Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012 - Do we know what we are doing?

Well its fair to say there has been a lot of talk about this KONY 2012 movement with everyone sharing and caring there way to a more peaceful Uganda. Or so we think.
The campaign has sent out a very clear and simple objective; raise awareness about Joseph Kony and his crimes so that the power can be put in place to capture him. And this I have full support for, I mean this has to be good a thing right? Well unfortunately we live in a very complicated world where there is more than one 'bad guy' and plenty of people to take their place. Before I begin to explain my view of this I want to make it clear that I am not writing this article to stop people from joining the KONY movement, I myself have signed the petition and shared the film however we are dealing with a very delicate situation which could result in the death of many children as a result of misplaced information and power and so if we are to join this cause we should all look into the full facts and agree on the most effective and efficient way to put a stop on this forever.

One term that has been thrown around a lot this week is 'the white man's burden'. I'm going to stay away from the race descriptive in this term, I think one way to put it is our reaction to KONY 2012 has been one that can very easily be mistaken as thousands of well off western teenagers desperate to avoid public guilt. In other words when you share the video, change your display picture, post some plead or make you purchase of campaign posters, bracelets etc from the outside this could be perceived as an attempt to show you are not selfish being rather than a genuinely caring person. And there is always going to be the odd attention seeker who see's this a chance to enlighten their image including the vast amount of celebrities and politicians who have agreed to join the cause. I can't knock this though. In the end, mass awareness is always a positive and this is highly achieved through the use of widely known and respected individuals however what happens when the message that has been shared by these people is not necessarily the right one? We end up with an even worse situation than before we started.

I fear that this cause may end up on its arse because the leading organisation responsible for the worldwide campaign haven't got the agenda in place to stop these crimes for good. They are a non-profit organisation however the majority of their spending has been flushed into making incredibly expensive films and promotional campaigns which makes them the most widely known organisation and soon they will become under a load of pressure from the powers that be

So what do I suggest we do? Well I did some research this morning and within half an hour my understanding of this subject had been twisted and challenged. I don't feel its my place to convince you to do anything except look further into this and so I have left some links that I have found useful.

If your want my opinion based on what I have heard and read so far I would say a simple campaign like the KONY one can go very far because it has one objective that can be spread very easily in a world on facebook. However anyone that has had an interest in politics or studied history knows that you can take away the man at the top but someone else always takes their place. There are other powers in Uganda that need to be developed and investigated for change including the government and the army itself. Until this has been done then we are wasting our time only taking one man out of power. As the Independent article you are about to see in the links puts it, 'Stop Kony, but don't stop asking questions'.

Interesting articles:

The Independent >>> 'Stop Kony, but don't stop asking questions'
The Educated Field Negro >>> 'We Got Trouble'

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