Oh America: Kony 2012 and Invisible Children

March 11, 2012
Alrighty ye young crazy kids!  There have been many a rumor and fact and rumor and tweets and blogs and fb posts about this Kony 2012 and Invisible Children.  I am very passionate about Invisible Children, yes, the non-profit organization, and their work in Central Africa.  I am also very passionate about corruption in America.  This leaves me at a dilema! 
So.  I did my research.  Again.  and again.  and again. 
I have studied the financials from Invisible Children (the reports they posted and the reports others have posted).  I have talked to my friends who have worked for Invisible Children.  I have talked to some classmates who hate Invisible Children.  I have googled, tweeted, fb’d, and newspapered it up.  So.  Here is what I have discovered, here are my thoughts.  Agree/disagree, hate me, punch me, whatever.  This is what I’ve found:
1. First and foremost people need to know: Joseph Kony is not living in Uganda but he is still in Africa and still abducting children.  This is perhaps the most important fact. He is still in #1 on the ICC’s most wanted list.  Many people online are getting confused by this.  Personally I don’t think this is the recent viral IC movie’s fault… I think it is a lack of research by the average American.  Joseph Kony is still in Central Africa.  He is still head of the LRA. They are still abducting children.  Ok. 
2.  Without Invisible Children you have no Kony 2012.  You have no voice for these children.  You have no 100 troops in Uganda (non-combat troops might I add), you have no Kony 2012 advocacy.  Ok.  So let me say this again.  WITHOUT INVISIBLE CHILDREN YOU HAVE NO KONY 2012.  I have been slightly bothered by the people saying “I’m all about getting rid of the scum bag Kony, but I
HATE Invisible Children”.  Without Invisible Children I’d say about 95% of the people in America who hate Joseph Kony don’t even know who Joseph Kony is. 
3.  The financials are sketchy….I’ll admit it.  I really can’t find anything clear on this stuff.  I have looked at IC reports, I’ve read news reports, and I’ve read gov. reports.  The 30% rumor of how much they donate however seems to be the most misquoted fact however.  They do donate 30ish percent to the ground, but another 30ish percent goes to awareness and activists.  So that’s over 60% to the cause. So here’s what it comes down to: no not all their money goes straight to the ground in Africa.  BUT their founders make no more than $89,000 a year….Just throwing that out there.  So while perhaps not all their money is going to the ground, the founders are not like our friends on Wallstreet who pocket millions a year in bonuses alone.
4.  Just because the LRA and Joseph Kony have been slowed down and as many children aren’t being abducted doesn’t mean that we should stop fighting for them.  Really?  Well only 3,400 children were abducted in the last 5 years instead of the usual 5,000 so I’m not going to help.  Might I add that the crisis trackers put in place by Invisible Children has helped significantly with the decrease in abductions? 
5. Invisible Children should be given some credit for their CRAZY success of their video and campaign.  No matter your feelings on IC organization.. come on.  56,000,000 views on a video in just a few days?  Historically that is insane!  The FB posts, tweets, and blogs written world wide were astounding.  Trending a topic that went from nothing to everything in 2 days is impressive.  They are some of the most successful advertisers in the history of the word.  Give them that even if you hate their guts. 
Alright.  So those are some things I have found and studied.  They probably won’t sway you either way… but thought I’d mention them. 
In my opinion:
People keep criticizing this campaign…
“There’s problems in America! Why don’t we fix them?”
“There are bigger problems to worry about than some guy in Africa.”
 “This has been happening forever, who cares?”
“Who the crap is this Kony guy? I DON’T CARE!”
Yup.  Those would all be things that I’ve heard in the last few days.  Well.  Yes, there are many problems in America and the world.  Perhaps there are even bigger conflicts in the world than this one in Central Africa.  The problem has been happening for a long time.  BUT.  Why are we hating on a good cause?  Why not help these kids?  Why not stop a brutal murderer and terrorist?  If ten houses were on fire and we only had enough water for three would we not put any of them out because we couldn’t put all of them out? 
The founders of Invisible Children found a terrible problem and have desired to fix it.  So why not let them?  Why not support them?  Why not help them in leaving this world better than they found it?  African problems do need African solutions.  I’m not saying sending hundreds and hundreds of American troops in is the answer.  I’m not saying that having our government intervene is the answer.  I’m saying that if a group of Americans have found a group of people who can use the world’s help… and are helping them…. then why not let them? 
For my last argument… I am a huge sports fan.  Anyone who knows me knows I love the Utah Jazz more than most things.  I love college sports and compete in college athletics.  I love the NBA, NFL, MLB… whatever it is, I will watch it.  These ‘professional’ sports players get paid MILLIONS of dollars every year.  Three days ago the NBA fined Kobe Bryant $40,000 for missing a charity event.  I wish I had $40,000 to throw away.  Kobe Bryant is throwing tens of thousands of dollars in the toilet because he doesn’t want to spend five hours talking to some kids…. 
And here we are throwing a hissy-fit at Invisible Children because they are trying to stop one of the world’s worst war criminals and are making a living to provide for their families.  Dang capitalists!  Dribbling a ball making 3 times as much money as the whole NPO Invisible Children is definitely more contributory to the world.  Definitely.  
So all in all: I support Kony 2012, I support Invisible Children’s cause, and I am still a Utah Jazz fan.  I have issues.  There you have it folks.  
Here’s some links of my research both for and against IC:
Kobe Bryant(that one’s on that dang Kobe feller)

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