Controversial issues happen all around the world every single day, but the current movement of KONY 2012 through Invisible Children has climbed to the top of the spotlight and is now THE most trending topic on twitter and Facebook.
I just watched the KONY 2012 video on Tuesday night and over the past few days it has already has over 40 million views. Click here for the video.
I have been a longtime supporter of Invisible Children and have volunteered and fundraised for the organization. Most people I have talked to over the years about IC have supported the movement, and I rarely hear negative comments. So I was literally shocked and devastated that as soon as the KONY 2012 video launched, people came out of nowhere and just started bashing IC without even having legitimate facts about the movement. But what REALLY pissed me off was that Christians on Facebook (yes, my Facebook friends), are not only bashing the movement, but they are getting on their high horses and saying - "preach the gospel, not social justice!"
The whole thing is a hot mess.
All I have been doing over these past few days is trying my best to educate people on this movement. My conversations have been all over the place and it's really exhausting. So I only want to say a few things about IC.
1) IC found its beginnings through 3 college kids roaming around Africa trying to find a good story for a documentary. Was this a form of a "White savior complex?" Most likely. They were young and not highly educated (I think they were finishing up their bachelors degrees). They discover this story of what is happening to these children... interviewing CRYING CHILDREN who had been kidnapped, raped, and forced to kill. What the heck were these guys supposed to do?!
2) So they started a company to MAKE A MOVIE. This was the whole goal - make a short film to take around the world and show everyone a glimpse of what was happening, to raise money for the costs of making a feature length film. From the beginning, every DIME I donated to IC, I knew this is where it was going - TO A MOVIE.
3) Remember those crying children? Well they couldn't just be left alone to fend for themselves in Uganda. The 3 IC guys didn't really know how to run a non-profit for humanitarian reasons... so they stayed mostly in San Diego and then in Uganda to film, while hiring Ugandan nationals to run a company out of Uganda making all the bracelets, purses and fun stuff to create jobs. Along these lines, they also created schools in which over ONE THOUSAND kids are currently receiving an education from. Because there are so many different areas of business now, you can choose to donate directly to whatever cause you wish to donate to.
4) As far as the KONY 2012 campaign goes, I am open to criticisms about that. Not everyone would agree with their tactics and I believe that is fair.
What is not fair is all of these false accusations about money issues and pictures with guns and white savior complex... it's all so unfair in my eyes. I have spent SEVEN years working alongside this company... I KNOW this company... and people who have never even watched the original film are making horrible accusations.
I am really frustrated with this. And I am really frustrated with a lot of Christian reactions to this.
It seems that nothing is ever enough for people.