: Okay so we all know the quote, “With great power… Yadda yadda yadda.” And though we like to shrug our responsibility as the planets biggest baddest kid on the block, the truth is, it is what it is. Now I’m not saying that the U.S.’s history isn’t tarnished with incident after incident of nation building and interference in foreign affairs- often to our ultimate shame, but the Kony hunt is different. This isn’t about oil interests, this isn’t about keeping Israel happy, or even about spreading democracy. The objective isn’t to change the government of Uganda or any other African country. The objective is to save and/or honor the lives of the 30-thousand children that Joseph Kony has destroyed and hopefully change the conversation about what warrants international attention. Seriously you feel it’s a good use of your time to find out weather Snookie is pregnant or not but you can’t take time to watch the KONY 2012 video before casting judgement? Forgive me for sounding judgey. It’s only because I’m judging you.

6) The Good Guys Are Still Hard to Find: There are so many people to blame for the conflicts in this part of Africa and all sides on the war have committed horrible crimes and atrocities against the people of the region, but Kony must be stopped. The LRA is spreading like a plague throughout Africa, with no political or social agenda other than the power he has built on fear. This rebel group sews dissension, mistrust, anger, bitterness, pain, and strife within the communities in which it is active. Of course no side is blameless, how can they be when no one knows who to trust? When these people are driven to war by extreme fear and desperation, it becomes more complicated and difficult to blame them for not sitting passively by. However, there is still an innocent party involved here, the Invisible Children. The children Kony is using as his favorite weapons.

Okay, so there are 6 reasons, and I think they are pretty decent ones, to support this KONY 2012 stuff. But if you want to find your own reasons, the video that started all this hoopla is a good place to start. You can see it


And one final thought: it took us being personally attacked by Japan to enter WWII and then it was only to protect our national interests in a war in which we could have prevented millions of Holocaust deaths if we had joined when asked. How long should we wait this time?