KONY 2012 – Who Is Behind ‘Invisible Children’?


FROM visiblechildren.tumblr.com
Also, CIA are based in the area, 100 ‘advisers’, or Special Forces.

KONY 2012”

You do not need to ask my permission to share this. Please link it widely.

I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.

KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’mnotalone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 31% went to their charity program (page 6)*. This is far from ideal, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they haven’t had their finances externally audited. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money funds the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.

Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on funding African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Christ Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children funds this military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children isnow focusing on military intervention.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re helping fund the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on funding ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s somethingSomething isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.

If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.

10 Responses to KONY 2012 – Who Is Behind ‘Invisible Children’?

  • Akuaku Eddy says:

    Several readers have asked us about the KONY 2012 campaign that has gone viral on Facebook. Kony is a brutal Ugandan military leader known for abducting and forcing children to fight in his army. Invisible Children is the NPO backing this campaign. Unfortunately, this organization has been the subject of some controversy. Check up on them and the facts before sharing their videos and backing their cause. (We link to a blog offering a critical review of I.C. and we link to their BBB report.)https://www.facebook.com/Facecrooks/posts/254138281341469

  • I don’t know what is accurate/inaccurate here, but regardless if you do the research there are most likely other groups attempting to help this cause, so please don’t give up on it.

  • Pingback: KONY 2012 « Divinately Me!

  • Amy Jannone says:

    You absolute fucking idiot. The Kony website/charity is there to raise awareness of the situation going on in Uganda so that everyone as a whole can eventually make a difference. Whether or not this 31% only going to the charity/country is true or not means nothing as the other 69% will be going on the videos, posters, websites and contacting other people to raise the awareness, which is the point in this to help make that difference they desperately need the other 31% will go on resources for Uganda. But its not money they need its help and support, they’re not in poverty they’re in danger, by raising awareness, people like Barack Obama will take more notice of the situation and send out troops to support them as said in the video. They are sending out troops to protect the people of Uganda and to help capture the man causing all of this, they are not trying to start a new war (even though right now it is a one way war) but even if they was this is one of the wars I can actually say is worth fighting for, its not pointless and its a good cause. 
    They aren’t asking for just money, you don’t have to donate to help, just post around a video and some information about Uganda, whats happening and what the charity is doing to help so that awareness can be raised and eventually justice will be served so stop being a selfritious fool and get involved.

    If not, you’re just as bad as those fighting pointless wars and the people causing them. 

    • Jacob Moore says:

      You know you could have been a little bit more polite.

    • Steve Gray says:

      Oh Amy, you dumbliberal cunt.  There are heaps of orgs on the ground helping, this groiup is just one and seriously flawed, it does not have to be that group you help, esp as this issue has been happening for decades, why now are they trying to draw attention so badly, and with such a focus on there groiup? this is half the info honey, read this as well.http://securingrights.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/lets-talk-about-kony/….and the other money does not go on posters and multi media presentations, read the piece you poor sorry underinformed cunt 

  • Anonymous says:

    I would hope I wouldn’t need to ask permission to share this, considering you just copied and pasted it from visiblechildren.tumblr.com

  • Steve….Very Articulate………..”Invisible Children”…..a hidden agenda….


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