Really a GREAT job by Invisible Children in reminding us that the LRA is still out there, re-igniting the discussion and raising awareness and that cutting foreign aid hurts real people. Our response is an incredible show of brotherhood and empathy. The strong should be moved to help the vulnerable and Invisible Children have done well in that. But they aren’t perfect. And if we give honor to whom honor is due, and disagree with respect and civility, maybe we can get somewhere in this messy world of ours.
After watching the promo video #Kony2012, after wiping your tears away, are you remembering to be aware that this is only the beginning of ending the problem? Are you remembering that only knowing who Joseph Kony is cannot end the atrocity of his child-guerrilla fighters? We have to understand the complicated problems and situations happening on the ground (Kony left Uganda a couple years ago). We, as the recipients of this powerful and well-crafted message, have to be responsible to take the message deeper, to give honor to IC for their hard work and many sacrifices, and then take their message and develop it into action.
Are you trained in international development? International humanitarian aid and relief? Just War and violations of sovereignty? Do you remember that Uganda has a government functioning at some capacity? That the men and women and children being slaughtered have ideas and thoughts and potential solutions to their own problems, too?
Can we responsibly receive this message? Can we be responsible to take the conversation into the nuances of policy and the unintended consequences of our actions? Into understanding that you and I and no one on Facebook can solve the problem despite how much we want to do good?
The willingness to save and the ability to do so are vastly different.
Watch the video here. and then go deeper:
You MUST read this Uganda journalist’s response to Kony.
Read this Foreign Policy analysis.
Read this critique in the Atlantic.
And remember: Awareness is not the end. Action requires more than knowing his name.