Today my feed has EXPLODED with this Kony 2012 stuff. Who is Kony? He’s a murderer that runs an organization in Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which kidnaps kids and kills people. The response to this is that we should fight back against him and help save Uganda from the child kidnapper and family murderer. Here’s how to stop him: all you have to do is just donate a few dollars to… Wait a minute!
How the hell are people smart enough to avoid a Craigslist scam asking to help a Nigerian Prince recover his riches, but someone makes a thirty minute high-production video on YouTube and suddenly: SEND ALL THE MONEY! Immediately a few red flags came up on Kony 2012 and most of them were solved in just a few minutes of Google searching and digging.
Is Joseph Kony Even In Uganda?
Nope. Uganda is in a phase of rebuilding. The Kony 2012 video and Invisible Children make it seem that Joseph Kony is a monster ravaging through Northern Uganda as if he were Godzilla stomping through Tokyo. However, a quick fact check has pointed me to this: On July 8th, 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) named Joseph Kony the number one criminal in the world because of his crimes in Uganda. Shortly after the ICC indicted Kony, he fled Uganda and officially has been in hiding since 2006 (Source). Basically, he has since been hiding in a hole like Saddam Hussein and has approximately as much power as Saddam Hussein had while he was living in his hole, next to none. Hold that thought for later.
In short: I’ve just learned that this company “Invisible Children Inc” is lying. They’re making money off a man and a problem based on our ignorance.
Who Are Invisible Children?
Invisible Children is a company that was created by a few college students who travelled to Uganda and made a movie about it. They didn’t travel there looking for a story, they had to make one up as they went. They can be best described in this quote: “Invisible Children is too late. It has taught us that MTV type media can get university students interested in a world crisis, the problem is it took too much time. Night commuting, outlined as one of the major problems in northern Uganda by the film, is practically non-existent now. Why? Peace is coming to the region.” (Source). I’ve also learned that Invisible Children Inc isn’t even accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Susan G. Komen has come under fire for recent decisions that have been made and because their CEO makes millions, regardless they’re accredited because they’re a legitimate charity that helps millions of women. Invisible Children Inc is not accredited, which tells me they may not be a real charity, and that’s a huge red flag.
A little digging has shown me that they are in fact a charity organization and cannot profit, which is nice, except that the organization’s three filmmakers and co-founders receive a combined pay of $223,922 and in addition, Invisible Children holds the following assets: computer equipment ($751,000), transportation equipment ($288,762), video and camera equipment ($177,769), and furniture and fixtures ($45,361). (Source 1)(Source 2). The first source tells us that Invisible Children is very good with their money: Everything checks out and is accounted for, however, they score very low in their Accountability and Transparency. Basically that means they handle their money well, but they may not be doing what we think they should be doing with their money.
In short: Invisible Children has already lied about Joseph Kony being the Godzilla of Uganda, so my belief is that the executives and filmmakers at Invisible Children continue to make movies that are a few years too late and rely on college students and younger people to fund their travels around the world so that each of them can live a very moderate life averaging a little over $80,000/year. In the process, they’ve accrued a great deal of funds to build their movie making and documentary system and in return, all they have to do is build a few schools and buy clothes for people in Uganda with the extra money so not to make it look like it’s a giant scheme.
Are There Bigger Problems Facing Africa?
Yes, lots. The issue with what seems like a vast majority of people these days is that they assume killing the bad guy will lead to prosperity. Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all lost their vicious leaders and we expected them to be fixed by now. Egypt is in a rebuilding phase, Syria is a dump, Afghanistan is still in war, and Iraq is a dump. Saddam Hussein was tried and given capital punishment in 2006: Iraq is still rebuilding from that (hold this thought too). Uganda is in the process of rebuilding which involves needing supplies for schools, education, economy, clean water, heath care and a strong organized government. The people of Uganda need to unite and come together to form one peaceful community, but that is going to take many many years.
In short: Uganda has a lot more than 99 problems and they can’t be solved overnight, and especially not with the arrest and/or assassination of Joseph Kony.
Still holding those Saddam Hussein thoughts from earlier? Here everything will make sense: Joseph Kony left Uganda and is effectively hiding with no power since 2006 and Uganda has been rebuilding since. This means Joseph Kony is basically Uganda’s Saddam Hussein (Saddam hasn’t been in power in Iraq since his death in 2006). Watch what happens when I translate Uganda to have it make sense to uninformed Americans: Invisible Children is telling us that we should make Joseph Kony Saddam Hussein famous in 2012, because Joseph Kony Saddam Hussein is running rampant in Uganda Iraq and is killing innocent children. Saddam Hussein has been dead since 2006, Joseph Kony has been (pretty much) dead since 2006.
Invisible Children is trying to make money from our ignorance based solely on the fact that they’re a relatively small organization and have avoided major public backlash and scrutiny for lying directly to us by flying just under the media radar. However, with this new Kony 2012 effort: I can almost see the future say with confidence that Invisible Children is going to come under major fire for exaggerating the facts and manipulating people in their course for making money.
Do not trust Invisible Children with your money. It’s pretty easy to see that there’s a large amount of evidence pointing to this company being a money making scheme by a few smart men who have been able to dance around the law and media scrutiny.