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The video calling for a national campaign to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the International Criminal Court’s #1 most-wanted warlord, has been viewed more than 100 million times since it was published on March 5. The day of action it calls for is tomorrow, April 20. While most people agree that Kony should be brought to justice for his crimes against the Ugandan people and children, the video has come under criticism for oversimplifications that could actually do harm to the people it aims to help.
For photographer Glenna Gordon, the inaccuracies were particularly shocking because she had spent two years in Uganda as a stringer for the Associated Press and knew that the facts on the ground were much different than what was portrayed.
Tag Archives | Kony 2012
Via Global Research:
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The hidden agenda in Uganda, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa is the conquest of oil and strategic mineral resources. Going after Joseph Kony and protecting Ugandan children is a cynical smokescreen, a pretext for a “humanitarian intervention” in a region where US sponsored “civil wars” (Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia) have in the course of the last 20 years resulted in more than eight million deaths:
“Through AFRICOM, the United States is seeking a foothold in the incredibly resource rich central African block in a further maneuver to aggregate regional hegemony over China. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s largest regions without an effectively functioning government. It contains vast deposits of diamonds, cobalt, copper, uranium, magnesium, and tin while producing over $1 billion in gold each year. It is entirely feasible that the US can considerably increase its presence in the DRC under the pretext of capturing Joseph Kony.” (Nile Bowie, Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa, Global research, March 14, 2012)
In a recent decision, the Pentagon confirms the sending in of Marine Special Forces to train Ugandan troops in the fight not only against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) but also against Al Shabab in Somalia.
Via Warscapes, Dinaw Mengestu explains that the viral video’s appeal is that “the real star of Kony 2012 isn’t Joseph Kony, it’s us”:
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Kony 2012 is the most successful example of the recent “activist” movement to have taken hold of celebrities and college students across America. This movement believes devoutly in fame and information, and in our unequivocal power to affect change as citizens of a privileged world. Our privilege is the both the source of power and the origin of our burden – a burden which, in fact, on closer scrutiny, isn’t really a burden at all, but an occasion to celebrate our power … helping to end the war in Darfur is as simple as adding a toolbar to your browser.
In the world of Kony 2012, Joseph Kony has evaded arrest for one dominant reason: Those of us living in the western world haven’t known about him, and because we haven’t known about him, no one has been able to stop him.
Via ABC News:
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… Russell said the charity’s programs in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan included the building of a rehabilitation center, an expanded and early-warning radio network connecting communities and an LRA crisis tracker, which is a mapping platform and data-collection system.
But Visible Children pointed out that although Invisible Children had spent more than $8.6 million last year, “only 32 percent went to direct services with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.”
Russell defended the group’s spending, saying that Invisible Children needed to spend money on advocacy and awareness of young people, especially in the West.
“Let’s be honest. They set the agenda. What they like matters,” he said. “We need to educate and transform and reshape [their] paradigm to saying, ‘This is what really matters. This is what we can really do.’ … So we do spend money on our films and on our advocacy and awareness.
Rap News Episode 12: YES WE KONY. It’s March, and the Internet delivers 2012′s first globe-consuming meme: the unstoppable, Stop-Kony 2012 video, which has highlighted the plight of African child soldiering like never before. But is it really good? Is it really bad? Or is the world really more complex than ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’?...
Jason Russell is the co-founder of Invisible Children, the San Diego-based organization behind KONY 2012. As well as being the main force behind the campaign, Russell is also an evangelist Christian and father of two. News of his arrest comes from NBC San Diego:
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A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach on Thursday for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to San Diego Police Department.
Jason Russell, 33, was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to Lt. Andra Brown. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.
Brown said Russell was acting very strange.
“Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested,” she said at a press conference. “During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying.”
Police said they received several calls Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
For all the cynicism of this photo-comic, I thought it was hilarious (click image to view or here):
Journalists for the most part report what they know and hope that someone pays attention. With so many media outlets, brands, bloggers and sloggers out there, it is rare for challenging ideas to touch a larger nerve or get visibility beyond fragmented followings.
The idea of winning global attention is a far off dream unless you break the biggest exclusive or win the first interview with, say, Jesus on his return to earth. (And that could be ignored if your name isn’t Oprah, etc.)
Yes, sometimes going viral is the way to go—as is the case of a new video exposing the head of the Lords Resistance Army, the Ugandan terror crazies.
But even then, stories are always flashing one minute, gone the next, unless other media outlets pile on and raise their profile as happened here during Watergate and other issues, mostly sex scandals, since.
By and large, you labor on in the media wilderness hoping the time will come when someone outside your world recognizes your value and gives you a bigger platform, usually more than just one TV interview or quote.… Read the rest