Since I spend a lot of time on the internet, I have obviously been exposed to the Kony video by the non-profit organization Invisible Children. Now, I didn’t watch it right away due to limited video capabilities at work, so I had all day to read about it before watching it on my iphone on the train ride home.
After spending the day reading comments, articles and criticism about both Joseph Kony and Invisible Children, the organization that is working to see him captured, I was really expecting am moving video. I have seen so many of my Facebook friends’ post it, and these are people that I had no idea had any interest in human rights. I mean as a human everyone has somewhat of a natural tendency to care about others, but there are some people that actually pursue information about human rights, and others that are actually active in the process of abolishing crimes against humanity. Pretty much everyone was posting it, and it goes to show how far the media will reach.
The video is good. It was very well done and anyone in film school would receive a good grade for the production. It was moving, but for me not entirely so. As someone that reads a lot of non fiction and has read about human rights atrocities all over the world in great detail, I felt it was lacking the shock value that I think is required to make people really hear and want to make a difference. That being said, I do understand that it needs to appeal to a wide audience and that not everyone is as seasoned as I am as to what goes on in this terrible world.
Throughout the day, I read several articles and Facebook statuses condemning the Invisible Children’s group. They posted the financial stats for the non profit organization, and are accusing them of frivolous spending and not sending enough money to Africa. They say that people should know how they are spending the money before donating and that all they are doing is making videos. This is all very true. People shouldn’t open their wallets for any organization with a sad story. It is great to see that people are being critical of things that are being presented to us in the media, especially in the form of viral videos. It is true that the Invisible Children’s group is not sending a lot of aid money to Africa, and are instead making videos and posters and paying employees that are spending their days on social media and are in Washington, as well as all over the world trying to spread the word of this horrible man and the terrible things he is doing to the children of Uganda.
In this case, I find that people are being overly critical. If you actually watch and listen to the whole video, it is never once stated that they send a lot of money to aid in Africa. They are all bout raising awareness. They are spending money making videos, they are meeting with politicians, and they are spreading the word in the best way possible: through social media. Are there many other war criminals that need to be captured? Yes. Does sexual slavery exist in North America? Yes, it is quite abundant. Are there major global issues that all need to be addressed? Yes. The problem is that none of this will ever be addressed without awareness. I feel that people should not urge others away from Invisible Children, and that the fact that they might not be that great with money does not make their cause or voice any less credible. The reason that I am not overly concerned with their financial report is because I appreciate that they made me aware of Joseph Kony. I know about the terrible murders and rapes that happen in Africa. I know about the armies of child soldiers. I did not know who was responsible for them, but now I do. I will not donate any money to Invisible Children, because I do not have any to donate, and if I do make a societal contribution, it will be to my local ChildrenHospital. Instead, I will assist their cause, as it is a noble one, by sharing the video, by writing this post, and by talking about it with others.
I urge people to follow the Human Rights Watch. I have them on Facebook and Twitter, and they are constantly sharing their knowledge of global issues, including issues right here in North America. I look forward to Joseph Kony getting arrested, and those poor children getting to lead normal lives. I hope that this video makes people more aware of what is going on in the world, and inspires people to band together and help out. Everyone deserves to be free, and no one should be a slave to anyone. I hope that people do not forget about Kony 2012, or ignore the pleas of Invisible Children based on influence by over critical individuals.