Kony 2012. The words, the video and even the dialogue have blasted the Internet on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube over the last week. Images of child soldiers and heartbreaking stories of kidnappings, murder, mutilation and sex slaves came pouring out.
The video “KONY 2012,” put out by the non-profit organization, Invisible Children, has created a lot of chatter throughout the Internet, and in turn they have received a lot of donations, supposedly going towards saving these children.
The same organization is also putting together kits with wristbands and posters, so supporters can show their support and fight back against Kony, the warlord.
The first wave on the Internet produced a sea of sympathizers, anxious to raise awareness and encourage continued support for the US troop assistance in Uganda.
The video has also spurred events like “Cover the Night” on April 20. And even UVU is putting on a Stop Kony event on March 29.
But in the days following the spike in web traffic, concerns and questions about where the donations given to Invisible Children are going, and whether purchasing a wristband and posting on Facebook will really end the violence.
On top of the financial concerns, the real question is whether white America is really the best group to tell this story, and whether America even understands this story.
While all over Twitter hashtags of #stopkony or #invisiblechildren have popped up, many of those posting and obsessing are what one tweeter calls, “guilty white America.”
One Ugandan blogger, Rosebell Kagumire, took the Internet to respond to the video and to help tell the story that white America doesn’t understand, or rather, can’t understand. Kagumire wanted to detail the problems with this video. The purpose of the video, Kagumire points out, was difficult to pinpoint at first, and isn’t even current. Kony is no longer in Uganda and the situation is much improved since the video was made six years ago.
The other problem, she stated, is that this is an example of “an outsider trying to rescue African children.”
And while the violence described in the Kony 2012 video is horrific, it’s not their story to tell.
“How you tell the story of Africans is much more important than what the story actually is, because if you are showing me as voiceless, hopeless, you have no space telling my story,” Kagumire said.