March 8, 2012

So, yes, I've been on the #KONY2012 bandwagon the last day.  Spent too much time reading links and thinking about it.  That's an Aspergian trait that I have - this ability to focus in on, and obsess over a detail like this.  It really bugs me the way that that video http://vimeo.com/invisible/kony2012 started out.  I honestly haven't watched the whole thing.  I didn't need to, I could see where it was going.  It was about the movement to get to one man.  Joseph Kony.  A terrible despicable man.  But, the question remained in my mind, so we get him, and what now?  The region is a mess, simply put. To give you an idea of the mess that it is in I invite you to read this piece http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136673/mareike-schomerus-tim-allen-and-koen-vlassenroot/obama-takes-on-the-lra?page=show 

It isn't as simple as going in and taking out one man.  I wish it was. Truly.  But the Ugandan government has had a terrible record itself of human rights abuses, including using child soldiers themselves to come to power.  Do we take out the government of Uganda as well?  If not, why not?  They are just as guilty.

To give you an idea of the idealism of the guys behind Invisible Children I link you to a profile of one of the members. http://pmc-mag.com/2011/02/jason-russell/ And I'll highlight the entry that bothers me.

3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I am from San Diego California with an upbringing in musical theater. I am going to help end the longest running war in Africa, get Joseph Kony arrested & redefine international justice. Then I am going to direct a Hollywood musical. Then I am going to study theology & literature in Oxford, England, and then move to New York to start “The Academy” – which will be a school where the best creative young minds in the world attend.

That bothers me a great deal.  What I see is a slackvist - somebody who thinks he's doing some good and then leaving the issue behind.  For what?  Hollywood of course.  Using this issue to gain fame and then leaving it behind.  Where is the real desire to effect change in a region that so desperately needs it?  Where is the desire to effect change on the government, which you want to empower with the money you receive?  This video raises questions and awareness, which is good.  But as far as this organization goes, there is no way in hell I will be donating any money to them.  That is your choice - go ahead and donate if you so wish.  But think long and hard before you do. There are many other organizations that are trying to effect real solid worthwhile change in the region.

 http://grassrootsgroup.org/ is one such organization.
Doctors without borders http://doctorswithoutborders.org/ is another.

Okay, /rant

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