Educate & Research Before You Pledge KONY 2012
Everyone is onto KONY 2012. All I suggest is that you educate yourselves properly before you do anything ladies and gents.
YES Kony is doing bad things, but ask yourself HOW this was able to happen. If Kony lived in the US and Obama knew about it, would he not get criticised for letting it happen on his soil, for letting hundred of people perish in refugee camps, and for not even catching the guy who kills and mutilates after a very very long time?
Invisible Children and this campaign are promoting this issue, which is good, maybe some people will now know that there is a country called Uganda. BUT don’t make the mistake in thinking Uganda IS Africa, or that Africa is therefore like Uganda, with all these horrible things happening to poor people in villages who need saving. Because it’s not. Africa is a continent, not a country.
Furthermore, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding what IC do with their funds, I can’t criticize this because I don’t know enough.
Details on their spending: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429
I’ve even heard that the money raised by IC contributes to groups which oppose the LRA who also commit similar crimes, however don’t take my word for it and research it. Though IC are most likely doing things with their hearts in the right place, we must ask whether it is the right thing to do? Are people jumping on board for the right reasons? Are IC acting under the right reasons?
I’m not saying I agree or disagree, because the truth is I don’t even know. But ask questions before you follow a group or a cause.
The whole white girl hugging and African baby while she ‘builds’ a school has been overdone, if you are or want to be that white girl, then ask WHY? Because it’s a good thing to do? Or because you FEEL that this continent ‘needs saving’
This leads to all sorts of other questions, why not fix things at home in the US or UK, there are plenty of problems locally, or if you’re determined to go abroad to Africa, why not fix hunger, malaria and diarrhoea which is a bigger killer than Kony.
Is it easier to become emotionally involved with a project like Kony2012, YES he and the LRA have done horrible things, but just because a group of western (white) folk highlight this issue (which has been going on for 20 years) and turn it into a very well made film, does it mean it is dealt with in the right way? Some could say that they’re capitalising on making you feel a certain way when you watch the film, and no doubt some of your money will get to where they say it’s going but how much?
No one cared about the LRA until IC made this film and spread the word, but Americans, there is an armed conflict going on closer to home in Mexico City, the import/export of drugs and firearms between the two countries results in hundreds of lives lost each year, what about pharmaceutical companies and the way they conduct business, allowing people to perish because they don’t have money to pay a ridiculous price for medicine? Is that not a crime? There are countless other examples nearer to home.
But that might not matter as you might say ” at least something is being done about it”. But hopefully that raises other questions about our ideas of what is good/bad. Yes people will say “they’re raising awareness and I want to contribute”. That’s not a problem, just read into it before you do so.
“It’s an opportunity to do something good” - again, yes it is, but ask yourself if you want to do good why are you waiting for an opportunity, make it happen yourself.
We could talk about postcolonialism or orientalism but I want to engage the majority of people on a level that they understand, which is simply ‘why’ . Why are you giving money and support? why do you feel this way? Is that what you truly think or is it something which has been subconsciously thrust upon you through cultural conditioning, an issue of us vs them?
I’m not trying to tell you to give or not give to the KONY2012 campaign. One of the results is that it will help someone around the world. But I do ask that you ask yourself why you’re giving, where your money is going, and if all the information is accurate, reliable and whether you’re involved because it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do.
Next time someone’s twitter, tumblr or facebook accounts says something about this campaign, ask them if they know where Uganda is and what the letters L.R.A actually stand for. Then you will know how much they want to be part of it.
(again, i’m neither pro or anti Kony2012, just urging you to ask questions).
Zanzibar Masai Beach Swag Photography by Nkechi Bakare
Spotted this cool Masai walking on the beach in Zanzibar,Tanzania.