Kony 2012 The great debate

9 Apr


If you have not been hibernating in a cave for the past six weeks chances are you like myself watched or at least heard of KONY 2012 video. For those unaware KONY2012 is a 30 minute documentary aimed at making Joseph Kony a household name eventually leading American policy makers to push for his arrest over the crimes he’s commited against Ugandan children. The video was a hit shared via Youtube from Twitter, Facebook, Google plus and any social networking platform. It was so wide spread a friend told me how a stranger informed him over a Words with friends game. It reached everywhere mobile phones, laptops, iPads they were all bustling with KONY 2012. I soon realized lines would be drawn you were either for it or against it no Switzerland’s here it was a social war.

Whether you were pro or con people were talking about this charity, its mission and we all learned Konys face and name. No matter if you considered this slacktivism or not the job was being accomplished and that was to get the message out there. Shortly after its premier a media frenzy followed providing a great debate as information came out about both the Charity and Joseph Kony, a unexpected negative backlash scrutinizing Invisible Children’s motives and practices. Despite the negativity how did filmmaker Jason Russell and Invisible children inc. Succeed where countless others failed to mobilize Americas youth in a political protest for a cause that did not effect them directly? A viral video like no other.

I first encountered the video on facebook, caught my attention because a few of my friends whom shared no common interest reshared the link on my newsfeed. As I watched the video a self proclaimed cyborg like myself got emotional, 30 minutes later when it finished I proudly clicked share as well. I wanted more of my friends aware of the atrocities going on in Africa, millions did the samething making it the fastest growing video in Youtube history even more then that cute ktten dancing. They called this slacktivism A “feel-good” way in support of an issue or social cause, that takes minimal to no practical effort.Thats the politically correct definition of saying its a way for lazy asses to feel like they did something positive by retweeting or making a Facebook status about a trendy topic. This criticism is unfair sure this generation may not be burning bras but its using the tools it has available to share information like never before and whether you think its lazy it’s effective.

There are many reasons why Kony 2012 campaign was a successful, none more prominent to me then being propaganda at its best. I consider myself skeptic not easy to sucker in the least, so Im very impressed how I went hook line and sinker over this video. I mentioned earlier how I got emotional well my eyes watered, picture a big oath like me watching a video on his phone choking up. I haven’t cried since Muphasa died in the Lion king. Jake Russell and Invisible children inc. did a phenomenal job of marketing its goal and invoking emotion to rally people behind there cause. Video starts off with a challenge to the viewers to participate in something that will change history stick with the short video and find out how. Followed by a pretty graphic of the world with dramatic background music accompanied by flashy quotes in capital colorful letters, the motivational rhetoric chanted by hundreds of kids. They introduce you to only one of the many African children effected by Konys evil a boy named Jacob who tells his story. We have Russell having conversations with his adorable young son who I view as the face of Americas youth questioning “why dont we stop the bad man”. Speaking of which we get our Darth Vaders intro the man resposible for thousands of deaths, rapes and child kidnappings the now infamous Joseph Kony and his L.R.A militia. Finally they make good on giving options for us to help stop him, share video, contact politicans enlist celebrities, sign petition and get the action kit, It worked to perfection. Crafted with expertise to trigger an emotional response, as Russell best put it “they are the pixar of human rights stories”.

KONY 2012 was not without many controversys the Naysayers received plenty of ammunition. Starting with Invisible children Inc.s handling of donations, documents showed only a third of the money received made its way to Africa. Ugandans spoke out against this campaign stating Konys no longer an issue starvation is there biggest enemy. Also claims were made that they exagerated on statics involving Kony and how many children have been effected. Then theres dickgate when Jason Russell was caught masturbating in public. He blamed it on a mental breakdown now I get why he organized “the cover of night” on 4/20 he’s got to be smoking the good shit. A new video surfaced this time with Joseph Kony himself claiming hes innocent of all crimes and is being framed by the Ugandan government.

So it can seem a bit suspect if you look deep at all sides, which I recommend anyone do before donating to a organization. However II ask does any of this change the fact Kony should stand trial for allegations against him,? Maybe they did spend a lot of money on making this really pretty video, but it got all of our attention didnt it? If it was twenty thousand kids harmed by Kony and his goons instead of fifty thousand does it make this cause any less worth taking up? Does the fact Russell went nuts to nut and his pulled Pee Wee Herman change anything?
Truth is before watching this video I dont remember the lasttime I said Uganda since 5th grade social studies. Sadly the only time we speak about African children is when Angelina Jolie adopts one. KONY 2012 got a generation to put down the Xbox controller, tweet about something other then Niki Minaj’s latest song or Snookis pregnancy and actually talk about something that matters. That is nothing to condemn, I applaud Invisible children Inc. For provoking thought and a call to action even if it maybe slacktivism it showed how powerful and what good social media can do.


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