Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Kony Craze

This whole KONY 2012 phenomenon has really been getting to me. So I started telling all the supporters I saw a couple of facts about Invisible Children and Joseph Kony that I had found out through various articles, and since I’ve been approached by a few people since then to explain the flaws associated with KONY 2012, I made this list of facts:
1.       Kony is actually pronounced "Kohn"
2.       He is no longer in Uganda, he is in the Congo. He hasn't been active in Uganda for 6 years, and the LRA is now only about 420 people large.
3.       The US was in Uganda before the Invisible Children people said anything, because Uganda has oil. Even if more troops are sent, it won't have anything to do with Kony because he's not there!
4.       The Ugandan military is involved in atrocities such as rape and torture. Invisible Children supports them, as well as military intervention- which can only lead to more violence, and the death of a number of the child soldiers.
5.       Invisible Children only gives 31% of donations to the people in Uganda. They use up the rest within the organization- which is hugely unethical.
6.      If they want the US government to take notice, there is no point in asking people outside the US to advocate the group and "make Kony famous"- the US government doesn't care if non-citizens are interested in an issue. It’s simply not their responsibility.
7.       This is a short interview with an ex-child soldier, who spoke to the press about how offended he is by the Kony 2012 Campaign for its failure to respect and communicate the gravity of the situation in Uganda:

I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a while, and though this isn’t the most original of entries, I thought it would be a good start. I’m really happy to see that people of my generation are interested in helping the world and stepping up to make changes, but the way to do so isn’t through coming up with cool activities and having fun while we’re at it. It's understandable that a video that is made to get to viewers emotionally has moved so many people, but the cool graphics and sad five year old don't legitimize everything said in the Kony 2012 video (they even got the geographical location of Uganda wrong). The LRA and Kony, as well as other domestic issues in Uganda are very serious, and cannot be solved by means of having fun, and making it about us instead of them. This video is all about the White Man's Burden- but remember, just because the mainstream in the US weren't aware of Kony and the LRA, the problem was never "invisible". Another reason why I'm a bit upset with Invisible Children is because it doesn't seem to respect the dignity of the people in Uganda who have lived and died through everything that has happened in the past two decades. Their trials were not invisible just because nobody was tweeting about them.
If we really want to take action, we have to find reliable charities, and put in real hard work- changing a profile picture on facebook and running around town laughing with friends while putting up posters really isn’t helping any of the kids who have suffered under Kony. If you really want to make a change, then really do something.  

Additional note: Please do let me know if you're aware of any facts I got wrong; I’ll be sure to research and update them.


  1. Hey Rama, Awsm inaugural post. Well done!
    It's high time that the US stopped mooching other countries resources under the pretense of "preserving world peace".

    Why concentrate on just Kony? There are many criminals out there doing equally atrocious crimes against humanity. America's poor track record of long-drawn and unsuccessful peace efforts in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other regions only prove how good it is at making a mess of it. The only way to stop these criminals is by identifying their source of weapons and funding and shutting it down.

    As for the issue of "common people harnessing the power of social media" lets identify and stop those who brought these guys to power in the first place.

    Keep blogging!

    1. Thanks, Mihir!
      I know, it really got to me that not only is Uganda being taken advantage of, but they're finding thousands of people to support it by feeding them inaccurate information.. it's crazy.

  2. A very thorough explanation of the current proceedings regarding Kony 2012. I still find it hard to remember it's pronounced Kohn :P

    But I do want to know more about the Invisible Children and they've actually been doing so far. As well as what the LRA is.

    I do agree with you about how people these days deem themselves supporters of any cause just out of watching a nicely computerized (yet cliched In all aspects) and heart rending advertisement. As much as I appreciate their efforts in trying to do something about it, it would be more meaningful if it wasn't a fashion statement or a band wagon of any kind. Because as history can point out to you, trends come and ago in a blink of an eye. So I really appreciate what you've done with this blog. It has really unraveled the large mess that's been circling around the interwebs.

    Eepkay Upway Hetay Oodgay Orkway
    Efhuhf Amaray :D

    1. Yeah, Invisible Children has actually some productive stuff so far- with building schools and rehabilitating kids. Still, it doesn't justify or legitimize what's going on with this. I couldn't tell you too much about the LRA, but its only purpose isn't to "help Kony keep his power" like the video said.
      heh, yeah. It was too mainstream to take seriously.
      Efhuhf poopzy

  3. Like Facts 3, 5 n 6 very much, this is straight, no cuts, very good read!!!

  4. Kudos to Rama for taking up this as your first topic.....on the blog i.e. :)

    Very thought provoking post Rama. I was moved after watching 'the invisible children' (emotional ME). Kony 2012 has caught on fact students at Hrishabh's school earned a house point for sharing the video (eh?). Will share Rama's blog with him so that he (and if it gets shared at his school his fellow classmates) gets to see another point of view. Thus hopefully ending this frenzyyyyy.

    A VERY good read indeed. Great explanation about the facts.
    Looking forward to the next one Rama......Cheers.


    1. I was really moved when I watched it, as well- it really was put together really well.. and their intentions (though shady) aren't all bad.
      Still, it seemed too simple..
      LOL yeah, Hrishabh commented on a related video I'd shared with "?????" hahah
      Thank you, Suyash Mavshi :)

  5. Didn't something happen to one of the invisible children leaders in the news recently?