Will Karma Find Kony? | People
“Share Kony 2012, make this guy famous, remember his face because it can be the last time you see it…”
It’s on everyone’s lips, everybody is talking about it, he really is famous now -thanks to social media and the people. But who’s also famous is its creator – Jason Russel, was that supposed to happen?
Kony 2012 is a short film created by Invisible Children, Inc. It was released on March 5, 2012 and it’s purpose is to promote the charity’s “Stop Kony” movement to make indicted Ugandan war criminal and the International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony internationally known in order to have him arrested this year of 2012.
From my own experiences, I know that the film was spread quickly like a rumor in a high school, and before you took the time to spell the name “Kony” – the video had over 85 460 779 views and still counting…
To be honest with you, this not only shows the power of Public Relations or Social Media to me, but also the ignorance of people. How they never criticize sources, how they never think twice, how they never think – is this too good to be true? What happens if I share this without knowing what when where why and how?
I will tell you why I saw people’s ignorance; because I am one of them.
I have a good heart and I feel for people in need, I want to help and I am too nice to turn my back, so I spread the video to everyone I know, literally speaking 689 friends and boy did I do wrong.
After I posted the video on my twitter page, I got hundreds of messages from friends that wanted me to delete the video and not share it at all. So I wondered why, and decided to dig deeper into this as the journalist at heart that I am,
(Of course I also was ashamed of my ignorance but that’s another story).
The video is made by Jason Russel and the main purpose is to raise awareness to the horrific abuse and killing of children in the East and Central African countries at the hands of Kony and his leadership. Kony practically turns children into cold soldiers and forces them to kill their parents in order to “grow up and learn to be brave”.
Of course, as in all campaigns, there is another purpose of the video that Jason didn’t want to show off so much about, and it’s about donation. The video maybe didn’t cost him a dollar but I can only imagine what kind of big-spender this man is right now. Of course, I think he and his family (especially his son Gavin that’s also a part of the movie) deserve some attention and money for their work they did that caused us to open our eyes and see things we just heard about before.
But (hands on the heart), how many of us thought about how much of our money actually goes to this campaign and not into Mr J’s slim jeans pocket?
I asked a car salesman from Sweden about his reactions to the video and he said “I’m sad that the American government thinks this is an small issue and aren’t helpful enough. I’m also sad that a video like this has to be made for people to open their eyes and realize what’s going on in the world. I’m Swedish myself and have never seen something like that before, it makes me appreciate life and want to do something for these children, but I want to do it myself, not through this campaign”
I agree with him, people should educate themselves a little bit before supporting a particular nonprofit. So it taught us a valuable lesson as well.
Another person that had things to say about this was my best friend Ella Averchi. She reacted to the picture I sent to her where Jason poses with the soldiers. She says: “ I believed in this campaign because he makes it so real, so trustworthy. He has his son Gavin in the film and the story about Jacob really grabs on to your nerves and your heart, but when you hear that all of this is a scam and you see pictures of the inventor of the film posing with weapons – you loose all hope of humanity.”
She continues; “One thing that made me think twice about his campaign is that he keep on saying that we are strong together, we don’t need anything else besides medias and each others help to forward the film and make Kony famous, but afterwards he needs and wants donations. That makes no sense to me, it just makes me suspicious.”
The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called “misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulating facts for strategic purposes.”
The Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards has also criticized them. So my friend’s suspicions have every right to be there. I guess I have smart friends.
Jedediah Jenkins, director of idea development for Invisible Children, called the criticism “myopic” and said that the film represented a “tipping point” in that it got young people to care about an issue on the other side of the planet that doesn’t affect them. That’s a great thing for me since I am one of those that actually lives on “the other side of the planet” but how I should help these kids out is not by donating money to a charity who can’t declare what they are doing with their money, but actually taking actions myself and donate to a big organization that can show numbers and statistics of their income and outcome.
One thing I heard that planted a thought in my mind I can’t get rid of is that to get to Kony you’d have to ultimately kill some of his army, which I can agree with. But the problem is that his army consists of children soldiers.
So there comes the question: will we be able to find Kony? Or is Karma ahead of us?