Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012 and my personal opinion about it (my opinion, no one's forcing you to read it)


   

I have been meaning to write this entry for a long time, but it was either time I lacked or simply just strength; so after a while of waiting I'm finally able to share my personal opinion on the whole Kony 2012 cause.


Over the past days I started noticing what I would refer to as a spam-like 'trend' on facebook, tumblr, twitter, websites and you name it. Since I was curious about all these 'Make Kony famous' statements that people were constantly using as a thread on their links about Joseph Kony,(a supposed murderer, leader of L.R.A rebel children soldier group and #1 among the most dangerous and most wanted men in the world, whom the US are doing "everything in their power" to capture before he causes anymore harm to the Ugandan people) I decided to look a bit closer into it.

The only problem I have with the whole Kony 2012 propaganda is the fact that most people who choose to jump on this bandwagon are not fully aware of the whole issue, but instead are convinced by a thirty minute long video which they'll perhaps forget within the next two weeks, as though they never 'liked'
the video on Youtube, facebook or any other social network on the web or never posted to 'inform' people about the issue.

While watching the Kony 2012 awareness video I started dissecting the information, which is normal for me to do as I don't usually accept things at face value. There will always be a conflicting part of me questioning the information I am served, and so sometime during watching the video and hearing something along the likes of 'The US government have to know that people 'care enough' in order to take action' I had to pause a little bit to understand what that meant. 'Care enough'? Since when did people caring become an issue for the United States? With or without the consent of the rest of the world Bush and his alleged soldiers decided to step into Afghanistan in their 'war on terror' after the 9/11 attacks, so why was/is this issue any different?

It is so much easier to reach an audience of people who do not care enough about asking questions or researching, but would be convinced merely by the showcasing of one video, one side, one story.  Of course I am not in any way criticising the all so dedicated person who first started the trend, but the significance it probably has to him is perhaps not the same significance you see in other people who are what I'd like to refer to as 'second hand supporters'. The role of these second hand supporters is perhaps likely to last but a few months before they already forget about a cause or why they were in support of it.

With regards to a few things in life I actually hate jumping on bandwagons, being a follower, making something 'known' because I have been told to do so. A 30 minute video is not enough to educate people about a matter. In addition to a video like that it takes a lot more; and by more I mean background research, finding out why it is something is happening, what is going on and what part you will be playing if you decide to support a cause.

One too many people are throwing themselves on the first train to support a cause without actually being critical, without seeking information or educating themselves enough about it. Are there conflicting sides? What is good about the cause? When was it founded, by who and for what reason? - These questions are rarely taken into consideration by some people before they throw themselves on the train of supporting something. Do we really know what it means to support a cause? - to stand for something which we believe in or believe is right?

How do we help a cause by liking a status or posting a link? We make people aware, sure, but then what? What happens after that?

I saw the video, yes. I acknowledged its existence, yes, but I did not re-post it or like its page or any such thing. A person can create awareness, cause thousands to support it, but what happens after that? What actions are taken?

Make Kony famous? Why would I want to do that? For what reason are we making this person famous and what does it mean to each individual supporting this cause? - To me, the word famous sounds oh so wrong for someone who is supposed to be a "wanted murderer hiding in the wild". I feel as though it is a way of promoting the said bad guy, even if that is not intended.

What favour are we doing someone by posting a video if we are to forget about it later? In what ways are we helping a government 'already aware' of a situation? Is simply sitting behind our computers and clicking a button enough to stop an issue? - How about showcasing merchandise? Isn't that another way of selling something? Correct me if I'm wrong. However, in my eyes I do look at the Kony 2012 with suspicion.

To me, the funniest thing is that whenever a person raises suspicion about something that is so popular a lot of people might be fuelled by their doubts. It's not a bad thing to diverge from a group. There's nothing wrong with living, but there is something really dangerous about following along with everything one is told without questioning even once.

Perhaps the individual who made the promise that he would stop the L.R.A from hurting anymore civilians was sincere, but is everyone who has joined this cause as sincere? Do they care or is this something they'll just end up forgetting as soon as something else 'more interesting' comes along?

Here are some links to articles with a critical eye to the whole Kony 2012 propaganda: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/08/148235383/fact-checking-the-kony-2012-viral-video

http://ilto.wordpress.com/2006/11/02/the-visible-problem-with-invisible-children/

Why I'm not promoting the 'Kony 2012' cause? - I am not a one sided person, besides there are enough people already promoting the cause around me.   Knowing that there are far more sides to every issue, it's healthy to research them.