I have stewed over this topic for a few days now, and I think I’ve finally calmed down enough to blog about my thoughts.
First, I’d like to emphasize that I support the idea that the children of Uganda need international aid to overcome Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). It is difficult for me, as a young American citizen who has never traveled outside of the country, to fully comprehend the full horror that is taking place in Africa.If young children were being abducted and forced into a militia in America, it would be making international headlines. Sadly, this is the FIRST time that I am hearing about the situation with Kony and the children of Uganda (as well as the surrounding countries), despite the fact that it has been happening for more than 20 years.
However, I’m not 100% sure how I feel about Invisible Children, the organization behind the Kony 2012 campaign. I am interested in learning about their long-term goals and how they intend to fulfill them. As of right now, I am under the impression that the organization is trying to raise public awareness about the situation in Uganda by targeting the LRA’s leader, Kony. In a sense, they are putting a face on an unimaginable horror.
I tend to view things from a logical perspective rather than reacting immediately with my emotions. A bunch of my classmates are “jumping on the bandwagon” and joining the cause without doing any research. The documentary that was just released on Youtube is enough to earn their support.
I don’t want people to think that I am a selfish person just because I am not buying a red “Stop Kony” T-shirt or planning on plastering posters all over the community. I just want to learn more about the situation and the organization’s objectives before pouring my heart and soul into a moral cause.
What happens if/when Kony is caught? What are we, as Americans, willing to do to stop the LRA as a whole? Are we willing to enter a war to stop the LRA? Does America have an obligation to help every single country that is experiencing internal conflict? Sometimes I feel like the only person who is thinking these thoughts.
In my opinion, the people should be taking action, not the government. Why do we have to drag the government into the conflict? Instead, we should make the campaign to stop Kony an international humanitarian effort. By involving the government, we run the risk of offending countries and receiving even more international criticism.
What are your thoughts on the Kony 2012 campaign? Is this the first time you are hearing about it?