Tue. Oct 15th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Invisible Children Raises Awareness, But is it Enough?

2 min read
At this point, the likelihood that you’ve encountered the activist group Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” campaign is exceedingly high. The 29-minute viral video sparked passionate reactions ranging far on each end of the spectrum, with the staunchest defenders and harshest critics each shouting their respective stance from our new-aged mountain top: the Internet.

At this point, the likelihood that you’ve encountered the activist group Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” campaign is exceedingly high. The 29-minute viral video sparked passionate reactions ranging far on each end of the spectrum, with the staunchest defenders and harshest critics each shouting their respective stance from our new-aged mountain top: the Internet. Both camps would like the public to blindly take the words fed to them by each party’s most vocal supporters as gospel, but to do so is the height of naïveté.

Both groups have their points worth noting in regards to Invisible Children’s campaign and methods, Joseph Kony, and the Lord’s Resistance Army in general. To tune out one side in the interest of simplifying a complicated issue does not mesh with collegiate prerogative of actually becoming well-educated individuals.

The effectiveness of the “Kony 2012” video as strictly an awareness capacity has been astounding. The Youtube video has amassed more than 78 million hits and the same film on Vimeo is nearing 17 million views, so the outreach goal of the film has exceeded even the wildest expectations of the Invisible Children brass.

Yet while the film got people talking about Kony and the LRA, it makes the mistake of assuming that all the chatter is the yellow brick road that will lead to the capture of an evil man who has built his own child army. Those atop the Invisible Children hierarchy act as though posters, buttons, tweets, Facebook likes and profile picture changes are the key to Kony’s capture. There is no doubt that it is vital to the awareness portion of their goal, but the American troops the Invisible Children organization want sent overseas to help train the Ugandan army have already been deployed.

The pair of sides have also traded barbs regarding finances, exaggeration of the LRA in Uganda and the oversimplification of the issue at hand, but this is not an all-encompassing article meant to address every issue that is out there. This is meant to urge you not to take everything you hear, see or read at face value. A well-written piece or a well-spoken stance on Kony doesn’t mean that everything presented in those mediums are factually accurate. The proper information is out there and can be attained, but taking a half hour to watch “Kony 2012” or read a blog post ripping the nonprofit to shreds does not make you an expert on the matter. Instead, find trusted sources that present the facts and minimize conjecture to help you come to your own conclusion on an issue instead of being told what to think.

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