I recently asked a friend of mine here if she had seen “that” video. It was my own mistake, asking her a completely nondescript question. I easily could have meant any of those “Shit People Say” videos, but she knew right away, without any further iteration, that I was inquiring about the “Kony 2012” video.
On March 5, the “Kony 2012” YouTube video went viral. Every second, hordes of new people shared or liked the link. Along with the assumed majority of the Facebook population, I had never heard the name Joseph Kony before, nor was I aware of the atrocities occurring in Africa.
And in case you still don’t know, Joseph Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. The LRA abducts children from their homes and uses them to kill their own people, including family members.
Recently, Invisible Children, a controversial “non-profit” organization set out to stop the LRA, has been trying to gather much more publicity for its cause. Invisible Children’s 30-minute video, narrated by co-founder Jason Russell, was undoubtedly heart-wrenching.
And although I was moved by the video, people’s adamant reposting of it was terribly aggravating.
As if by clicking the “like” button, the whole world automatically becomes knowledgeable about the LRA, and then by clicking “attending” to “Cover the Night on April 20th,” all is solved and the horrible Joseph Kony is dead. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works.
Simply pushing an electronic button does not prove your dedication to an organization or its goals, and it certainly does not prove any comprehension of the matter.
Negligence of current events as a college student is inexcusable, but to blindly support something because of a 30-minute tear-jerking film is just plain shameful.
There’s no arguing it, it’s a challenge to keep up with our constantly changing world. BBC News is set as my homepage, yet every day I find myself clicking Twitter or Facebook before BBC even has a chance to load. But if you’re going to superficially support a cause, at least do a little research on some non-social networking sites first.
The problem with so hastily jumping on a seemingly great organization’s bandwagon is that no one takes a look at its background information or questions the character of its founders.
Yes, I am referring to Jason Russell, proud co-founder of Invisible Children, having a naked fit in public.
On Thursday, March 15, Jason Russell was seen running through the streets of San Diego in just his underwear. He was screaming, pounding the ground with his fists and, as a few witnesses reported, masturbating.
Russell was arrested on the scene and brought to a hospital. He has no pending charges.
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition … The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday,” said Ben Keesey, the CEO of Invisible Children.
Not only does what Jason Russell did — for whatever reasons — make me averse to Invisible Children, but the fact that its CEO thinks that such behavior is at all excusable is very off-putting.
From the beginning, the massive influx of support for the video made me uncomfortable and wary about its credibility, but now I am positive that I will not be clicking its “like” button.