â€œUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past couple of weeks, then you should undoubtedly know about the Kony 2012 campaign by the Invisible Children,â€ was stated in Tuesday’s column â€œDefending the KONY 2012 sensation.â€
KONY 2012 has come under large scrutiny since the video came out, but opposed to the submission on Tuesday, I find the scrutiny to be just. I was one of the cynical people whom the video didn’t touch at all or spur me to share it on the Facebook and Twitter sphere. In a fraction of the time you took to watch the video, you could have looked up the real information on the Invisible Children non-profit organization (yes the same people who made that video you probably watched back in high school) and the issue of Kony.
The column that I am writing against spoke about one of the complaints that have been filed by the public since the video went viral, and that is of the organization’s sketchy financial structure. Yes, yes, we get that not all the money can go to Uganda and that it needs to support itself as an organization, but then why refuse audits by the Better Business Bureau on their finances? As a charity organization, they are rated at 2 stars â€” not the best for one that focuses on helping others.
Maybe their refusal of the audit is to hide the fact that each of the founders are making close to $100,000 a year. That $30 action kit you bought is to vandalize a city near you â€“â€“ well, only $10, if that, is actually going to Uganda. Recently some of the founders have been reported in a number of questionable acts reminiscent of most of you readersâ€™ spring breaks. You know: urinating on cars, running around naked and yelling. These acts were allegedly caused by massive exhaustion; in reality, they were probably just piss drunk celebrating all the money everyone has sent them.
That’s just the organization itself. Now let’s look at the issue of making him famous throughout the world. Kony was the leader of the LRA, an old rebellious faction that has been around since 1987, but it hasn’t been relevant in years. The LRA itself hasn’t been in Uganda for almost six years now. Reports from the Ugandan government claim that there hasn’t been a reported issue from the LRA in who knows how long.
All the territory that was lost has been long since resettled by the people who were dispersed by the militants. Kony himself has been thought to be dead for some time now by the Ugandan people. So for what reason are we giving Uganda’s military army money and training for then? I don’t know about you all, but it sounds a little bit sketchy to me. The founders of the organization can be seen in pictures posing with AK-47s and men with the Ugandan Military if you do a quick search on Google. Hidden agenda? Maybe so. The Ugandan government has since filed issue over the video and the organization for promoting false information.
The fact that bugged me the most about all of this, though, is how so many people felt spurred to help out one issue 3,000 miles away instead of the 3,000 issues that are one mile away from you.
There are 30,000 kids who have been affected by Kony? There are 1.5 million kids in your own country who don’t have a permanent home. Make you re-evaluate a bit? I hope so. Don’t get me wrong, either â€“â€“ I’m not saying to not help other places in the world, but I am saying to take a look at what’s happening in your own country first and spur a change here instead.
The very rights you are trying to promote to other places of the world are slowly and quietly being taken away from you. If you want to feel like you are helping out the world by taking 10 seconds to post a video, then post a video of Ron Paul â€“â€“ at least then you would actually be doing something worthwhile.
Mark Grybos is a junior creative writing major.