Enough time has now passed since Kony 2012 first launched itself onto our screens, papers and lives to sit back and take check. The immediate overwhelming and sensational launch of Joseph Kony was met with all-consuming fanfare, moral outrage and a heightened international conscience. Individuals and the world’s media looked to that shadowy continent that we had for so long ignored, igniting the youth of the Information Age.
This was then met with inevitable questions; who are Invisible Children? Where do their fundraising efforts go to? Who are their backers and shouldn’t the minimalism of facts in their project be defined in terms that govern the real world?
The argument was presented in such simplistic terms, capture Joseph Kony. To suggest that Kony is the source of Uganda’s problems misrepresents the nation’s history. Kony is not the disease that brought about this to Uganda, he is the symptom. He is the result of corruption, war, ethnic rivalries, submissive religion, starvation, poor and none existent education……. and so on and on it goes. To define the source of the problem in one man is to be misleading. If reports are to be believed then Joseph Kony has long left Uganda and is hiding and surviving in the jungles of neighbouring states with a few hundred supporters. Kony is the scar of a torn nation, removing him would be the equivalent of having cosmetic surgery, we would all look better, we would all definitely feel better too. Giving each other a pat on the back for clicking a button or wearing a wrist band. The scar would be gone but the disease that caused this pain would still exist, festering under the surface unresolved. Whilst we all look for our next hit of internet activism ecstasy. The film reverberated in our colonial style minds, the Western world riding in as the white knight to save the people of Uganda from their retched condition. There was no mention of the killings of the Ugandan government, the atrocities that they too have committed in tearing their nation apart. There can be no denying that Christianity has helped tear Africa apart and subject the people to unthinkable conditions. The missionaries who brought their books of wisdom to educate and teach morals to the people of African only brought disease, the destruction of culture and the loss of self-determination. There can be no greater blight to the world then the HIV/AIDS epidemic of Africa. If a Christian organisation like Invisible Children wants to help the people of Africa, then send them condoms and expel the myth that it is condoms that gives them AIDS, the lie continued by their Christian brethren.
Don’t read me wrong here, Joseph Kony should be captured and brought to justice. No crime, especially of such magnitude, malicious and perversion should go unpunished. Justice delayed is justice denied. It would bring a sense of closure to the people of Uganda and may make them feel safer in bed at night. I can’t help but feel that we are always too late onto the scene to effect any real change.
Where is the campaign for Assad 2012? Here we have a man actively murdering his own people in the streets of Homs. Civilians are walking the streets of covered blood, dodging shells and praying that they are not taken away next. Where is the outcry for the invisible children of Syria? Children who are being tortured and returned home in body bags. Where are the Assad bracelets? Where was the Gaddafi bracelet or the Saddam Hussein bracelet? It always seems as though the cries of protest are heard after the damage is done. Undoubtedly some supporters of Kony 2012 opposed the Libyan intervention, the toppling of Hussein, the invasion of Afghanistan or the intervention in Bosnia. Where would these tyrants and fanatics be today if they had been listened to? Either still in power or living out the remainder of their worthless lives in hiding, Kony style.
Let me take leave and say that though Kony 2012 is simplistic and misleading, it has brought the issue to the forefront of many of our minds. They have us discussing and debating what is a resoundingly complex issue. Whether you have donated money directly to Invisible Children or to another organisation you have undoubtedly made a positive impact. To those who have experienced an awakening to their international conscience do not be simply satisfied with Kony 2012, go further.