“Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.” – Jason Russell, TRI
I’ve been reading a little bit about Joseph Kony and his crimes, and while he absolutely does need to be brought to justice, the Kony 2012 video seems to be ignoring a few important facts. According to CNN, Kony is no longer even in Uganda. There are other issues raised by the CNN article as well regarding the group that put out the video, but I don’t really think that the moral standing of a particular rights group should matter if they are getting out an important message. As the saying goes, even Hitler liked dogs.
I have two questions, however. “Why now?” if this has been going on for decades, why haven’t we heard about this before? Why has this guy left Uganda for the Congo and now we hear about his crimes? Why hasn’t someone done something about this already? What does this group have to gain by putting this video out there at this point int time?
My second question is “Where is the money going?” the Kony 2012 website encourages visitors to donate in order to “join us and make a contribution to help us bring Kony to justice.” How, exactly? What is donating going to do? I’m all for supporting a cause, but what are a bunch of filmmakers going to use that money for to catch this guy? Just a few questions one might ask before unquestioningly supporting this cause.
Thanks for the comment. You’ve asked some valid questions and I’d like to answer them as best I can. Yes, Kony has moved on from Uganda but he has not stopped his enslavement of the children of Africa. Although we can’t really understand why Kony has moved on to the Congo and other neighboring countries, we can speculate that the recent interest taken by the United States government and other world leaders has not only emboldened those who fight against him but also has shown a spotlight on his reign of terror. A light he’d like to escape. In any case, his tactics have not changed, he’s simply taken his show on the road. Yes, Uganda is finally free of the terror of this thug but until this man is stopped, regardless of where he commits his crimes, the fight to bring him to justice must continue.
Why now? Why not now? Since 1987, Joseph Kony and is “army” have murdered, kidnapped, raped, tortured, and threatened the people of Uganda and now other African nations. It has taken this long for his crimes to be documented, and noticed by the world. Unfortunately, during his reign of terror in Uganda, the United States felt no inclination to intervene simply because Uganda possessed nothing of commercial or political interest to it. Through the work of Invisible Children and other groups like it, the pressure to act to stop him has finally resulted in action. Currently, the US has sent a group of military advisors to Uganda to aid in the capture of Kony. I have no doubt that this fact played a part in Kony transferring his army to the Congo. I imagine it will take some time before the US is able to obtain the permission from these new victim countries to continue the pursuit.
What does this group, Invisible Children, have to gain by creating and broadcasting the video? Simple, your support and the support of everyone lucky enough to view it. The only reason that there are US military advisers in Uganda aiding in Kony’s capture is because of people like us who have made our voices known to the people in power. Now that Kony has evaded the authorities in Uganda it is imperative that that pressure not only be maintained but increased so that the issue doesn’t die and Kony isn’t left alone again to victimize even more children. As for the money contributed to this cause, making a video in Africa is expensive, airfare to Washington DC to try and keep this issue in the minds of policymakers of our government isn’t cheap. Posters, T-shirts, bumper stickers, ANYTHING that can make this criminal famous so that the whole world is watching him and demanding an end to his crimes isn’t cheap.
I urge you to view this video again and imagine if this man were free to commit the crimes here that he has committed and is committing in Africa. One statement by the film’s creator that struck me is this, “Where you live shouldn’t determine IF you live.” The children of Uganda, The Congo, and all of Africa for that matter have just as much right to live in peace and safety as the children of the United States.
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