On a professional level, I am currently earning my masters in Public Relations and Advertising and social media has completely transformed this industry. Now, thanks to the KONY 2012 video and the rest of the campaign that is being supported by Invisible Children, anyone can see how important social media is in being able to get free publicity, wide access to your audience and a long shelf-life for your ideas since the Internet keeps track of them forever. Why does this matter? Because it is the main reason I'm writing this blog, and as mentioned above, the second greatest reason why I'm supporting this campaign. But to really get into this argument, lets look at what most of the critics of the campaign are saying and why they think we shouldn't support it.
1. Jason Russell is a/an (insert any degrading comment here).
All I have to say to this one is "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Now, I'm not one to throw Bible verses around at people because most of the time I think it's being pompous, but I think this is well deserved in this case. Do not tell me not to support a cause because the leader is a "douche bag," "criminal," "liar," "self-righteous," or because you think he could easily be labeled as "that guy." Shut. Up. When you are able to create a video that gets over a billion views in one night that talks about helping anyone besides yourself, then we'll talk. However, until that time, I do not wish to hear any more negativity about a man who is just trying to do what he thinks is right, in the best way he can think of. My main man, Gandhi said "be the change you wish to see in the world," and Jason is being that change. Granted, no man is perfect, but I would like to see how anyone else would react to the attention that Jason and his crew are getting right now, I'm sure any of us would have some issues with that much positive and negative attention being thrown at us. (As a side note: leave his kids out of any arguments you may try to say against this, they are children and shouldn't be put up against adults with nothing good say.)
|I have no rights to this poster, use at your own risk.|
Then support the way the video asks you to for the first 20 out of 30 minutes...through spreading the word. Sharing the video and the progress of the campaign through social media, make your own posters for the event on April 20th, and if you want a t-shirt of KONY, get some iron-on letters from WalMart. The only thing the video asks you to do, until about the last 10 minutes of it, is spread the word and let Kony's name be known to the government and celebrities, and the only way to do that is through sharing of the video, keeping the dialog about Kony open and if you feel the need to, writing or tweeting to them, all of which are free for you to do - especially if you do all of that through the Internet. Imagine that, not spending a dime of your precious money.
3. People from Uganda should be leading this movement
This one I agree with. Now that the word has been spread a good bit and the public is well aware of what is going on, now is the time to get people who know the area, the traditions and the culture of Uganda to the front of the movement. I agree that the children are only invisible because they are covered up by the organization, now that they are in the minds of billions of people, it's time to bring their voices to the forefront.
4. The video lied about the numbers
Usually I hear this in reference to the fact that the video makes it sound like 30,000 children were forced into Kony's army in one year when actually it has been over the course of about 30 years. To be blunt, if you think that it is better that this has been happening to children for the past 30 years, which averages out to be about 10,000 children per year rather than the 30,000 in one year that the video makes it out to be, you are a moron. ONE child forced into an army led by a brutal, senseless leader is more than necessary to start a movement for peace.
5. Stopping Kony will stop nothing
Kony, by not even trying to make the effort, we, not only have failed the children currently in his army, but we fail the generations and generations to come after us. By not trying to end the evil we know about in any way we can we are openly allowing for it to continue into the future. We are saying that the lives of those children do not matter and that Kony is right.
News flash everyone...Kony is not right. And though this campaign might not be right either, it's the best we've got for right now. The only way to bring peace to the world is to support it and live it. If everyone did that, we wouldn't be having this argument, Kony wouldn't exist. But since he does, and since so many children knew about him long before two weeks ago when the video was blasted around the Internet, we must do something now that we know. This won't be the end of the fight for justice, but it's a start. If we ever want anything to change, we've got to start making it happen. KONY 2012 is giving us that start.