Wednesday, March 7, 2012

No one is going to read this

I don't get too political very often. I hope this "Kony 2012" movement actually works. I really do.

So lots of people are talking about Joseph Kony today. Well, they've been talking about him for longer than that, but I just found out about him today. And I'll be honest, I finally watched the video because two of the celebrities I follow on instagram posted something about him. Don't know who Joseph Kony is? Here's my own personal recap of what I have found out:
  • Joseph Kony is a rebel fighter in Uganda. He is supported by no one. He doesn't have much purpose besides just having power. He's gone into peace talks a bunch of times, but then goes back to violence. 
  • Kony kidnaps kids from their villages at night. He tuns the girls into prostitute slaves, and the boys into children soldiers. He makes them mutilate other children's faces, makes them kill their parents, and then they become his soldiers.
  • He's been doing all of this since the 80s.
  • The USA doesn't do anything because there's no direct (or even indirect) threat to our country. It's just senseless violence and the killing, rape, and mistreatment of non-american men, women, and children. Mostly children. Like 30,000 children.
    • Well, the USA did do a little. Some ambassadors from the army were sent to help look for him. 
    • But because Kony doesn't threaten us directly, if there's not a reason to continue to look for and arrest Kony, and the money, resources, and technology needed to arrest him won't be used.
  • That shit should stop.
I want to try to gather and share some of the thoughts that came to me after having watched this video. I agree with that last bullet there. When you watch the movie, it may seem a little dramatic, but think of all those kids that he has turned into monsters. It's nuts. It's not overly dramatic. It is really that intense.

I also think it's great that something is being done! In a situation where the normal people see tragedy and evil, and they found a way to actually make a difference. I can share this on facebook, and while I usually make cynical remarks about supporting a cause on facebook, the whole point is to just have it talked about. If it is still in the public eye, the politicians who can do something about it will keep doing something about it. It feels like a big "we the people" moment, and it made that cynic inside me shut up for a while, and be excited that something could be done.

Then, that cynic started sneaking its way out again. Why can't we do this about issues facing america? Why can we all rally around this idea and make it better? I guess it's because the outcome we want for "Kony 2012" is pretty cut and dry. No one can seem to agree on how to rally around our issues at home. Feeding the hungry and housing the homeless, let's say. Oh, let's just go CRAZY on talking about food stamps, shall we? Should there be drug tests? Shouldn't anyone, even if they are unfortunate enough to be a drug addict, be able to eat? Aren't the homeless just lazy people who won't take a job at McDonald's? Why should MY tax dollars go to help people who do drugs and are lazy? Why SHOULDN'T my tax dollars go to help them? Who else will help them? Doesn't improving those people improve society as a whole?

Then, I start to think why I'm not an activist about anything. Why I don't dive deep into the issues. Because deep down, I don't think I can really make a difference. If I vote democrat in Utah, does that even matter? If I vote republican, does that even matter? If I don't vote at all, does that EVEN FREAKING MATTER? All politicians are made from bags of dirt and lies. As prim and proper as they look in a suit and tie or pant suit and heels, they're going to disappoint, come short of promises, and the end result--no matter who it is or what party he or she is from--will be about the same. Some things fixed here, others worsened there. Some left alone, and others dealt with. The political party only changes which batch of things go in which pile. But this movement... can it really mean I could actually help something?

Maybe it's because Uganda and the Invisible Children are so far away. Maybe because kids are dying and we all know that's inherently wrong, so that's why we can rally around it. If it were happening at home, we might see things differently, or just differently enough to form two large opinions--parties, if you will--and debate the best way to go about it, and how to spend the money. But as cynical as I might get, or as much as I've been let down by politics and politicians in the past, I want this to work. 

Catch that sonofabitch. Hold him accountable for murders, assaults, rapes, prostitution, slavery, and crimes against humanity. Because if we all didn't talk about it, no one would care, and nothing would be done. And if something CAN be done, and we do something about it, maybe we can do more. Maybe we can do more at home, even if we can't always agree on exactly how to go about it.


Hayley said...

it is disturbing. as a parent now, i really am horrified at the idea of children being forced to do these things.

i think this video will help raise awareness & hopefully inspire someone to do something.

Chelsea said...

Garrett! I did exactly the same thing after watching that video. It is disgusting and horrifying what is going on over there. And I was all ready to buy the kit and get the posters and all that. And I am like you when I believe in the causes but don't really do anything about them-especially with voting (you nailed my thought process exactly!) Then my friend posted this article on FB.

So I don't know what to think or do again. I want to believe that people are just generally good and wanting to do good in the world. And I want to be supportive of getting rid of evil. But then I read something like that and wonder if it is just another kind of evil. This is why I don't like to get involved in politics or hot button issues. I am too easily confused or swayed. Even while watching Ally McBeal that is completely fake and for entertainment only...every time I hear a closing argument, I agree with it. Then change my opinion after hearing the next. Blargh. I am just a fence sitter through and through.

Alls I know is Kony DOES need to be stopped and probably tortured in various and sundry ways. But how to go about it? I don't know.

garrett said...

Hey Chelsea, thanks for the comment! So, in response to the critiques of the Invisible Children organization, they responded directly themselves:

To respond quickly to some of the critiques, the photo of the organizers--while real--was staged, they have to work with the Ugandan government because there aren't really other strong governments to work with, they have their financial reports audited and on display, and they're not registered with the BB because their board only has 4 members, and not 5.

As for catching Kony being like killing Osama Bin Ladin, and the LRA will still exist without him, that is a concern I have, too. Even while watching that video, I looked at the number 2 guy on the International Crime Court's list, and he was some one in Uganda. Maybe they can get a couple of these guys together if they get Kony? And the goal isn't to kill him. It's to capture him, try him, and make him an example that crimes against humanity can actually be punished.

But I hope what I looked at is right. I took a look at their financials, and I don't know how to read them exactly, but it looks like only 12% really goes to the salaries of the guys in charge... I hope the rest is going to the actual cause.

Chelsea said...

Thanks for that Garrett! It makes me feel better about being a follower. :) Haha. I am working on forming my own opinions. Just not there yet...or am I? What do you think? ;)