Kony 2012 Controversy

March 8, 2012 by staff 

Kony 2012 Controversy, “Kony 2012,” a YouTube video that has drawn 10 million views and celebrity support this week for advocating action against a Ugandan rebel leader is also drawing controversy from critics who say the video oversimplifies a complicated problem and may not help Uganda at all.

Grant Oyston, a political science student at Acadia University in Canada, wrote on the social media site that the group behind the viral video – Invisible Children – is problematic.

“Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again,” write Oyston, who does not dispute the crimes of rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

He adds, “The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces.”

To prove the point, Oyston links to a photo of the non-profit’s principals, including filmmaker Jason Russell, brandishing weapons with Ugandan army troops.

Oyston also complains that the group targets Kony’s atrocities against children – kidnapping and forcing then to kill and mutilate opponents – while overlooking atrocities committed by the Ugandan army.

Oyston is not the only one with critical voice.

A lengthy piece in Foreign Affairs magazine in November lamented that Invisible Children and other similar groups “have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.”

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One Response to “Kony 2012 Controversy”

  1. Jolie McMillian on March 9th, 2012 1:46 am

    No, he is not portraying this man an “uniquely awful”. My son just showed me this video today. I would suggest this man had a very deep and profound personal experience that has haunted him since. He was compelled to act, and act he has. He has tackled his piece and taken up his cause. If everyone tackled their piece, the world would be a better place would it not? Instead we have those who talk and talk, or write and write and do nothing or lament about how complex it all is, and ultimately they are ineffective. Ask 6M jews what ineffectice critics did for them. I admire his passion. God knows we need more of him, and less of those who find fault with it. I am quite honestly one to take a cynical view or realistic approach to these kinds of things, and I beleive he is doing the right thing.