Kony Crisis Causes Debate

William Brown, Staff Writer/Editor-in-Chief

Jason Russell, organizer of the Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” campaign, posted a video on YouTube in early March asking America for help making Joseph Kony, an African warlord in Uganda, infamous.

Kony is the leader of the LRA, or Lord’s Resistance Army and is responsible for the capture of over 30,000 innocent children. The females are forced into sex slavery, while the males are often forced to mutilate the faces of others and kill their own parents. In October 2011, President Barack Obama sent 100 special operatives into Uganda to train the army fighting against the LRA so they can eventually bring Kony to justice. Russell is trying to let Obama see that the country does care about the capture of Kony and therefore  Obama should keep the troops in Uganda.

“Who are you to end a war?” Russell asked his viewers. “I’m here to ask, Who are you not to?” Russell’s video asked viewers to post on the Internet and put up posters explaining that people can make a difference by raising awareness of Kony. The video went viral on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, as citizens, mostly high school and college students debated the support of “Kony 2012.”

One side of the debate, those against “Kony 2012,” believe that America should be focusing on issues that affect us rather than helping a country with problems not unlike that of other countries.

Also, Invisible Children is under investigation currently due to the numerous rumors stating that the charity only puts 31 percent of profits toward the cause. The charity is also under suspicion by those who ask: “Why is this cause being brought up so many years later?”

The other side of the debate, the supporters of the campaign believe that we have a moral obligation to show outrage even when the atrocious event is not happening in our own country. They believe that the money donated to Invisible Children for the “Kony 2012” campaign is all going directly to the cause.

While those against the campaign keep a “hands-off” stance, supporters donate money and buy things such as posters to hang up around America on what Russell refers to as “Cover the Night.” This event will be held on April 20, 2012; supporters of the campaign will go out at midnight to put up posters that they hope will increase the awareness of Kony when America wakes up the following morning.

Despite many misconceptions and debates, “Kony 2012” has caused much discussion. Whether Invisible Children is a legit organization or not, what really matters is that the youth of the world is talking about human atrocities with outrage while attempting to make a change.