Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughts on Kony

Here are two articles (below) I found that have a more "balanced" view of things. Back in grad school, when I heard about Invisible Children, I felt a little something fishy about it - i knew it was important be informed about certain causes, but the way this organization was doing it did not seem to hit at root causes - nor did it seem to be done in a way that seemed.... right. In other words, it felt emotionally manipulative.

Believe me, after I came back from the West Bank, I had all the gumption in the world to start a campaign like this. However, wisdom (and God) would say to not act rashly, but to wait, plead with God, and humbly acknowledge that there is more going on than you could ever be aware of. Not that you shouldn't be responsible for knowledge you now have, however.

Another thing that rubbed me the wrong way about the whole "justice/injustice" language and movement that has been so prevalent in America's youth is how it focuses (and demands) our energy on causes far away, and seems to excuse or not call to mind the even greater command from the Lord to love our neighbor HERE, where we are placed. Not that we shouldn't be drawn to certain causes we feel strongly about or feel called specifically to work toward.... But that our greatest commands are to love God, and love our neighbor. Especially those we come in contact with on a daily basis.

And below is what my maid of honor, Cecilia said:

Africans, in this telling, are helpless victims, and Westerners are the heroes. It's part of a long tradition of Western advocacy that has, for centuries, adopted some form of white man's burden, treating African people as cared for only to the extent that Westerners care, their problems solvable only to the extent that Westerners solve them, and surely damned unless we can save them.
The Atlantic covers news and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the official site of The Atlantic Magazine.
· · · 8 hours ago ·
  • You and 3 others like this.
    • Sarah J Baumgarten Abuhl Cecilia, read some of the comments to the article. I agree that this author has a point. However, the critics of his article certainly do, too. I'm not sure this is such a black and white issue (pun intended) as people want to make it seem. I'm grateful for the campaign since I and many others had never heard of this guy before.
      8 hours ago ·
    • Cecilia Collins I agree that credit is due for raising awareness in an unprecedented way, and it's certainly impossible for us to be aware of everything, everywhere. But the LRA is a decades old problem, so it's worthwhile to ask ourselves why we in the west care now? Why must we validate our consumeristic sense, of which I'm as culpable as the next person, to deal with the problem? See article, etc.
      7 hours ago · · 1

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