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Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012. My take on it.

I'm pretty sure there's no need for an introduction for what Kony 2012 is. If this is the first time you hear about it (which is probably really rare, seeing as it has blown up all over Facebook), you can go here for the back story on what I'm talking about.

What I wanted to talk about was knowing both sides of the story. Now, I think fundamentally speaking, the Kony 2012 campaign just wants the best. Their goal, essentially, is to catch a man who has been kidnapping children and forcing them into child trafficking or becoming child soldiers. Raising awareness is definitely a good thing. I think in the span of less than a week, milllions and millions of people have realized who this man is and this ongoing problem in Uganda. Now, what's with all the critics? Are they simply pessimists who doubt these sorts of charities or campaigns?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert of any kind. But I do know that the overall topic is very, very complicated. I find it hard to believe that anyone could provide an unbiased, unedited version of the situation in Uganda in a half-hour video. And another thing. At least a good few million people know about Kony. Now what? I agree that awareness is a huge factor in raising support for a cause but it still leaves questions unanswered. For example, in order for US troops to catch Kony, they would probably have to kill his bodyguards to get through him. His bodyguards being the child soldiers. Now, I understand that some people might consider this "collateral damage" but I find it a bit ironic to be honest. And (do not quote me) has military intervention in a foreign country ever gone well? Also, are we completely disregarding the fact that child soldiers have been an issue for decades in Africa? How Kony was not the first nor will he be the last to do this? Are we going to ignore all the other problems that are existent in Uganda (famine, disease, corruption)?

I am neither against or for Kony 2012 at the moment. Sure, I think spreading the message is good but we always need to refer to two sides of the story before we decide to blindly support a cause just because everyone else is. It is scary to think that a majority of the younger generation is supporting (while this unity is a good thing) a cause that many of them are ignorant to, but do so in order to "spread the word" and give themselves an ego boost (sure, that sounds harsh, but just today we were discussing this topic and only 3 people out of the 25 people who supported Kony 2012 could point out where Uganda was on the map).

It's just a warning to everyone. Charity and volunteer work is always good, but make sure to always consider both sides of the story before choosing which stance you will take, especially in such a controversial topic as this. Do some research. Don't just listen to propaganda thrown out and manipulated by the media. And most importantly, don't let the masses pressure you into making a decision.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting you'd post that. Supposedly there was a girl FROM UGANDA who uploaded a video saying that the whole Kony 2012 thing is just Us Military propaganda. I've yet to see either video, but it seems to have blown up rather quickly...