On Monday, the documentary Invisible Children exploded the Internet and got everyone talking.

Since its debut, over 40 million people have seen the film, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen a tweet, Facebook status, or news report about it. Celebrities from Rihanna to Ryan Gosling to Oprah all jumped on the Kony 2012 bandwagon, urging their millions of followers to watch the video and take action.

But just as quickly as people sent emails, wrote Facebook messages, retweeted, and started fundraising campaigns, others questioned the motives of the filmmakers and their charity Invisible Children.

To be clear, Joseph Kony is a vile and evil man. This isn’t up for debate. Not only is he responsible for the abduction of tens of thousands of children in Uganda where the film is set, but his reign of terror also stretches into the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Sudan.  Additionally, Kony is sought after by the U.S. government, as well as others, and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. So yes, Kony and his rebel forces deserve to be brought to justice. But many are wondering if Invisible Children should be the ones leading the charge.

Unlike the millions of people who watched the video and quickly felt compelled to share it with others, I couldn’t help but think that there was more to the story. Although the images were extremely gripping—Jacob’s story and the images of young children sleeping head to foot in refugee camps—I couldn’t switch off my reflex to view the film through a critical eye.

While Invisible Children is a masterful piece of filmmaking, for sure, and forces audiences to connect with the young Ugandans and their plight, I am troubled by the ease at which many have viewed the film and have taken it a face value without so much as a second thought. Moreover, I’m troubled by those who could care less about the messenger because they argue the message needs to be told…at any cost (and luckily for Invisible Children, it’s the low, low price of a $30 Kony 2012 action kit or $25 t-shirt).

Although we can argue about the effectiveness of such a campaign for days on end (I probably still wouldn’t be convinced it will lead to lasting, meaningful changes), I’ll leave it up to the experts who have questioned where the money Invisible Children has raised goes and why they (as well as other groups) continue to exaggerate the facts.

Ugandan blogger Angelo Izama reminds us that even though the film is moving, things aren’t always what the seem.

“To call the campaign a misrepresentation is an understatement. While it draws attention to the fact that Kony, indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005, is still on the loose, it’s portrayal of his alleged crimes in Northern Uganda are from a bygone era,” Izama writes. “At the height of the war between especially 1999 and 2004, large hordes of children took refuge on the streets of Gulu town to escape the horrors of abduction and brutal conscription to the ranks of the LRA. Today most of these children are semi-adults. Many are still on the streets unemployed. Gulu has the highest numbers of child prostitutes in Uganda. It also has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.” 

Despite the film’s insistence that the biggest threat facing Uganda’s youth is a murderous rebel, Izama sheds light on what’s really going on today. 

“If six years ago children in Uganda would have feared the hell of being part of the LRA, a well documented reality already, today the real invisible children are those suffering from ‘Nodding Disease’. Over 4000 children are victims of this incurable debilitating condition. It’s a neurological disease that has baffled world scientists and attacks mainly children from the most war affected districts of Kitgum, Pader and Gulu.”

  • LAD86

    No, I have not done any of my own research on Joseph Kony, except for a quick Wikipedia inquiry after I saw a Trending Topic about him on Twitter.

    Wednesday night, on Facebook, I posted a status about how I felt that social networks have people thinking that they are real activists. Pretty soon, everyone will be back to their indifference, back to their normal selves tweeting and making status updates about the most insignificant happenings of their lives.

  • Alexandra

    It’s only right to get all your information before jumping on bandwagons. The film was powerful & like that it informed millions who had no clue. But it is scary how popular it has got & how easily swayed people are. People have every right to question the movement. A lot of charities have proven to be nothing other than scams. Bring light to the issue without seeking profit.

    I did read this: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/10/pdf/kony_report.pdf
    And I some articles providing another side of the story. I’m still waiting for the outcome.

  • wayne

    like many of the misinformed people.. Pres Obama had already sent the marines to get that guy two months ago…

  • LAD86

    “Like many of the misinformed people..” – That’s not a complete sentence. Like what?

  • overseas_honeybee

    Excellent article. We all need to peep the whole story before jumping on the bandwagon. No doubt the misery, suffering and complete disregard for human life is real but I do question the motives behind all this sudden media attention.

    These crimes like so many have been happening for years and very few people even batted an eye before now. Reminds me of the big “push” for Haiti and Japan … now you rarely hear a word about either.

  • chanela

    the thing that bothers me is how the majority of people in my facebook friends are treating the kony campaign as some sort of trendy chain letter. kinda like those dumbass “if you dont send this to 10 people you’ll die” from myspace. i dont think many people genuinely care about this cause…..they’re just posting it cause celebrities and everybody else on facebook and twitter are doing it. i bet most dont even know what it is and/or didnt even watch the video. just cause it has 40,000,000 views doesnt mean they actually watched it all.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    The only people buying this crap are western cattle and the usual gaggle of bl?ck bootlickers

    But this was a text book example of false flagging, that followed the propaganda playbook to the letter.

    Pick any random non-european individual or group – eg Kony or the Taliban, in a country you which has something you want. Build them up into super villians, then turn them into hate figures by accusing them of some form of villiany – and once the cattle are all pumped for you to go in -

    go in.

    kiss teet.

    The day they invade Africa me and the boys are going back home, backa Africa fi mek war pon dem.

    Bun fiya ‘na dem raarse.

  • LAD86

    Absolutely. It’s no different than people changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters to bring awareness to child abuse or asking women to declare what color their bra is to bring awareness to breast cancer. I mean, who isn’t aware that breast cancer and child abuse exists? Telling people what color my bra is isn’t going to find the cure for cancer.

    A lot of people who are doing the tweeting and status updates about this just want to feel like the are doing something great when in actual reality, they are just being ‘bandwagoner’.

  • Rhuebekah

    People that comment on this site complaint about the unfair treatment of blacks quite often. Someone comes along and tries to get a real issue exposed and now here come the critics. What are any of you doing to make the world a better place other than condemning white people from helping blacks? Damn if you do damn if you don’t. I think I’m done with clutch. Too much bitterness and hatefulness. Its really sad.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    btw

    guess who the random non-european hate figures are in america?

    innercity blacks

    yes

    ghetto black men

    yes

    ghetto black women

    yes

    that’s it

    no

    whose the most hated non-white america?

    Barack O-bomber.

    The hatred of blacks goes from “bottom” to “top”.

    See Kony – see YOUR OWN SELF.

  • http://www.facebook.com/naturalisme natural.is.me

    My sister was all over this and when she said she’s buying the action pack…the action pack?

    So does the action pack come with a map, a gun and handcuffs to get this guy? No. Three’s a few stickers and a shirt or something non necessary to make you feel happy and fluffy inside. I think it was a nice video but I’m tired of these lets save the world things where people only have half or a quarter of the story.

  • Toppin

    That’s right let’s run and protect another black man who is a known terrorist of his own people no less. Even though his crimes can be proven it is the oppressor (the white man), who is really the problem though black folks have been looking to him to come and save the day for some time. Now that he has finally made an effort to do that let us question his motives and as a fallout protect the terrorist that needs to be stopped.

    I must have missed all the “Black folks and all others willing to help let’s go overthrow the savage black male rulers across the globe” campaigns started by black folks.

    The only thing I have ever seen is the “please come save our people from these savage ninjas Mr. White man…we need you” rants all over the internet from a MINORITY of black people.

    The truth is most black people are indifferent to crimes against other black people done by black people. It is not until the white man puts his stamp of approval on something that black folks even wake up and take notice. Then comes the questions about the white man’s motives when these same people cannot even explain why black men do not stand up an clean up their own countries.

    I do not care who started this campaign or their motives the fact is it should have been started years ago. Do to this man what was done to Bin Laden. Maybe then black women and children in these countries can have some peace.

  • Toppin

    The truth that black people need to accept: When given the power, leadership, opportunity and resources black men are capable of the same savage behavior as other races of men.

  • African

    Nobody is questioning the IC’s intentions to bring Joseph Kony to justice. From Uganda to Washington DC, we all want to see that happen like yesterday. But WAR (Btw for those who didn’t know) is not just about Kony. Understanding the cause of this war is key to solving this conflict. Kony is just one of the element. The current president of Uganda, played a role… We are talking 27 years ago.

    Ugandans had suffered and their voices were never heard before by all these ‘enthusiasts’ on the yelling on the interwebs. From Oprah to all of these pop bandwagonists. They resorted to diplomacy which both Kony & the Ugandan government betrayed in several occasions but it finally showed progress. Now that Ugandans have made progress and brought an end to LRA brutality in Uganda without any assistance from the west, 6 years later we want to show how much we care about Ugandan kids. They are not suffering anymore and LRA is starting to crumble, that’s when we really want to take over and control the narrative of this long conflict huh? ‘Africans can’t help themselves, we need to step in an help these hopeless beings’ is the master narrative. ‘F*ck what they’ve done before, they are too slow and more kids are still being abducted and we need to put an end to that now’ is the secondary narrative, ‘This is just creating awareness, how can that be wrong?’ is the third narrative. Yeah people watched the video and forgot about everything once they started tweeting.

    That right there is the area of contention. Yes we don’t have technology, yes we want peace but we have achieved it before without your help. If you want to help, you are very much welcomed but work with us, don’t patronize us. Understand how we did it and with your technology and superiority, help us improve on the method we used to drive LRA and Kony out of Uganda. If drones or military invention as requested by IC and all of these overnight fauxtivists yelling on the interwebs was the most effective way to handle Kony, trust me, Iraq and Afghanistan would be peaceful now. Then again we don’t look at history, we just jump ships to get awards.

    Remember after Kony is gone, we still need peace in Central Africa – CAR & DRC. Kony can be used for such. Let’s look back at history. Rwanda, DRC, Sudan, Kenya etc. A war must be treated as such and must not be simplified on starwars or Bad guy/Good guy scenarios just so people can become overnight activists. All these countries I have mentioned have had issues before but Peace was prioritized first then justice followed – Kenyan are now being tried at the Hague now, there is peace in Kenya. Why are Uganda and Central Africa exceptions? Oh I get it, African way is not just the right way, we need the white man and his technology to come and help us. We are hopeless. Very very hopeless.

    Again, don’t get me wrong. I am not just a cynic or a critic or whatever some of you overnight activists, all I’m saying, the world should walk with us on this. We have done it before on our own and succeeded ( and together with the world and succeeded too, like in Liberia) but the world has failed before like in Iraq and Afghanistan. So why don’t we share ideas and help the people who are still being terrorized by LRA and Kony? – That’s all I’m asking for. Partnership, not owning a narrative you have hijacked. People are criticizing the approach not the intention, get that clear.

    In actual sense, if the world was so concerned about kids or whatever, they’d be making noise about US forces constantly killing Afghan kids or the Apartheid Israel that is constantly killing Palestinian kids.. Oh wait, they are not Black Africans, they are not hopeless as the kids enjoying peace in Northern Uganda. Wait Oprah is probably employed by Pro-Israel Jews, all these pop artists who know nothing about Africa are probably getting paid by Pro-Israel Jews so they can’t confront Israel for violating human rights.

    Peace to all the overnight Activists, now start calling me those funny names.. LMAO

    1.. 2.. 3 GOO!

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

    Truth of the matter is, the only people that can save Africa is OURSELVES. Not the Western powers that be, or foreign aid-which is actually a dependency drug, that we need to go to rehab for-more specifically our “leaders” or some random foreigners-VERY RANDOM foreigners who were “MOVED!” by the plight of these children.

    Secondly, when you are making donations to Africa-do your background research, don’t just give to give. Give because the money is going to be spent on the needy! Most of these charity monies are siphoned into somebody’s pocket, as is OBVIOUS with this particular case! The various ratings, ranging from transparency and accountability to financial, by Charity Navigator -which is an independent, non profit organization that evaluates American charities-are LOW! People be informed. Stop having reactionary movements.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

    -The key question should be why are Africans so critical about his charity endeavors- if any!
    -While watching the video I asked myself-if he was sooooo moved by the plight of these kids especially that one he befriended, how comes he is not in America pursuing his law dreams?! Most often times than not, that boy would already be in the states

    -Another thing, is that he the maker of this video supports SUDAN army-HOW HYPOCRITICAL…..I will find the link for this!!!

    I SMELL A RATTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!

    Brit
    I have noted with grave concern that, there are several comments-very important ones that have been deleted in the other thread, mine included. They were strongly opined-is there some sort of propaganda to filter opinions?!
    #Occupy Freedom of Speech.

    By the way, thanks girl for that Public Radio-snap judgement highlight tururururu, I’m loving it!!!!

  • Toppin

    Let’s be honest Africans are incapable of saving themselves without some type of help (I do not want to hear about the the rare occassions this has actually happened). They do not have or control the resources to save themselves.

    Then there is this…

    The truth of matter is Africa suffers from a brain drain thanks to the best and brightest migrating to the west. It has been left in the hands of corrupt officials and terrorist.

    As a Black American I do not feel compelled to do anything about the various situations in Africa (however I will support anything that is for the good of humanity) but it seems to me African immigrants living in the west feel the exact same way I do.

    So I do not see Africans fixing Africa…at least not without help.

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

    @ Toppin,

    We are capable of saving ourselves. The foreigners do more harm than good. In any case, if you are not aware, a Western power “donating.saving” an African country is because they have vested interests in that particular country. So spare me on that bull point! They come to exploit. I do have to say, that our track record of saving ourselves is not the best, I blame the leaders! BUT-all in all, YES WE CAN-

    In addressing the issue of brain drain-employment opportunities are scarce thus the migration. But, we still do have a lot of educated unemployed folks tarmacking the roads!

  • Muki

    So what are we suggesting? Do nothing let Ugandans fend for themselves? Indeed Kony has been killing for many years and ICC wants to bring him to trial for the crimes against humanity that he has been committing. But the ICC does not have the capability to find Kony and try him. Uganda government is to blame for the fact that Kony is still free but then again no surprise because African governments are known to harbor war criminals with the notion that they will bring them to justice in their own way and not the Western way. If you think Invisible Children isn’t doing the right thing I suggest you start your own campaign educate people on what really is ailing Ugandans today. The video does what is aimed to do….create awareness. Do your research before your donate or don’t donate at all. I just wonder with all the negativity around #KONY2012; would have received this more positively if it was shot by a black person? Ignorance is bliss!

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Well assuming you’re bl?ck – if we called for the head of every black man or WOMAN whose conduct harmed other blacks

    you’d have to go into hiding wouldn’t ya?

    LOL!

  • Toppin

    And the rest of the world is waiting for that to actually happen…waiting…waiting…still waiting…

    When the west etc doesn’t do anything we are called out for turning a blind eye. When we do something we are called out for making the situation worse or not being very helpful.

    I personally would like nothing more than to see Africans and others get their ish together completely on their own. However I do not see it happening anytime soon because these countries lack functional communties (hence the lack of employment opportunties) and governments. They have to bring in third parties just to make moves to become industrialized nations.

    I do not know any community country etc that can function properly with its best and brightest living in another country. The brain drain is real and we now see the fallout. If you truly think Africans can fix Africa without help get to work sweetie.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    “So what are we suggesting? Do nothing let Ugandans fend for themselves?”

    yay

    finally – one em gets it.

    I think may we have to dig up some more dirt, to uncover who sponsored Kony so that he was able to amass the forces and arms to conduct “his” terror campaign against all the innocent Ugandan children we’re so concerned about -

    all of sudden

    because the “nice caring sharing white boy” told us to be.

    Praises be – that our African Brethren are far more wise to whitey’s ways than chronically illiterate “first worlders” who are about mentally competent as a parrot with alzheimers. ^^

    LMAO!

  • Toppin

    @Socially

    I have several of your comments and you sir are a moron.

    Good day!

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

    @ Toppin

    You are right we do not have functioning communities. But they will not function at the sight of Western aid! Absolutely not! Because the Western powers that be, come and want to DICTATE how we should run our countries/governments, without as much as knowing the historical detail of how we got there. Hello to colonialism! The west is a curse to Africa-as far as I am concerned! They ALWAYS come with stipulations!!!!!! and let’s not forget, they HELPED, greatly so-get Africa to where it is near shambles. That I cannot forgive them! And they continue to do so! The war in Sudan cannot be blamed solely on its people!

  • Socially Maladjusted

    LMAO! ha ha ha . . . .

    Well when in Rome . . .

    so when I’m addressing a moron – I moron too.

    but I’ve read many of your post and they all say –

    blub blub blub blub blub blub prooo weeeeeez yamma yamma ti ti ti ti ti waaaaaah aaargh

    pop!

    I can’t lie – I understand every grunt. Coz I speak grunt too.

    LMAO!

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

    Excuse me, but the ICC DOES indeed have the powers to FIND Kony and try him! All that needs to happen, is for the Ugandan government to co-operate! Read about Kenya and the ethnic clashes and its inciters and funders who are being investigated by the ICC!

    Spare me on the Kony video creating awareness! It is all PROPAGANDA! Stop feeding into that mess, and do your due diligence research on it! If anything, somebody’s pockets are getting lined real good!

    Even if it was shot by a BLACK person! I would still REACT the same way I am! This is not about color-it is more so, about intent! BULLCRAP at best!

  • steve

    your right misinformed, he sent advisers to the Ugandan army not marines to capture him , and the Ugandan army has also been accused of “recruiting” child soldiers .

  • steve

    HERE IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT FOR EVERYBODY TO KNOW, KONY IS NOT IN UGANDA ANYMORE!!!!

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/07/guest_post_joseph_kony_is_not_in_uganda_and_other_complicated_things

  • anon.

    thank you!!

    a pretty, well-crafted message that the sky is pink would make these people believers w/o even looking up to check for themselves. i want us to stop being puppets and think for ourselves. i’d never be too quick to co-sign a potential war in africa. never.

    that video was propaganda. do your research. we have an upcoming election. there’s oil in uganda. and they hope we wouldn’t question a Black man starting a war in a Black continent …

  • SherriA

    After reading this article…like Rhuebekah, I too feel that you are basically “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” in terms of moving any agenda in America. Let’s pick any industry, government agency, or non-profit and I am sure that we can “question their motives”. What about all of the “help” and aid sent by celebrities and government officials to the Katrina victims? Most agencies and even our very own POTUS’s motives were questionable but that didn’t negate the fact that there was a REAL problem that needed a REAL solution. So Clutch Mag, while you are cautioning us to think before we jump on a potentially corrupt bandwagon, why don’t you direct us misinformed or underinformed individuals of a few other bandwagons (non-profits organizations) that are truly rendering solutions to these and other problems with Child soldiers, human trafficking, and sex slavery in Africa…which is indeed a REAL problem that needs a REAL solution. Maybe at the end of this article, you could have added it as a footnote or addendum.

    Because the truth of the matter is that there are people in America that really do care about these and other issues but rely on journalists and reporters much like yourselves to sift through the massive amounts of information from both sides and present us with objective and unbiased information so that we can make intelligent decisions. So my question is, if we don’t support Invisible Children, then who do we connect with?

    P.S. Not that it may even matter but I feel that your comment “naive as many of the hipsters ordering a Kony 2012 t-shirt at this very moment.” was unfair and demeaning.

  • iQgraphics

    I’m glad this is an editorial.
    I appreciate the comment section.

    Free Thinkers.

    Thank You.

  • iQgraphics

    and that artwork is pretty fly

  • civil radd

    Ms. Brtini Danielle, thank you for taking the time to exhale (smile).

  • civil radd

    Salutations, Rhuebekah do not allow “Unenlightened” folks to silence your words….

  • Lampkin

    man this whole thing is all about MONEY.. and people who are in the know.. KNOW! The End.
    ..
    Quick Question?? Have YOU took this Quiz http://goo.gl/cxeNa EVERYBODY been tweetin? LOL too funny

  • iQgraphics
  • http://anorexicescapades.com bougiehippie

    I’m just upset that this white guy on vacation with his white guilt all of sudden want to take action when this has been going on for years and was document well before this ummm do anyone remember “Hotel Rwanda?”

    Maybe Im just bitter b/c Don deserved that OSCAR!

  • iQgraphics

    and this

    http://youtu.be/Cv4UwyGFKks

    Alex Jones

  • Guest

    Same sentiment here- thanks britni! i watched 5 minutes of the charity guy on cnn and smelled a rat. some may call it cynicism, but i called it been there done that (money raised for haiti anyone?)

  • Karen

    Yes bring this SOB down. He’s evil. I did not know about this man until last night. Exterminate all the KONYs in the world.

  • Whatever

    +1

  • Whatever

    The KONY 2012 campaign got a rise out of people that watched 29 minutes of propaganda. Their emotions were exploited with visuals of a major problem that was taking place for 2 decades and barely covered in American media. I’m going to blame ignorance for the immediate support this campaign gained. No one that knows the history of imperialism and colonialism in Africa (or throughout the diaspora) could truly fall for such blatant foolishness.

    People are actually sending in money ($30) to be involved in an international headhunting game without even doing their research. Now with all this support the government will gain reason to go in after the “boogie man” ( I call him this because he has been missing in action and could very well be dead). While there on a mission to “get Kony” they will set up shop, destabilize and then pretend to try to fix things while occupying Uganda and benefiting from their resources (MAINLY OIL)… sound familiar???

    How many people protested to stop our government from doing the exact same thing in the middle east???

    People need to wake up!!!

    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

    Thanks for posting.

    He said exactly what most of us are thinking.

  • http://designsdelight.com design

    Let us remember Obama and his controllers have already sent military advisers to Uganada. Obama being a snake never said he was sending troops, just advisers, let us remember than America never sent troops to Vietnam.

    Now if Kony is in Congo then you know America is going for the commodities. Congo has more minerals than South Africa, research the history and King Leopord who enslaved the people of the Congo, to steal the wealth.

    I for one hate the NGO in Africa, I would throw them all out. Let us not be stupid, the West sends NGO to Africa, but they are often spies and interferes in local politics under the guise of humanitarianism and aid.

    Did the British not send missionaries to Hong Kong to sell opium?

    This is a dialectic, – one of the techniques used to get the public to support the outcomes the powers that be llke.

    Was Hitler not backed by Britain and Wall Street ?

    Obama is a snake like no other, he is their toy. He is allowing the West to grab more of Africa, africans will say he is Kenyan so he can never betray them.

    Obamacare says that you have to be chipped, there you are you are supporting you own enslavement because you love the idea that you have a black president.

  • http://guulo.wordpress.com/ Guulo

    @Toppin, from reading your posts you are not only grossly misinformed, but you also seem to be so deeply entrenched in your position that you are unwilling to take a moment, step back and reflect on what others, especially Africans from this region have to say. I don’t like to make assumptions about people most particularly those I do not know, yet I can’t help but feel with statements like “I don’t care who started this campaign or their motives the fact is it should have been started years ago”, or “Let’s be honest Africans are incapable of saving themselves without some type of help (I do not want to hear about the the rare occassions this has actually happened)” or “So I do not see Africans fixing Africa…at least not without help”, that from these statements as you have stated them yourself, you not only care to hear, but it’s also about what you see, in other words it’s about you. You are not alone. In response to those who have raised questions against this campaign, the main sentiment was that well now I know about Kony and his crimes thanks to this campaign so I am not really interested in what you have to say. It’s a good thing the social network campaign has made you and others aware, but I like to ask why is this about you? So you are aware now and know a criminal you have never heard of before, well good, but this is not about you, me or anyone of us, or that we are more “worldly aware” it is about the people in this region and what is good for them. Why is that so difficult to understand?

    You say you do not care about the motives and characters of people behind campaigns, and you may even support military action against Kony as I gather from your statement, “Do to this man what was done to Bin Laden” , but I hope you understand that motives and characters behind campaigns lead to consequences. This is why informed people about the situation, some of them Ugandans working in the area are leading the questioning. Their questions maybe irrelevant to some, after-all some may feel good because a youtube video informed them and got over 40 million hits about a human cause, but for many they are concerned about a campaign immersed in misadventure and pursuit of military intervention. After-all present conflicts are still on people’s minds. Getting Bin laden and Saddam at the price of killing millions of people may have been worth it to some far away from these regions, but I assure to others it’s an infamous miscarriage of justice, just ask the brown women and children in these countries if they are enjoying peace, or is it war and violence. This war mongering and support of corrupt government, the imbalance of finances (30% only to programs), the simplicity of good vs bad, the naivety of reducing a complex conflict to ridding of one criminal, the economic interests in the region (read oil), the complete shut-out of stakeholders-the very people shouldering the burden of this struggle and who have been for years working hard in this struggle is what makes people raise questions. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    Furthermore perhaps if you more informed you would realize Ugandans have been working hard against these criminals for years and for the past several years have enjoyed peace, their work is gritty, it’s long, it’s not a pretty video, but they are working, struggling, and making their communities better day and night. They are making a difference. By negating their hard work you are being unjust and silencing their narrative, but I guess they failed to make a slick youtube video to show facebook users their campaigns so you would be better informed. Well darn, this must mean they are not helping themselves and seeing this video of a young white guy from the States helping these black Africans only reinforces to you, the narrative that Africans are incapable of helping themselves, because of after-all you saw it on youtube! (not to mention we have been fed this narrative about Africa for a long time)

    Ugandans and Africans are not against outside help, what we ask for is partnership and respect for our abilities, not aid (which has destroyed our communities) nor this pernicious attitude wrapped in a wardrobe of charity, which you clearly displayed the symptoms in your post in how you view Africa and Africans. It’s not helpful and it’s unwelcomed. To put it bluntly, it’s sickening, but I have hope those who hold these views will become better informed.

    I don’t know the African immigrants you are around that feel exactly like you, but I guarantee you haven’t met many and for those few that you may have met that feel like you, those who fell into this feeling of inadequacy and inferiority of being so helpless that they need the world (read white man) to save them, then all I can say is defeat this psychological cancer. This is the very psychological cancer which campaigns like Kony12 strengthen within you as a black person. The work of Africans may not get the recognition of the world media enough to inform you, but please open your eyes and mind. Don’t think just because you can’t see it at your computer screen it’s not happening. I have first hand experience with various NGOs lead by Africans, doing far more incredible work without the million dollar budgets. You won’t find it on your TV or youtube channel folks, you’ll have to search a little deeper and expand your circle. Yes the continent has problems, the vast underdevelopment of Africa you see today comes from the good work done by the Western policies (see books like Dead Aid). It will take time to solve these problems and the sons and daughters of the continent will be their own saviors.

    Please listen to Ugandan journalist @rosebellk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVY5jBnD-E&sns=fb

  • africangirl

    Let’s be honest though — Ugandans DO need help from the outside community, REGARDLESS of that community’s skin color!! If we didn’t, this conflict would have be resolved years ago!!

    Why do people try to find fault with every single thing?? The internet is a powerful tool, but sometimes it makes people feel like their every last inane, hypercritical thought is mindblowing news. Shut up and go help someone!

  • Kacey

    Unfortunately (and I mean no disrespect) lazy, uneducated, ill-informed people are the first to jump on bandwagons; and Twitter is the place where many of these people congregate and get there “information”. We live in a dumbed-down, instant-gratification society where no one wants to think too much. All the people who reposted and retweeted this probably meant well but just couldn’t be bothered to do their own research and look at it critically. Their mantra should be “just tell me what you want me to think and I’ll see to it that it goes viral”

  • Muki

    LOL…well at the end of the day whether you’re for it or not all these comments and articles and blogs are probably what IC intended so kudos to you all. and all the time spent on knocking #KONY2012, if you don’t like it then start your own campaign/video. I mean you seem to have a lot to say on blogs and such but where are your actions?

  • Sue

    @AFRICAN MAMI, I agree with you that Africans are capable of finding solutions BUT we still need outside help. Yes, there are many locals working in Northern Uganda but there is still a long way to go. I don’t doubt that some assistance would help their cause. For me, the motives behind this video are questionable because like others have said, they did not give both side of the story, and they oversimplified it.

    However, the one thing it has done is raise the profile of this problem on the world stage. That in itself is an accomplishment! Of course many people will see the video and forget about it in a few minutes. However, getting the attention of a few KEY people can make a difference. Whoever marketed this film online probably knew that anyway. And not everyone is dumb either, a video on the Guardian shows students in the UK who are savvy enough to ask questions and not take everything at face value. You can check it out here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/mar/08/kony-2012-schoolchildren-video?newsfeed=true

    I say the main motive was to spark outrage and inspire curiosity. People that really do care will find other ways to support the cause. Invisible Children is NOT the only charity working in Uganda. There are many more, you can look them on Charity Navigator to see how they spend their funds. Here is a list on the Washington Post blog: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/uganda-how-you-can-help/2012/03/09/gIQANxuE1R_blog.html

    A lesson learned from this video is that Africans need to tell their own stories . Responses like the one by Rosebell -linked above- are a glimmer of hope. Many Africans now have access to the same technology and a few even have the tech savvy to be able to wage a social media campaign like the one by Invisible Children. I hope the next viral video I see about a social issue in Africa, will be made by an African, giving a balanced account.

  • AUSSIE

    Confuse much? “To be clear, Joseph Kony is a vile and evil man. This isn’t up for debate. Not only is he responsible for the abduction of tens of thousands of children.” What difference does it makes is someone decides to stomp his head as long as its done. Definitely not a journalist just writing articles [YOU]

  • Libby

    I read ic got 13 mill, spent 9 mill on the movie campaign. And 3 million to African programs. Something ain’t right.

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

    @africangirl,

    My sistah! STOP! We do NOT need outside help. Foreign aid/donations/help is a regressive dependency drug that we need to stop sniffing.

  • LAD86

    You couldn’t be more right.

  • mamareese

    Then stop crunhing number and being suspect. The problem is too many theives are working in the name of good cases. How about this GIVE WITH THE INTENT TO DO GODS WILL! IF YOUR MONEY FALLS INTO ILL INTENTED HANDS LET HIS WILL BE DONE. HIS WILL IS STRONGER THAN ANY JUDGEMENT OR PUNISHMENT WE CAN PASS! Or better yet….don’t give…spread the word and teach other’s about what is going on in the Motherland and don’t even mention the cause. Maybe we should walk the less traveled path to find our own way to change the world and stop this practice. Just a thought.

  • Bliss

    That was really interesting, thanks for sharing.

  • ¸Aida

    There will always be someone who defend the criminals, ether they support or fear him. And no, I don’t doubt about my devotion to stop that man, once and for all. It was a high time! And no, I don’t care who is gonna do that or why. It will not solve all the problems mentioned in text above, but it would be a good start. People of Uganda don’t need to be offended by receiving help from outside, the most important thing is to protect those kids. Lady on the video is too proud, but kids are paying high price for it

  • http://www.pyramidoftruth.com Kemwer

    One of the video showed a white male child of the videographer juxtapositioned against the picture frame of Kony. This indicate that the real message was to insure the future for the white race and for their children, they must stop aggressive Black males and Kony is just a symbol for aggressive Black males.

  • Tai

    It’s great to be critical. As a philosophy major, it’s one of the things I value. But there is something wrong with how people are looking at this issue. Just because you can find reasons to not support the organization doesn’t mean that there isn’t a larger issue that deserves to be considered thoughtfully and have the attention of the masses as well. A lot of people who are claiming to be critical (like the writer of this article) only went from the video to another news outlet to find more propoganda dismissing the Stop Kony group. Is that really research? Is that really critical? There’s no information in this article that I didn’t read in the other major pieces I’ve read. You’re rehashing the same points from another authority – the same thing some readers claim “lazy” Tweeters do. So you think being critical means reading an opposing view and dismissing the entire issue? I thought it meant doing thorough research and coming up with a logical conclusion from both ends.

    Sometimes good decisions have bad consequences, and sometimes bad decisions have good consequences, but doing nothing will always get you nothing – if that’s what you were aiming for. A reason to do nothing. Which I think a lot of people are comfortable doing.

    @_exhibitG

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

    @ Tai

    LLLLLLLLLawwwwwd hammmmerccccccy!!! Girrrrrrrrrrrrl…..uh uh! I wrote enough paragraphs to write a book, and according to your intelligence report up thurrrr-i wrote shit! You is wrong ma’m!!! Wrong for all dat and den some.

  • Area African

    Copied from a UK newspaper:

    “I so look forward to the day when African youngsters can dictate the foreign military intervention policy of Europe and the US. I look forward to the day African pop stars are invited by African newspapers to ‘inspect the progress of Europe’s recovery’”.

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

    grandeur thoughts, but nonetheless interesting.

    I look forward to the day, Africa is the United States of America

  • i`am not mad

    At last ,Common Sense ,talk about the folks doing the work…..
    And no you are not Bitter just righted.Have a great day
    “Be good” & do good work….

  • LovelyAnon

    Agreed! You hit the nail on the head.

  • Pingback: Invisible Children; FYI. | All write. All Ready.

  • Pearlsrevealed

    So I just discovered and read through this article and the comments. I glanced the first post and read the third post but missed this one. This is the best of the three. Reading about oil in Uganda cleared things up for me. As I commented on the third, I have been hearing about Kony since the 90′s. It is not too outrageous to think that the IC was created to keep the US innocent of ulterior motives (oil in Uganda). Hmmm.

  • Tyler Smith

    Uganda has oil and other natural resources, is an easy target, and has a corrupt government that is guilty of the same crimes Kony committed. Even if they get Kony, this whole thing has nothing to do with him. They have found the way to make EVERYONE war-hungry, hunt down every bad guy in the world. War is Peace! It’s Orwell’s 1984. Wake up.

  • Tyler Smith

    That’s an interesting theory. As a white man I didn’t knowingly think to myself that Kony’s color played a big role in my opinions of him, but there may be some subconscious elements at work in any of our minds. Personally I don’t see a need to do anything about Kony, but there is no doubt a great deal of racism alive today. It would be harder to kill our enemies if we had to first admit that they’re human; racism plays a huge role in U.S. and Israeli militarism.

  • http://theafronista.blogspot.com/ The Afronista

    Unfortunately for Africa, this is a tale this becoming all-to-well-known. Sadistic dictators and rebel war lords are ruling the land. As an African, I applaud organizations like Invisible Children for ‘attempting’ to rectify much of the wrong that was created/instigated by the West through storm media coverage. My only issue is what others have been able to point out, “Where have these people been?” Rwanda, Sudan, Congo, Uganda and countless others have been suffering through these upheavals for decades. It’s also no mistake that those nations are rich in minerals and resources.

    Having interacted with some of the ‘masterminds’ of these organizations in DC, I’m VERY leery of their motives. I know for a fact that even former criminals have been hired to head some of these orgs, but anything can happen when you have the right pedigree. Africa deserves more media on the injustices that are occurring, but please know there is so much corruption that also exists within the very orgs claiming to create change.

    Re-tweet or blog at your own discretion. When doing so, consider how many Africans are actually employed by such campaigns, where does the money really go, and what change really occurs. Question everything, but also educate yourself.

    The Afronista’s Guide

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