Thursday, March 08, 2012

What you need to know about Kony 2012

A few friends have sent me links to the Kony 2012 campaign, and I gave in and watched the video late last night.  It's difficult to disagree with its aims.  It's also difficult as an armchair marketer not to see the genius in the video as a propaganda tool and all the hooks they plant for people to participate and act.  Here are two links that say it better than I could -

ForeignPolicy: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
FindWhatWorks: Kony 2012: history, nuance, and advocacy’s Golden Rule

I would add that one thing that often bothers me about these campaigns, particularly evident at the beginning of this video, is the "rich white man comes to save poor suffering black people" theme that reeks of self righteousness but also condescension.  Otherwise, for all the criticisms of spending, if enough awareness is generated to get rid of men like Joseph Kony, it's probably money well spent.  I won't be donating to the cause though I support it and while I would gather there are better more efficient ways to spend the money, there are certainly worse (RED campaign).

Also here: The Worst Killer of Invisible Children is Not Joseph Kony (GiveWell, h/t Beata). While I'm sympathetic to their argument, I think it's a mistake much like it is to dismiss September 11 relative to all the deaths from *insert cause here*. That said, malaria is also another senseless killer whose enablers are among us (

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