When I shared the Invisible Children’s now-viral Kony 2012 video on the blog this morning, I had no idea it would be so controversial. At first I was surprised, then frustrated, then—after hearing from so many of you—strangely encouraged by the fact that we’re actually getting passionate and worked up about something that matters!
If you haven’t already heard, the charity Invisible Children launched a campaign this week to make Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) famous. By making Kony famous, they hope to mobilize millions to pressure Washington to continue assisting the Ugandan government in their efforts to hunt down and arrest Kony for his war crimes against children.
It was Invisible Children that first made me aware of the plight of child soldiers around the world, and so I’ve always been sympathetic to their cause. However, some have raised legitimate concerns about Invisible Children’s strategy and finances, suggesting that IC may do more to hurt the situation than help it.
This is an important conversation to have, and I’m convinced we can have it without questioning one another’s motives or resorting to personal attacks. I think it’s safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of those who have devoted their time and money to trying to help families suffering injustice have done so out of compassion and a sincere desire to help. We can’t let naivety on the one hand or cynicism on the other prevent us from seeking a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
So with that in mind, here are some of the most helpful resources shared by readers on Twitter, Facebook, and the blog.
I’ll be updating this as new ones come in, so be sure to check back.
The New York Times: Topics/Archives, “Lord’s Resistance Army”
The Washington Post: “Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army: A Primer”
The New York Times: Video, “On the Hunt for Joseph Kony”
Foreign Affairs: “Obama Takes on the LRA” (this artcle includes one of the earliest criticisms of IC)
Christianity Today - "Deliver Us From Joseph Kony"
TED: Chimamanda Adichie, "The danger of a single story"
From Invisible Children...
Jolly Grace Okot Andruvile (Ugandan Country Director for IC) - "To Critics of Kony 2012"
Critiques & Responses...
David Sangokoya (Nigerian American aid worker) – “Selling Old Newspapers Shouldn’t Be Profitable”
Solome Lemma (Innovate Africa) – “You Don’t Have My Vote”
Justice In Conflict – “Taking Kony 2012 Down a Notch” and “Kony 2012: The Invisible Children Advocacy Campaign to Catch Kony”
Joshua Keating (Foreign Policy Magazine) - “Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and other complicated things”
Angelo Izama - “Invisible Children’s Campaign of Infamy”
Musa Okwonga - “Stop Kony, yes. But don’t stop asking questions”
Dianna Anderson - "On Kony 2012 and Thinking Critically"
Rosebell Kagumire - "My Response to KONY 2012"
Matthew Paul Turner - "About Kony 2012..."
Think Progress - "A Partial Defense Of Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 Campaign"
Scot Edwards (Amesty International) - "#Kony2012 and the Warping Logic of Atrocity" *NEW*
Michael Deibert - "How Invisible Children's Kony 2012 Video Will Hurt - And How You Can Help - Central Africa" *NEW*
Washington Post: “Invisible Children Responds to Criticism About ‘Stop Kony’ Campaign"
Christianity Today: Why Joseph Kony is Trending
The Telegraph: "Joseph Kony 2012: growing outrage in Uganda over film"
Charity Watch – “The Best Ways to Assist in Providing Emergency Relief in Uganda”
When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert
(Note: I’ve not yet read this book, but it comes highly recommended by folks I respect)
From the Blog...
“Poverty Tourism, Poverty Elitism, and Grace” (seems relevant)
And we've been discussing the issue over on my Facebook Page as well
I'll continue updating this page, so check back for new information. (I'll indicate which articles are new.)
What are your thoughts on Kony 2012 and Invisible Children?