By now you’ve probably seen the Kony 2012 video circulating the social networks. We posted it this morning, and I’ve seen tweets and Facebook posts about the film throughout my timeline. Celebs have jumped on the bandwagon and in just days, the video has already reached millions, but is it the real story? Or it the film and the Invisible Children organization yet another case of what many call “White Savior Syndrome”?

You’ve seen it before. Worthy causes only become noteworthy once white folks step in to champion it, never mind the black and brown people who have worked in the trenches to bring many of our world’s social ills to light. Somehow, people only sit up and take notice once a predominately white org or white celeb take up the case. Why is that?

This is the exact question being debated over on AfriPop, a blog about African art and culture. While Joseph Kony is indeed an evil man (we wrote about him last year), why is the plight of the Ugandian people just NOW coming to light even though he is apparently no longer involved in Uganda or its politics?

I’ll let Luso Mnthali of AfriPop explain:

At this point, you must know Kony is one hideous, hideous man. No question. And anybody would want to stop him. Yet the timing of this IC campaign is suspicious – why on earth does the IC lead saviour campaigner, former child soldier Jacob’s best friend in the whole world, not explain that Kony is no longer involved in Uganda, and that no one knows where he is? Why is the IC funding the Ugandan military, and how are we even going to sit here through the days of AFRICOM and pretend like the US government and its army are simply ‘advisers’? Why does this campaign look like only Americans can save Ugandans/Africans, when meanwhile Ugandans have been saving and helping themselves for many years? Completely nuts.

Crazy in that this hipster almost all-white movement’s axis point, the video that went viral in a day, comes at a crucial time in American politics. A time when the questions asked by some are why neo-colonialist assumptions about the rightness of aid and awareness are no longer finding easy answers. And as Africans we are asking ourselves  why now? Before any of you get excited, or don’t, for whatever reason, there are some very real points to take into consideration.  From a Ugandan’s perspective like Musa Okwonga’s (he has family ties to the region in question) to Solomme Lemma’s take on this campaign, there are some very strong points to be made about why supporting the Kony2012 campaign is the wrong idea.

In today’s instant news age, stories travel around the globe in a matter of minutes. And while we have a tendency to want to help out once we hear of some terrible injustice going on, how many of us actually stop and think critically about all of the factors in play?

While this KONY film will be sure to raise a shitload of cash for those involved, how much of that will actually funnel back to the people who need it most?

*Read more on AfriPop
  • Natalie

    It’s more than that… how ironic is it that they find oil in Uganda… the coincidences are too crazy for me. I’m cynical on top of that… watch the military intervene. Just watch…

    Look at this:
    http://imgur.com/K3mgn

  • AllisonMG

    Actually, I do remember the IC leader in the video saying that Kony was no longer in Uganda. He DID say that nobody knew his whereabouts…Just putting that out there. but the author does make an interesting point to consider.

  • Whatever

    Wow! i thought the exact same thing when the Kony video was blowing up my FB newsfeed this morning.

  • I call Bull

    TEsting…

  • Jayne Dirt

    Good article Brit. I had similar thoughts when I was watching the video, yet posted it reluctantly.

  • I call Bull

    It’s obvious that someone wasn’t paying attention, he even showed a map displaying the movement of the LRA out of Uganda into the neighboring countries.

  • Cam

    You are idiots!.. You can’t speak for the dead parents and abducted children there. Obviously if there was some suspicion about oil I guarantee the U.S. would have been over there sooner, but because the U.S. had no loses and no gains there they are just forgotten about. Silly articles like this and lack of information about things like things result in genocides (ex. Rwanda). So, because you are worried about intentions you are willing to just wait and see what happens?

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    I’m hella confused….dude is saving Africa or what?! Please forgive me…..If he is saving us, tell him to find me….I need a savior and a sponsor all at the same time.

  • VA

    I know there is concern on where is the money really going but for those who don’t donate and are at least getting the word out y should it matter. there are a ton of people who didn’t even know this was going on this year let alone for 26 I was lucky enough to have parents and teacher who kept us aware but there are so many that aren’t you don’t have to give then your money but people m=need to be made aware BAMN!

  • yeathatsme

    yea i agree 100%! i was suspicious as soon as i saw the video.

  • Nailah

    I KNEW IT. I understand that there definitely is a need for awareness about this issue, so this campaign is necessary in that particular regard, but I absolutely gave this whole thing some serious side eyes when I first came across it.

  • Whatever

    Google is your friend…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/world/africa/uganda-welcomes-oil-but-fears-graft-it-attracts.html

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/richardlevick/2011/12/02/the-resource-curse-ugandas-upcoming-oil-wealth-is-a-global-challenge-on-multiple-fronts/

    “THE US on Monday denied that its renewed interest in Uganda is a strategy to get hold of the newly found oil in the country.

    The US government has announced that it will deploy troops to help Uganda fight the rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who are currently in the Central African Republic.

    Critics have said that the only reason that America seems to be coming up strongly to offer troops to help in fighting Kony when they did not when he was killing people here was because of the oil.”

    http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/18504-us-denies-interest-in-uganda-oil.html

    http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v12/v12i3a2.pdf

  • Whatever

    You clearly have NOT done YOUR research.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ Cam,

    Africans DO NOT need to be saved. They are their own saviors! A white man can and will NEVER save that continent. He helped and continues to contribute to its destruction, how then can a criminal turn and become a saint?! LMAOOOOO!

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    Hey thanks for pointing that out. However, “As the LRA began to move into other countries” does not explain it all – after I watched it again I realised why I thought he hadnt mentioned that – it’s 20 unclear seconds of a 29 minute movie where I wasn’t just thinking of the movie’s ambitions, I thought of several things at once because so many things disturbed me about it. It’s a blip, a blink and you missed it moment. I don’t think it’s something that this organization is going to stress (and they didn’t, in light of 29 whole minutes of film), and as other folks have pointed out if you follow the links, there seems to be an obfuscation of facts surrounding the reasons put forth by the IC as to their continued involvement in Uganda.

  • PttSophisticate

    Cam,
    I thought the same thing. Right after i thought 50 more times about the children. Would I really feel good about waiting for a black filmmaker/”savior” to legitimize (SMH) it? If someone of color made the film would be have head his mention that Kony has now branched out? By all means be mindful about your money, be mindful about what media you are fed but White savior syndrome??? I trust myself to make an informed decision.

  • Ariel

    I don’t know why this has to be about “white savior syndrome.” It is an interesting point to bring up, but I’m happy this issue (although there are many in the world and this country) is getting exposure. This is an injustice that needs to be stopped. Why fault the men for going to a country to experience something new, seeing the horrors that occur in Uganda, and wanting to do something about it? I understand Europeans carved up Africa and left it destitute and war torn, and I personally think that it can’t save itself with so many issues and being such a large continent. Why are we being skeptical about others being compassionate, shouldn’t we embrace help in situations like these? We get so frustrated with the media not paying attention to people of color, especially black people, I’m shocked this is being questioned. I also realize allocation of funds may be something that people are concerned about, but running a non-for-profit effectively requires full-time employees and money. If you’re not happy with how the funds are spent, don’t donate or contact the organization and hold them accountable. Their (Invisible Children’s) income/revenue is made public. Honestly, some people will never be happy. I remember watching this in college, and with my students recently and worrying that it won’t be fixed because not enough people care. I’m glad people are starting to care and trying to do something about basic human rights being violated, even if it is just spreading the word.

  • AustralianGirl

    Oil.

    That is all.

  • AfroD

    Kony first started fighting in Uganda in 1986! 1986! Why now? The UN declared famine in Somalia, 2 months after famine was averted oil mining started in Somali punt land. Missionaries have been used for sinister purposes since Africa was first colonized. I do not trust this campaign at all. They want to protect Ugandans now?

    And just for everyone’s information, Kony is deader than dead. Has been for a while.

  • fffff

    If you watched the WHOLE VIDEO, they CLEARLY stated that Kony isnt in UGANDA about 3 times.
    And it’s so disrespectful for you guys to talk about white saviour syndrome. SHIT. THESE are kids that are being kidnapped, killed, tortuered, mulitated and raped and SUFFER OF THIS and you sit comfartably talking about white savior syndrome? At the end of the day, this has BECOME HUGE because of the EXCELLENT media campaign by THIS MAN AND HIS TEAM. This has not become viral because he’s white, it’s because THIS short movie is the most effective/media campaign i’ve seen a while. I’m so damn tired of you guys reaching to analyze something that isnt there or to try making something bad of this. He went to uganda, filmed it, made a promise to jacob, then made a touching documentry, how can you possibly try to say something negative? it’s disgusting.

  • fffff

    You ask ”why now?”¨… BECAUSE HE MADE A CLEVER VIDEO, from a marketing perspective it’s damn genius, thats WHY it’s raised now. IF YOU made a video like this with the same success of invisible children maybe the issue could have been raised 1986. daaaamn. things dont happen if you dont make things happen. IF THIS GUY DIDNT MAKE IT HAPPEN, KONY WOULDNT BE A DAMN TOPIC, HE WOULDNT BE EVERYWHERE ON SOCIAL SITES AND HE WOULDNT AND THIS POST WOULDNT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED. IT is NOW because that GUY made a clever marketing campaign NOW.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    PREAAAAAACH.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    the preaching is directed towards to Afro D.

    @ fffffff,
    quit with the melodramatics and leave it to rising Hollywood stars. sheeesh!

  • Nina

    Folks get on my nerves. It’s for a good cause. So what it took the efforts of a young white man to create a video to bring awareness to it. We’re all humans& we can all lend a hand to a worthy cause.

  • ydot

    Have we forgot that this is almost a ten year personal campaign that someone made to a child, and not something that happened over night?

  • Chloe

    I agree with those of you who are appreciating the efforts and creative activism of these film-makers. It takes a certain look to capture people’s attention, I do not fault them for looking polished in their campaign. What is important is that a great amount of the population Wakes Up and takes some kind of action that connects them to Standing Up against Injustice. This may be the first time some of these people responding to the Facebook blitz have ever been politically aware. Let’s welcome that instead of posturing to be Politically Correct. Even to be involved in discussions of World Issues is valuable. Everyone starts from ignorance and moves toward being informed. The participation is an important stepping stone to deeper activism , responsible investigation, and empowered
    Ocompassionate actions.

  • what?

    You know what? I didn’t read about it until this video, and I read and follow the news. So, since the Africans are complaining, and I didn’t hear or see this information from them, let the situation be.Don’t give your money and don’t support this cause or any other.How about that? Regardless if he is white,pink, or purple he is NOT the US government and he can’t make Obama or any congressman do anything.But since you all complained, I won’t give anyone with the cause anything no matter who your are.I’ll send my prayers and we can take back all the millions in AIDE that we have sent for how many years? Freaking ignorent….you are right let Africans handle Africa on all fronts.You handle the nonstop issues in the country because it has been working for years??????The US and European countries will step back and let you all handle all your buisness because …you have been great at doing it….complain about crap after people have given it too you…stupid…

  • Humanista

    Soooo, what? No white person should ever help a person of color? Lest it be “White Savior Syndrome”??? I don’t understand why ANYONE would be offended by any person, no matter he color, trying to make a positive impact in the world. If that’s the concern, you’re worried about the wrong things.

    First, there was nothing exposed in this article that I didn’t see/hear in the video. Rewatch. Second, regardless of the motives for the U.S. Government getting involved (you know we don’t just pour resources into anything “just to be nice” if we’re not benefiting in some way), it is clear the the man spearheading this campaign is totally in it for all the right reasons. His race is a non-factor. The reason why it’s a big deal NOW is because someone thought of a brilliant way to expose the cause. So, we can sit up here talking about “yeah, who does he think he is; I BEEN known about this issue”, yet we didn’t or were unable to bring this kind of awareness to the world. And no one else did. So why are we scoffing at the fact that people ARE aware and are caring enough to day to actively want to seek justice? Yeah, it would have been nice if it happened sooner, but to use that to DISCOUNT this effort? Please.

    Regardless of all of the White privilege that exists, we can’t forget they are people. People who feel things and probably felt the same things I felt watching the video. So they’re doing something. Good for them.

  • I call Bull

    Umm what? There was even a map! So because some people can’t pay attention to details, it doesn’t count? No. I only watched it once, and caught it very well thank you very much. People shouldn’t have to dumb it down for others to keep up.

  • Complicated

    I understand all the issues about racism, ignorance, and imperialism. But you have to ask yourself, will the children/families that are most vulnerable be made better off or worst?

    If anything, since we know better, why not take charge of our own movement?

  • Socially Maladjusted

    smh @/\

    . , , , meanwhile back on planet earth

    Yep definately a case of let’s ride whitey’s dick.

    It’s only respectable to support a “black cause” when whitey says so.

    fools.

    Not that there’s any cause here that requires whitey’s “humanitarian” intervention.

    I read somewhere recently that the jews who partook in the warsaw ghetto uprising (WW2) had a much higher survival rate than jews who failed to resist at any stage of the nazi’s final solution programme.

    So what’s my point?

    Well, that some of us will not only drink the kool aid but will fight off (other blacks) for the right to drink it first – to show whitey how much we love his kool aid.

    The few who understand that the kool aid is poison will probably have a much higher survival rate than the willing kool aid drinkers.

    kiss teet

  • Whatever

    It’s propaganda…

  • I call Bull

    @African Mamie OBVIOUSLY they do need the “white man’s help” or else it would’ve been handled already.

  • Whatever

    WAKE UP!!! This is about OIL!!!

    Are people really this f*cking stupid! This is why history ALWAYS repeats itself.

  • I call Bull

    If a white person helps a Black person, they automatically have bad intentions because of what their ancestors did? So should I automatically distrust all people who are from Africa because they had a hand in the transatlantic slave trade? Y’all sound so dumb. Obviously Black people don’t care, and don’t want things to change.

  • http://www.poshmiss.com Poshmiss.com

    I just watched this video for the first time today and I am glad he stood up 9 years ago to take on this cause. This is not a media ploy, this is this man’s purpose and to say this is a “white” savior moment is horrendous. If he has it in him to do it and others who are a different race do not, then guess what save away sir. He stood when no one else would and has already made a change. I remember the camp out he had on the national mall almost 6 years ago and I support this cause.

  • Pseudonym

    Well, the marketing and use of artistic and social media is genius. I think instead of being negative one should def take note and learn from this effort for our own activism:

    -Seems many people actually watched the entire 30 minute video- that’s major! You know how difficult it is to get people to give you thirty minutes of their attention? I noticed the fast pace of the video made the time seem shorter b/c I felt like I was rushing through the entire thing so didn’t mind the time. Definitely something to consider when putting together a video PSA.
    -I was definitely inspired by the power and reach of the Internet and social networking sites from seeing this and will not underestimate its influence and ability.
    -I think a lot of the backlash comes in from the calls for funding. If I were to do a similar campaign, I think that instead of asking for donations and creating “activism kits” I would post my materials on my website and allow people to print them for themselves. They can donate to your cause that way and know 100% how their money was used. Then I’d use private connections to fund videos, travel equipment, etc. I definitely learned to consider more creative ways of soliciting funding for my own projects.

    In terms of “white savior syndrome” that’s a case that can’t be won by any white person b/c no matter what a white person does, they’re going to be accused of doing the wrong thing by any black people who want to be mad at them and broad brush them all as criminals. If they are activists, they are accused of “white savior syndrome;” if they are not activists, they are accused of not caring. It’s just the way it is right now. Not even worth posing that question. The real answer is you have a little of both, sometime in separate people and/or organizations and sometimes within the same one.

    I will say his video send up a little red flag on my radar. Felt a little too self-promoting which smells a bit like ulterior motive. HOWEVER, I am okay with it for now simply for the fact of how many facebook posts I saw about Kony from folks I don’t normally think of as socially conscious or involved. and if he wants to gain exposure for his talent through working on a cause people care about, hey…it can only make things better. If there is actual exploitation, however, he’s gotta get the ax.

    But over all, I loved being exposed to this b/c it was so inspiring to see how much impact a video can make. Definitely putting the techniques in my back pocket.

  • I call Bull

    They have been doing work there for over 8 years…did you even watch the video?

  • Ashanti

    I’m completely disappointed at how viewers have accepted the silencing of African voices once again. Who is invisible? This is a clear example of the EuroAmerican perpetuation of the “useless, weak, incapable AFRICAN”.

    The intent of this mission is already questionable. I am in not trying to disregard the brutality that these children are currently experiencing but lets focus on the execution of IC’s KONY 2012.

    This is very problematic… the language used within this video not only belittles and patronizes the Ugandan people but it also suggest that the only way out is through the intervention [intrusion] of the west or as they so subtly put it “the GREAT power”

  • Natalie

    yup!

  • GiftGiver

    I wholeheartedly agree with you!

    Don’t hate the savior. Hate the reason why he’s necessary in the first place!

    I love that his message is quite powerful: Why do we have all of this amazing technology if we can’t use it to do amazing things that we were once incapable of achieving?

    I, too, support this cause!

  • http://www.themommypsychologist.com The Mommy Psychologist

    Was I the only mom who was disturbed by the narrator’s discussions of a “bad man who kidnaps children and makes them kill people” that he had with his four year old son? This just seems really inappropriate. Check out all of my thoughts about it on http://www.themommypsychologist.com.

  • Jaxson

    He’s got himself into a little delima http://narwhaler.com/xen5ym

  • Zane

    Well, how about that http://narwhaler.com/xen5ym

  • Rhuebekah

    I am not a fan of this article. Give the man a break he is trying to make a change. Who cares what race he is.

  • Bisous

    @Rhuebekah Thank you I thought I was the one missing the point of this article. Alot of people didn’t know about Kony before, but now there is a chance that thousands more will hare of him and he will possibly be caught and tried for his crimes. This was achieved in a grassroots fashion not a national campaign, but through social networking alone. We should be angry because it’s not a black person helping out!? GTFO.

  • http://www.twitter.com/amaniathome Amani

    I completely agree…My coworker was watching it and I saw that part of it. After that I dismissed it as propaganda. That was totally unnecessary and the child will probably grow up to hate or fear men that look like Kony (essentially black men). I did not watch it and I probably won’t. I remember attending a Darfur rally a few years ago in Washington, DC. All this makes me think, what will white people jump on next?

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    “He stood when no one else would” Are you sure about that? Please check your facts and also, please get over this mentality where you think movies are reality. Read my post on AfriPOP and click on the links – read those – they’ll keep you informed not just reactionary.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    he is also pocketing a lot of MONEY as a result…….PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    Is he really trying to make a change? Are you sure about that? How about getting informed first and then making blanket statements about a place you know little about? Please read these http://pomee.tumblr.com/post/18899601760/kony-2012-causing-more-harm-than-good and http://underthebanyan.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/a-cautionary-tale-kony-2012-the-backlash/ make sure you watch that video at the end as a Ugandan journalist who has covered the war in the northern region of her country explains why she feels ambivalent about IC’s intentions. Yes his race is up for discussion because of the history of white men in Africa and because we are seeing neo-colonialism reach its curled talons deep into the heart of Africa. We in Africa have known about this warlord for decades, and people on the ground have been doing something about the war, complicated as it is. Give those people props before you jump on a bandwagon and decide who really is a hero. It is hard to fight against such a mentality when it is so deeply entrenched in our own people (black people) and we are happy to receive so little when others take so much from us. Do you know that the PR machine that wages war against Africa’s agency is powerful? That we have to be vigilant and make sure we speak out when we see we’re once again being taken for a ride then left raped and murdered on a side street – I say this because IC’s involvement has escalated the war in Uganda before. The ‘negativity’ you assume that many Africans are spouting when we speak the truth is actually positivity. It is love. A deep love that I think some cannot possibly comprehend. I am tired of bloodshed in Africa. So damn tired of it. And tired of people who think they can come and use us as a springboard for success in Hollywood or for financial gain off the backs of our suffering. If you really cared about these children, you’d listen to more people who are against this kind of thing – listen, and try to understand why. Listen, and try to understand that when you take away African agency, as this film clearly does, you harm Africans. And this goes much further and deeper than any “awareness” campaign where Americans get to once again feel good about themselves because they’re ‘doing something’. Doing just anything isn’t a solution, it’s a reaction. For me, this is about deep love, not disdain or hatred or negativity towards someone trying to help. If these people were genuine, the focus on that film wouldnt have been so much on him and his son. He makes it out like it’s just another Hollywood action movie, starring him as the action hero. And if that’s not enough, you also can join in by purchasing ‘action kits’. In the 80s when the A Team was on TV, we used to get ‘dossiers’ and action figurines of them. This reminds me of that. Also, if it really was about wanting to find Kony, the focus would no longer be Uganda, it would be DRC, South Sudan and Central African Republic, where his forces have now entered. Sigh. I don’t know how to explain this so you can truly understand that not all activism or action aid is warranted, completely altruistic or will do less harm than good. I’ve done my share of activism, volunteerism, campaigning, canvassing, marching and petitioning. I will continue to do more, where I feel it might help. So I understand the need, and the call to act. But when your deepest instinct is that something is wrong, you have to say it. Thanks all for engaging with this issue, and I hope you get more information, as I also will continue to.

  • Chrissy

    Appreciate the post Luso Mnthali.

  • mamareese

    I dont care what color you are. If you are doing something in the name of humanity more power to you.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Ok for everyone saying stop complaining, it’s not about color, do it for humanity…If you’re doing something, especially on this scale, for pure humanity alone, as if it exists in a vacuum then you may not actually be helping “humanity” at all and you may actually be taking it back a few notches. This is why research is important. To me, this is slightly analogous to giving a homeless guy money, even though that money may be used for drugs that will help the homeless guy stay homeless…although in this situation, I feel like taking the risk and acting humanely is more justified than this KONY documentary. This is because the KONY movement is making a larger statement and asking people from around the world to contribute to a situation that they don’t know much about. This dependency on NGOs is psychology and economically problematic..because the idea that only the white man can save people will stick to your mind, regardless of the situation, and help solidify your own inferiority. I can’t fault the guy for caring (although I do think he is indulging in American exceptionalism and the concept of white savior). But the thing is most ppl are ill informed and most people won’t do the work to find out so the responsibility falls on the person giving the information to REALLY know what the eff he/she is really talking about.

    The point I’m making is that the humane act on a smaller level MUST match the larger context of the cause in order to actually work. If you disregard the context you may actually be hurting.

  • Simone L

    Shit, not this again.

  • s.m.m.

    @Luso: You are 100% correct!

  • Ebony

    Negativity from clutch as usual….sigh.

    I mean yeah its a shame that an African organization couldn’t get the word out about this the way IC did. But I’ve heard about IC since I was in high school….this is their cause and who the fuck cares what color they are as long as it gets people educated and talking about it.

    If it gets results then great….you don’t hear Jacob talking about he wishes the people at IC were black or African. The ICs efforts have been crucial and I think thats way more important than white savior syndrome…which honestly just sounds like a crabs in the bucket bitter attitude towards what is really a miracle. I mean they posted this video on the 5th………and it has reached MILLIONS of people.

  • bob

    You wouldn’t have to ride out dicks if you people could get your shit together. 150 years and still nothing accomplished

  • Allecia

    I’m just curious as to what you see as a soluton to this? I appreciate your thoughts, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t just speak, but also tries to encourage an action plan. What are you suggesting we as humans do? Do you suggest we not help one another and leave it to the “others” to help themselves? Becuase if that is the case we’d only be further purpetuating the idea that we are not all one race, human, before anything else we have a basic desire, and that is to live. And I am not disregarding cultural differences and struggles because they are/can be different in what ever part of the world you’d like to examine, however, I personally believe in aiding others across cultural lines, I would certainly hope, that if the U.S. needed true aid, (which we do, look at Chicago, Detroit,L.A. etc) that others would come to our aid. I do not think Africans are helpless, if that were the case then would be none of us left in Africa, we are fighting, we’re fighting in every corner of the world! But with those of us who are able bodied and willing we should join those ranks, I believe we should all help one another, looking past petty offenses and pride.

  • Allecia

    Agreed.

  • LaLA

    *AHEM* Every naysayer on this board has access to a computer. Where is your video? Where is your facebook campaign to assist Ugandans and neighboring people? What website have you made?

    Hell, where are you when our OWN terrorists are pimping out girls and putting guns in the hands of our young boys?

    Maybe if you had done the job in the first place, folks wouldn’t need a ‘white savior’. Damn I HATE armchair quarterbacks. Talking 99% of the time, doing something 1%. So until you become a savior yourself, STFU.

  • Nicole

    But that is the point Luso Mnthali made. IC isn’t actually helping, its harmful. So while I agree “armchair quarterbacks” should have several seats, the more salient point made, perhaps not in the article but by Ms. Mnthali, is that IC has taken the time to commercialize its efforts but hasn’t taken the time to research the actual history of events. That missing piece of research is creating the disconnect and the illusion that IC is helping when it is actually hurting.

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    A miracle? That’s what you call a slickly produced video (off the back of someone else’s suffering) getting millions of views? Where the organizations funds mostly go to themselves, and admin, travel and film-making costs? That’s the miracle you speak of? And you believe every movie you watch? And think they’re the only ones who thought to make a difference? Really?

  • Ola

    For all of those saying, “shut up they’re doing something for humanity”, what’s wrong with questioning and researching the motives of an organization that has become so widely known so quickly? Are we supposed to take all the news that we hear to be truthful? No. I appreciate that something is being done, but I agree that video does have a paternalistic point of view, as if Ugandan citizens cannot fend for themselves. That is condescending and neocolonialist, and deserves to be addressed.

  • The Tip

    Critical thinking is your friend. Please listen to Tariq’s take on this movement. He offers an alternative perspective that most of this movement supporters have not considered. Intelligent people do their research.

    Episode #328-”The Kony 2012 Propaganda”

    http://macklessonsradio.com/index/episode-328-the-kony-2012-propaganda-

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    While I sometimes appreciate those who engage with issues in colourful language that simply illustrates their ignorance or lack of couth, I must say I didn’t appreciate the way you expressed yourself. You’re getting emotional and colouring your views with assertions you seem to know little about. Doing “the job in the first place” suggests a playing field that resembles anything near level – and in this case, as in other parts of conflict-ridden Africa – it doesn’t. I don’t have to give you a video or facebook campaign to show you or anyone that I care or have done something for the world, if that actually has been the case. Once you believe that this is the only way to do a thing, it’s easy for me to think that you have been led into someone else’s belief system hook line and sinker – with no prior investigations as to how else successful advocacy can occur.

    Doing something simply to be doing something isn’t necessarily the cleverest or most informed way to go about a thing. We discuss actions and plans of action because we know how many times we’ve seen ill-fated missions from do-gooders go belly up. And mostly for the people they’re trying to ‘save’. This is what Africans are questioning and urging every person with access to this video who thinks they’re actually doing something good, to think again. You’re merely reacting if you have to resort to a blustering defense of people you know little about, and also say you care, yet get so angry when people at the center of the issue have a different picture to paint. Verbal abuse merely shows you’re in pain over something – perhaps it is a lack of full understanding of the issues at hand. While you are buying into the product, because that’s what this is, you might concurrently encounter the feeling of having been bought. Good luck, but especially to those in that part of Africa that have to deal with the aftermath of this misguided campaign.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Hello

    shit for brains

    what part of – nobody in Africa wants whitey’s “help” – don’t you get?

    Who asked this fool to make a video “on behalf of Ugandas children”?

    Furthermore who invited whitey to Africa?

    and haven’t YOU PEOPLE got enough problems on your own doorstep?

    You know, like the ever growing tent city problem, springing up in every town city and state – of people who’ve been thrown out of their jobs by outlaw corporations and out of their homes by shylock bankers.

    What about the 20,000 americans who die annually for want of mere nickel and dime health coverage?

    Surely this is an attrocity of genocidal proportions.

    Yet – who cries for those poor americans, brutally victimized by corporate barons who rampage unchecked from city to countryside, destroying human lives, laying waste to once proud communities – leaving devastation and despair in their wake?

    Who will stop these murderous lords of power from inflicting more death and destruction on the already stricken american masses?

    america is a rogue state ruled by a brutal dictarship which must be stopped.

    I demand immediate action by the international community,

    I demand that troops are dispatched immediately to save the american people and prevent further loss of life.

    Indeed, I demand

    REGIME CHANGE

    beeyatch!

    what now?

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali
  • Socially Maladjusted

    ey check this

    NOBDODY IN AFRICA WANTS OR NEEDS OR ASKED FOR WHITEY’S PHONEY HELP

    Concern yourselves with the poor in your own country.

    Remember Katrina?

    Last time I heard. the survivors of that HUMANITARIAN CRISIS still aint doing to good.

    Mind your own damn business.

  • Ebony

    No offense, I didn’t read your articles but I intend to. I think you are speaking out of jealousy and bitterness. Instead of looking for everything thats wrong with the video and with the organization, you should instead look to see the positive.

    True, I am probably not as well versed in this matter as you. But 2 days ago I had no idea who Kony was. Now I do. And thats something that IC informed me about…not you. You should be happy that the video has garnered so much attention. And yes, it is a miracle. I don’t think the video was “slick”. I think the video came from that man’s heart. He’s been working on this cause for a good portion of his life and now his efforts have reached over 50 million people in two days. That is a miracle, sorry if you don’t feel the same way.

    I prefer to search for the positive and see the opportunities. Not wallow in and project my own negative energy. You can make critiques and have your opinion and add something meaningful to the conversation but to simply flat out deny giving the IC props for what they have accomplished….just comes across as bitter.

  • HU2011

    This campaign is mad late…I remember having forums on this at school years ago….smh

  • adriane

    @bob: Hi. Are you suggesting in your brief, but brilliant, and ever so sardonic comment that black people have accomplished nothing in the past 150 years? Just curious, bob.

  • adriane

    @ I call Bull. Hi. You sound particularly well-informed. I completely see the thread of logic between the Trans Atlantic slave trade and the socio-political notions of neo-colonialism brought forth in this article’s critique of the paternalist KONY narrative iterated by these nouveau crusaders against Ugandan genocide. Thank you for your on point and incredibly clear analogy. And, gosh, thank you for reading Clutch.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    LUSOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FOR PRESIDENT!!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

  • what?

    Luso-no matter how you say it, your angry and bitter. Many people regardless of what you think didn’t know about the situation until they saw the video.We could argue your very point about any links you provide. Any information can be argued as false or misleading…ANY. So, how are we to believe you any more than this organization? You can have an agenda or have a slanted view just the same.Are we ill informed when we read your comments? Will we be ill informed if we follow your links? Essentially, because you say it,it’s correct because WE ALL know nothing about what YOUR talking about.WOW! If it’s not who you say or like,I fear it wouldn’t be accepted regardless…so….carry on people…I agree that the US needs to step out of your country and deal with our own.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    @ SM

    Let’s get married so you can teach me how to do all this bolding/highlighting thangs and italicizing you do. I proposed to another on here, a very long time ago, I was rejected. Please don’t do me dirrrrrrrrty, accept and be my white savior!

  • Keyma

    I think it’s wonderful that people from Uganda and other parts of Africa are speaking out about this – but no one would listen to them if it weren’t for the video. Like you said, it’s been going on for years. The people who watch the video and listen to IC will also click here to see what you have to say. Maybe not all of them, but more than ever before. So, you’re capitalizing on their video by using it to make your voice heard, too. Either way, we’re all more aware now and people who search can see/hear both sides. That’s a good thing.

  • Bassabeauty

    I love that clutch engages in all types of discussion. Thanks for shedding light on this and other important issues. :)

  • Bisous

    @Luso Mnthali I don’t know much about the invisible children organization, but I did know about the Ugandan genocide before this video went viral. I’ve taught refugees, many reading for the first time, the basics of English and arithmetic in order for them to enroll into schools. I don’t trust many volunteer or humanitarian organizations because I am aware they only have to report about 10% of their monetary donations to their cause and much of the money goes to other “miscellaneous” expenses (ie. pocketed) I don’t think that’s what the sentiment on this “movement” seems to be. I think alot of people are uneasy because he is white. No I don’t think this is another example of neo colonialism. Because like you stated it’s alot more complex than what the viral video simply alluded to. All I’m saying is if people hadn’t seen that video what these people are going through may not have even entered the American consciousness. I do hope people choose to be concerned for this country or for anyone battling harsh economic climate, violent regimes, police states, brutality, political corruption, agricultural depletion and crippling poverty. People like you and I ARE educated on these subjects but the majority of Americans are too busy shoving their face full of fast food and reality TV to see there are real problems. I’m glad this video was a success because maybe it will wake some people up. And if Invisible Children truly is an evil corporation with foreign interests and malicious intent then I hope the organization fails. However I won’t tell someone they have no right to be concerned or show an interest in the plight of others because they aren’t the same color or from that country.

  • http://afripopmag.com Luso Mnthali

    Jealous of the IC organization I am not. Why should I be? Do I want to be the one to cause more misery in part of the continent I love with all my heart? That’s what you think I am jealous of – wanting to cause misery by using erroneous images of Uganda to get ahead? Please educate yourself on the issues at hand instead of making it personal. I am just one person out of many, and the most eloquent of voices to articulate the situation are saying similar things. There are plenty of others, who are well-qualified to do so, which is why I urge you to read the article in full and not make snap decisions, with little information. If you call a video’s popularity/infamy a miracle then you know nothing about miracles. You also know nothing about me, yet call me jealous and bitter. I am not bitter, I am better. Africa doesn’t need bitterness – it needs betterness (if I may be allowed to use that term) That’s what enlightened, empowered and capable Africans, which I believe myself to be, are doing – doing something about bettering Africa – in all aspects. We each have a responsibility, and mine is to make sure that erroneous and unwarranted messages about people and places that I love and adore do not get top billing. So no – I don’t admire this IC organization after all I have heard and read. Open your eyes, it could really serve you well.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    @Africam Mami

    oh

    this is very awkward for me luv, you see, I would have proposed to you any time up before this Kony controversy broke, but I’ve since joined the queue of brothaz waiting in line to propose to Luso Mnthall.

    :-)

  • Socially Maladjusted

    LUSOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FOR PRESIDENT -

    of the WORLD

  • Dalili

    Precisely! Would most of us take the same stance if it was a group of black ‘westerners’ that came to our aid? Africans would rather not have a savior but let’s call a spade a spade, we (I am African) don’t have our act together on a scale that makes a difference. I am not suggesting that the claims made against the IC misappropriating funds aren’t true or that every foreign organization has the continents’ best interest at heart, but until we can get our act together I say let the people who are at least trying to make a difference do so. Lead, follow or get out of the way

    The article below sums up my sentiments to the core.

    http://mindofmalaka.com/2012/03/09/joseph-kony-is-still-at-large-and-its-all-my-fault/

  • Rb8428

    @Luso Mnthali, I agree. I became aware of L.R.A. in the mid-2000′s while reading international news and following international talk radio. So I was quite intrigued when this film started making the viral rounds. While I was happy that someone had put this out there, and that they were using tech to spread the word, I was suspect as well. This brought the whole “white man’s burden” theory to mind. We as a race have reason to be suspect, and we don’t have to look far to for proof of the ulterior motives of others. Abortion posters in black neighborhoods, the earthquake in Haiti, the storm in New Orleans. So it is not wrong to think that something else is up. It may very well be a good thing.

  • http://designsdelight.com design

    Have you noticed that the spooks are using the social media.

    Remember how the ameircan intelligence was behing the wikileaks and that justified the
    Arab spring. But it was people like George Soros .

    He also financed the Occupy Wall Street fake ass left wing diatribe. so be careful of these movements.

    the celebrities have sold their souls already so the support anything the network wants.

  • sisterAyiti

    @Amani: The child has a personal relationship with jacob– the young boy IC first got in contact with. In one clip Jacob is swinging the boy in the air and he’s laughing. Both men are black yet the child recognized only one as the “bad guy” stop reaching!

  • bluebird

    Agreed!! Lusa makes it seem as if we’re idiots that can’t understand the politics of both sides. She does have an agenda, indeed.

  • bluebird

    Another excellent point. To reiterate, Lusa used the platform of this vid and IC to voice her opinion, meaning she’s doing the same thing she accuses others of doing. Truly contradicting herself. Aren’t Lusa and IC on the same side? Or is this another case of shooting the messenger. The world needs to be made aware of such atrocities and the follow up efforts of solving societal problems, so why harp on trivial things as “white savior syndrome and neo-colonialism”? Last time I checked, Kony isn’t white and his crimes were committed against other Blacks. One would think that would be the real focus.

  • http://30somethinglifeandtimes.blogspot.com/ Candyce

    Now that we are all informed (one way or the other) what are we going to do about this and other “stoppable evils” going on in the world around us? We can waste time arguing about the motives of people…white,brown, black, and yellow or we can do our part to bring awareness, critically think of resolutions, and carry out our promises to help. “White Savior Syndrome”…lets stop giving people credit they don’t deserve. Let’s hear them out and collectively solve the problems we can.

  • Evelyn

    Can we just be grateful that SOMEBODY is trying to do something about the situation???
    Let’s be for real… i’m black…I havent done anything. Have you???????????????

  • Bluebird

    Exactly. It’s pettiness to bring up skin choke when people are dying and other atrocities have occurred under Kony.

  • Melissa

    And this is why Black folks will never get ahead. You all (I’m Black but not bamboozled) will believe anything that has a sticker and poster attached to it. And God forbid if CNN or NBC says it’s true (like they haven’t made mistakes before). Just because it’s being reported on, doesn’t make it true. Wake up!

  • http://www.knocliffstudio.com KnoCliff

    Fact is, even though the Ugandans were working to solve their problem with the LRA, people weren’t paying attention on a mass scale, all of a sudden this video is released, and it brings a crapload of awareness. We can all agree Jason Russel is a bit of a douchebag, and its overproduced. But I’d rather have more people aware then less. No matter if its from misguided white hipsters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405641820 Martin

    Thank you Lonnie Smith. You have literally irutrnepted my line of thought and way of dealing with certain issues. This is so much more pressing. I will be sending this video to many; just as soon as i remember how to do that(smile). May Father God continue to bless, guide and keep the producer(s) and writer(s). of this information. I am with you. Artemis Williams, Single On Purpose Ministries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405649398 Ikuko

    Thanks for providing your rdeaers with all this info Nate! After having researched Kony and the LRA pretty extensively over the past 6 months, I am saddened to hear a lot of people throwing around these kinds of false information about this whole thing. The organization I worked with in northern Uganda this summer (villageofhopeuganda.com) is working to provide a home and care for children orphaned by the LRA, many of whom were also forced to be part of the LRA in some way. I have found those in the US to be very unaware of what has happened and who Kony is in a very complicated situation with a complicated history! And most are completely unaware about the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Ugandan Recovery Act that Obama signed in May of 2010 and the background that gives for his actions now. Another organization that gives a lot of info on the effects of the LRA on the Ugandan children is Invisible Children. I too encourage folks to keep this part of the world and this situation especially in their prayers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405646386 Antonio

    I wonder to what entxet, if any, sending a token number of troops to Uganda is also partly a low-cost method of signaling to states, particularly Muslim ones, that despite the popular perception in Muslim countries, the Obama administration is not just at war against terrorist groups with Islamist/Middle Eastern roots but is much more even handed and fair (!) i.e. they target the less popular African groups too!In my view, 100 troops doesn’t break the bank so it keeps the opposition tame, satisfies the liberal interventionists and in parallel, allows the kind of reputational cleaning I mention.

  • Amy Meredith

    Who can know the heart of a man or woman? It seem remarkably arrogant and short sighted to accuse a person of a “syndrome”, as though you can somehow see into their soul and know their motives. I think most people white or black (although I find it always remarkable that the only coverage ever given is to whites and black, completely ignoring all the other colors that make up the people of this universe), have a desire to help to help their fellow man who is in need without malice or ill intent. People can always take it however they so choose. Sadly, white people primarily control the money and the media. Should the Gates Foundation get out of the slums of India, because they are white? Should the Clinton Foundation get out of teaching about HIV/AID in Indonesia because they are white? Should there be no soup kitchens in the slums of Camden, NJ? And what about all the free medical care given by the likes of Doctors Without Borders? Should they go as well? I think the argument is remarkably weak. Having worked with a medical organization in Africa where we along with our African colleagues treated thousands of patients, many of whom had walked days to our clinic to get care, many of whom wept when we had to stop and turn them away and who begged us to return soon, I am just not buying it. If the Africans, or Asians or whomever lives in a war torn, hungry, sick world, who CAN help do it, for pity’s sake! I don’t believe that white people are “saviors” any more than I believe anyone can “save” another human being, but we are all certainly diminished if we can’t see and need a respond. Rather than sneering and demeaning people for YOUR perception of their motives, perhaps there is a better way for our world community of people to act and interact together….or better yet, next time we run a clinic in Africa,come offer to help us!

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