Checking motives before supporting Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012”

Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” video went viral, but John Reid says advocates should be careful not to lose sight of the issue once its popularity dies down.

John Reid, Writer

Facebook has gone from blue to a shade of red with the crimson advertisements of “Kony 2012.” There appears to be an eagerness to spread the word and make famous the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, in efforts to educate the public on his murderous regime.

But let us consider something here. Is the spreading of this viral video legitimate or merely a trend? Does this image of hope to dethrone a terrorist look familiar to anyone? Let us remember another time in our recent history when we were so eager to capture the one responsible for a catastrophic event claiming many innocent lives. Current students may find it easy to remember the events of Sept. 11 but not the entirety of the impact that it had on America.

Maintaining appropriate mindset

I was confused, unable to process everything completely. I remember how shock settled into fear. I remember seeing the billowing smoke, hearing the reporters and observing the chaos. I remember the feeling of vulnerability after the Pentagon was hit. Our nation was under attack. As a sensitive 16-year-old, I ran downstairs to find my folks staring at the horror that was Sept. 11, 2001.

In the days to come, the same nation that trembled in fear of its adversaries would find itself enveloped in a common alliance. Bumper stickers bearing the phrase, “United We Stand” traveled the roads of this country. Many longed for revenge while many euphemized their passion under the desire for justice. Either way you phrase it, we all wanted the same thing: to neutralize the chance of a repeat attack.

Over the course of a few years this unity had turned to apathy. What was once a common plea for military action against our enemies now seemed to be a vague memory of a historical event. Combat still raged in Afghanistan, but America seemed to have lost interest in their troops. America’s attitude eventually went from apathetic to resentful. A unison chorus of “Support our troops” became “pointless war.” When we found bin Laden, everyone was conveniently happy again for a brief period. It’s interesting how Americans will choose to celebrate what they think is good for them but will slander the pursuit of such milestones.

Clarifying motives behind spreading “Kony 2012” video

So let us consider the motive behind our impulsive claims to support Invisible Children. Despite the surfacing propaganda disparaging Invisible Children’s pursuit, their objective remains to capture Kony within the year 2012. Questions arise as to whether this will solve anything with the probability that another leader will emerge from within the Lord’s Resistance Army. Any attempt to oust this rebel would be militaristic in nature and would therefore have much more influence on the entire Lord’s Resistance Army than merely one targeted individual, such was with al-Qaida.

But why are we seeking out this tyrant? What makes this animated wave of alarm different from the charge against bin Laden nearly 11 years ago? The “Kony 2012” video, which will be presented Wednesday night in Sutherland Auditorium, exposes the lives of those who have been captured by the Lord’s Resistance Army. The interviews will be sure to cause distress among those who view it. Children’s lives are being taken from them and they are forced into combative roles of pillaging undertakings. The very enemy that we are pursuing were once the children we are trying to save.

This is not a trivial issue and requires far more than an apathetic approach. Spreading the word about Kony is good, putting forth efforts to eliminate his administration is great, but continuing the enthusiastic quest for liberty once the dust of advertisement settles will determine whether there is an impact. I would challenge everyone to take a minute and focus on the current genocide formulated by Kony. Then in the months to come, instead of having a stagnant pursuit of justice, you may still have pride in the efforts taking place.

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