Kony 2012 – What You Should Do Instead   Leave a comment

Kony 2012 Video is Bullshit

A rather well informed friend of mine posted this video on his facebook page. It is a young woman responding to the wild outpouring of support for the Kony 2012 campaign. I’m glad I watched this and I’m really happy that social media is providing valuable information on this entire situation. When you see famous people and normally intelligent friends vowing their undying loyalty to a cause, the initial emotional response is to want to join in the fight. I think, for the most part, this quality is a virtuous one and I’m not ashamed to admit that after watching the original video by the “Invisible Children group” I wanted other people to watch it and learn more about the cause.

As I explored the information readily available to me through the basic tap dance of a Google search, it became rather obvious that what was so clear and simple in the original video demonstration was a deluded and convoluted attempt to solicit the viewer’s compassion and outrage which would hopefully lend itself to both financial donations and the passing along of the material as trusted and of extreme importance to friends, family, co-workers and fellow activists.

I am grateful to my friends for not reacting quickly or with only emotion to guide them. On my own, it took longer to find the irrefutable proof needed to feel satisfied accusing Jason Russell of merely being another charismatic charlatan. In my heart, what I wanted so desperately was to see someone using not only their passion and dedication, but the nuances of social media for the immensely powerful and compelling medium that is undoubtedly there for the taking.

The truth needs to be broadcasted. People need to know that this entire production is really just another fundamentalist Christian group trying to sneak its way into a position of power and influence, taking advantage of the very cause it is pretending to sacrifice for. And yes, let’s be sure to use this opportunity to remind our bleeding heart friends that we need to be on high alert before sending money to some rather anonymous charity via the internet. Just because someone is using the language of conviction does not mean that they are true to their word.

But I would like to bring us all back down to another point; one that I feel is at the core of this very debacle. The internet, in such widely used and powerful formats as YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, is a monumental shift in the way we communicate, educate, formulate, coach, direct and influence. Yes, this instance was generated not by a sincere attempt to change the world for the better, but to make money and fund military operations under the false pretence that children are currently being used in horrible fashions. This event is wrong for many reasons. But what can we learn from this? Where can we place the intensely profound feelings of motivation and possibility that we were initially fooled into handing over to the “Invisible Children”?

The choice here is really up to each of us as individuals. But I urge everyone to hold on to the feeling that one voice can join with another to become an undeniable force for good and justice throughout the world. Don’t let the power of this moment slip away because the shadowy figure that brought the possibility for change out into the light has proven to be better left in the shadows. We often hear, “Don’t shoot the messenger,” but in this case, I would argue, “Don’t let the message die because the messenger was corrupt”. Learn where ever the lessons occur and take what you now know out into the world.

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