Although I know the probability of you reading this letter is highly unlikely, Mr. Russell, I feel compelled to write it anyway.
I want to have an open wave of honest communication (even if it is one-sided); and in order for me to do so, I must confess that I have never been a fan of your organization. This feeling is not a new feeling, either.
When I first heard about your organization in 2006 through a friend, I was skeptical about the whole thing.
After doing some research, I found out that I had every right to be skeptical. As others have pointed out, your organization’s financial records and “factual” information presented in the videos you make are sketchy at best and have been so for quite some time.
Still, I watch with fascination as people flock to your organization in droves, convinced that they are raising awareness about a worthy cause.
That’s just it.
They are, for the most part, only raising awareness (and annoying me).
Only a few people will actually do something other than post your video on their Facebook page and change their Facebook timeline cover photo to “KONY 2012,” thinking that it will make a difference because they are raising awareness about an issue.
Many, however, will probably buy that new DVD your organization has released. I hear it comes with a bracelet, like most of the DVDs your organization releases do.
That was the whole point of your “KONY 2012” video though, wasn’t it?
It was not wholly to raise awareness about a warlord whose group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, has not been as violent as they have been in the past. In fact, Joseph Kony and the LRA do not even reside in Uganda anymore.
The main part of the “KONY 2012” viral campaign was to make money.
Surprisingly, that is not what makes me mad.
What truly makes me mad is that your organization does not bring to light the atrocities committed by the Ugandan government and military. President Museveni and his military have killed many Acholi people (Northern Ugandan), and those numbers are equal to or more than the number of deaths Joseph Kony and the LRA are responsible for. That being said, why isn’t President Museveni being mentioned at all by your organization?
Now, I don’t know if you’re aware of this (you’re probably not) but the name “Invisible Children” is very offensive. Whether or not people know about the suffering that has gone on in Uganda, that does not dictate whether they are visible or invisible.
I want to tell you what I think about the “KONY 2012” video. In short, I hate it.
The only bit of information that I received from the thirty agonizing minutes (yes, I watched the entire thing) was that “Kony must be stopped.” I also think that it is extremely oversimplified, as if your target audience is not intelligent enough to understand the message you are trying to convey. More people should be offended by that.
Whatever your intentions are with this video and the ones before it, stopping Joseph Kony will not put an end to the strife in Uganda or other parts of Africa. It does, however, have the potential to spark more violence. It also allows the ongoing atrocities committed by the Ugandan government and military to go unnoticed.
I guess that’s a risk you’re willing to take to sell a few DVDs.