Kony. This seems to be the topic these days. I watched the video last night. I was moved. I looked at my life and thought, how can I be a part of something so big, so unique, so powerful. I looked at the website, read a few more things and then posted it to facebook. Heck yeah, I wanted others to watch it.
But an innovative group of people trying to do some good can’t be left alone can they? No more than a few hours after this video was out, the critics began. I talked about it with a few more co-workers and read a bit more on it. Then, I ran across a link from Nickolas Kristof (Half the Sky Author) which gave a pretty balanced and thoughtful view of the topic. That article linked to a bunch of really negative articles (Joseph Kony and Crowd Sourced Intervention, Joseph Kony is not in Uganda, and Acholie Street. Stop Kony… ) about the campaign.
One argument says if this group is successful at capturing/killing Kony, why will they stop there? Who is next? Who will we want to kill next… To this I say: REALLY? This “what is next” argument is insane. It reminds me of the argument of same sex marriage: “If we allow same sex marriage, what will stop people from marring their dog?” Yeah, that is totally going to happen. What I learned from this person’s blog was that we should not do anything because of the potential what if’s. Sorry blogger 1, I am not convinced.
The second criticism I take issue with is that the Invisible Children campaign is not perfect. So please blogger, show me something that is perfect. 1 plan, any plan. Of course this group has an agenda. Every politician, business, Church, non-profit, team… they all have agendas. Why would Invisible Children be doing this if they did not have an agenda?
Or the people that say: Why Kony? or There are just as many evil people in the world, how will we get all of them? or This type of campaign is just a fad. or People think it is cool to “have a cause”. Again I must respond with REALLY? Should we be splitting atoms about these things? Are all these critics doing anything about the causes they think are more important than Kony? As Margaret Mead says “Who says a small group of thoughtful citizens can’t change the world? It is the only thing that ever did!”
One blogger was mad because the statistic used in the video was that Kony had 30,000 children that were in his army and had been abducted and mutilated by him. So this blogger called out the film maker because he researched that there were 30,000 people over 30 years that were abducted, killed etc. My response: (insert sarcastic voice) Yes, let’s not support this campaign because the film maker did not mention that the number was over 30 years. This completely negates everything. Please call the whole thing off. (end sarcasm). I don’t care if there was 300 kids or 3…NO ONE should hurt children. NO ONE. And if we allow politics to get in the way of keeping kids safe, we got a bigger problem than Kony.
Here is another great argument against the Invisible Children Campaign: They are using money for what they want. They are selling products and making money to spend on more films. Well, why wouldn’t they want to make money? Why wouldn’t they want to make more films. That is how they raise awareness. That is what all organizations do. So I work for a non profit, we ask for donations, sell products and do fund raisers. And guess what, some of that money goes to super boring things like paper, and heat, and phone bills, and salaries. It is not as glamorous as most donors think, we do not go on campaigns talking about our need for office supplies… but all of that is part of being a business. We can not do our jobs with out basic supplies, with out education, with out investment in equipment.
Oh, I really like this one: Stopping Kony will not stop the other problems in Uganda, Sudan etc. Right. Good point. Why would we want to educate and work for one campaign if we can’t tackle all of them? The entire world will never have access to clean water so why do we dig wells? If we can not send every child to school, then lets not send any. Give me a break.
I could go on and on… And my point is not to match these critics arguments with my outrage, or to convince all my faithful readers to support this campaign. My point is this: Why do we have to be critical and find fault with everything that crosses our path? Why do we strive to debunk every passion someone has? We should be encouraged and proud of the grass roots people. Of the passion. Of the fight for awareness. We should be thrilled that this one man felt so strongly about injustice that he did something about it.
Why is this world so afraid of facebook, twitter, utube and other technology to be used to send a message? We have let t.v. send us horrible messages for decades. We have also used t.v. to educate, raise awareness and make a difference.
I am sick of cynicism. I am sick of glass half empty. I am sick of people finding excuses. We do NOT have reason to start something this minute. Including me. If we are afraid of the what if’s then the world will never change. Ever. And if your child was kidnapped by Kony, you would do anything to stop him. No argument could convince you otherwise.
“The better world we want is coming, it is waiting for us to stop at nothing”