Have you heard of Joseph Kony?
Ugandan guerrilla group leader Joseph Kony, of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is on the “what’s hot” list in Regina activism and Facebook invite spamming these days, with both “KONY 2012 REGINA” and “KONY 2012: Cover the Night” Facebook events getting hundreds of people in Regina “participating’’ in the affair and supposedly becoming aware of the cause.
“We will be raising not money, but awareness of a world that has become invisible,” states the KONY 2012 Regina Facebook page. People posting on the pages of the two events can be easily grouped into two categories: those who think they’re informed but really aren’t, and – no, I think that covers everyone.
It is hard to find the truth these days. There are supporters out there trying to rally awareness for causes left, right, and centre, every year turning to a new cause that is the thing to raise awareness about. They are the people who tell you the facts, but not all of them. They say that Joseph Kony is a bad man, he must be arrested, he has a reputation of using children as sex slaves and war soldiers, support the cause people, because this is obviously terrible!
There is also the group of people who say, “No, supporting this won’t change anything because Kony hasn’t been in Uganda for six years.” The only reason the Americans want to go there, they purport, is because they discovered a bunch of oil in Uganda and they wish to exploit it.
How are we Canadians supposed to truly know what to believe when it comes to issues like this in places like Uganda and the Congo? The Internet is our No. 1 source of news and information, but anything on the Internet could be posted by anyone. This means that a lot of what we read – yes, even if it’s on Wikipedia – can be thought up by some misinformed, or worse yet half-informed, person spouting words to “rally the people!” and “support the cause!”
It saddens me to know that there is always a hidden agenda. Today’s media is looking for what’s big and fresh and exciting. They keep things conservative yet alluring, and as soon as something is “old news,” well, it’s no longer worth thinking about.
I will say this in particular to this whole KONY 2012 thing: I have a real issue with the “2012” bit. I understand that it’s because this is year we all hope to see Kony brought to justice and because it is in 2012 that he will be arrested and yadda yadda.
However, having 2012 in the title just supports the fact that this is a fad. This is something that we will be interested in for one year (in Regina’s case one night, the “Cover the Night” walk on April 20) and then forget once we turn our heads to the next big monstrosity that is happening elsewhere.
Specifying a date in the title of the cause aids in the bandwagon-hopping mentality, which – when it comes to fighting for a cause – is not better than having no one at all.
So if you haven’t heard of Kony 2012 yet (because you’ve been too busy living under your rock and haven’t checked your Facebook in a month) then I suggest you keep it that way. Do not Google it. Do not talk about it. If you want support this cause, or any other one out there, and donate your money to charities you are free to do as you please. All that I ask is that you fully inform yourself first and know that your money is going where you think it is. I hate to say it, students, but it’s up to you to do your homework.
Cassandra J. Hubich