Our View: Yes, we can
Last week, you probably didn’t know who Joseph Kony was. You probably didn’t know why Invisible Children, Inc. would ever want to “make him famous” this year.
But now, after one 30-minute viral video and more than 71 million hits from video-sharing sites across the Internet, it’s tough to find anyone who isn’t aware of the name. Celebrities have endorsed the campaign. Facebook feeds are clogged with bright red campaign posters of a donkey and an elephant overlapping in a political Venn diagram: a plea for our nation’s leaders to get along, just this once, even if it’s only for this cause.
It’s official: Kony 2012 has trended into a worldwide issue.
And with such movements that explode with popularity — the Tea Party and Occupy movements come to mind — so comes the criticism of the activists. The signs of self-destruction are already there: The Huffington Post reported last Thursday a list of common complaints the organization has endured from poor spending practices to posing with guns, to encouraging colonialism.
While we want these criticisms to be examined closer, we cannot let our own personal problems and politics affect the possible good we could be doing for children who are obviously suffering.
People are quick to dismiss recent movements that are driven primarily by social media sites, but we can’t understand why. No, pitting the Kony campaign poster as your Facebook profile picture doesn’t do much for the kids in Africa. But it does a hell of a lot more than it did 10 years ago. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t even have heard of the name Joseph Kony. And now you know. And now what are you going to do about it?
Our ability to organize social movements, aided by technology, is at an all-time high. It’s an ideal time to actually follow through with bringing a human rights violator to justice. So instead of making it about the organization, the video and the talking heads, instead of letting apathy take over once again, let’s put the children at the center of the issue.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.