Educate yourself before jumping on the bandwagon! – KONY2012

Who is Joseph Kony? The leader of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). You knew that. But do you know who Yoweri Museveni is? Why hasn’t his name name been mentioned amongst all this talk of Uganda’s history? He is the president of Uganda. He is a corrupt leader and following his name, there is a long list of human rights violations. This is why opposing organizations like the LRA have emerged, doing equally horrific things to the Ugandan people. We need clarification from other sources as to what is happening in Uganda as we do not truly know.

So pressure the media. Now that this 28 minute viral video has hit thousands, it is not difficult to engage media institutions into providing investigative journalism. They have guaranteed readers. There have also been concerns raised over the integrity of the charity. Should we support a campaign that proposes military intervention? Does the US have a vested interesting in involving itself with Uganda since oil was discovered there? Dig deeper, educate yourself, research.

BUT before you criticize people for “jumping on the bandwagon” ask yourself this: When was the last time YOU actively did something positive?

Why are people being so negative towards the Kony2012 campaign. People are refusing to engage merely because they don’t want to be labelled “social conformists”? Are they serious? They spend time moaning when issues aren’t addressed, but when they are all they can do is continue to criticize.

I’m fed up of hearing “Kony has been around for 26 years, don’t act like you care now.” Well firstly I wasn’t even alive 26 years ago! Secondly, there IS a point in caring now! Be thankful the people that are caring and taking an interest, then ask yourself who are you to be disgusted by them? There are genuine people out there. If people are inspired, why drag them down? Does this negativity deliver some kind of self fulfilment to these people? I’d personally love to see this energy used to take action, to make a positive difference.

It seems to me like there are two bandwagons, One is for those who are labelled “social conformists”. The other is for those who stand back and ridicule this bandwagon without taking action themselves. It is the latter that annoy me the most.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t engage in debate. Debate is a beautiful thing. We learn so much about ourselves and others. But remember there is a distinct difference between this type of intellectual debate and being outright negative, shutting down those who are trying to bring about change. If you disagree with an approach, take action yourself!

There is no doubt the video which has gone viral on youtube and vimeo received a truly phenomenal response. Whether people agree with the Invisible Children’s approach to tackling the Kony issue is irrelevant. The point I wish to make is this: How often do we see the public engaging in real life issues? The norm is to care for the lives of “celebrities”.

It is about time this has happened. It is truly amazing that this video has engaged the public into having debate, learning about current affairs, engaging in activism efforts to help the Ugandan children. Anyone who has been part of a campaign knows how difficult this is! If it wasn’t for this campaign, I’d still have no idea who Joseph Kony is. It is about empowering the people.

I hope Kony2012 is not merely hype. I hope people continue to engage with human issues whether that means supporting Invisible Children or not. Open your mind to injustices that happen all over the world: Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir. The list is endless.

I hope people continue the fight for justice, and educate themselves for the sake of the next generation. Despite concerns about its underlying agenda, Kony2012 is a beautifully edited video, it grounded us with simplistic values that bring us together because we are human.

The power of the people can be amazing. Believe it. This video has helped people see that. We can use our power of numbers and knowledge to seek about change. We ARE in positions to make a difference but we must want to do so. We must use our minds to look at creative ways of getting people involved. The Kony video showed just how incredible social media can be. Now use it.

Peace and Love


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