KONY 2012: The Time is Now

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created with the mission “…to advance and disseminate knowledge about this unprecedented tragedy; to preserve the memory of those who suffered; and to encourage its visitors to reflect upon the moral and spiritual questions raised by the events of the Holocaust as well as their own responsibilities as citizens of democracy.” [1]  While the Holocaust Museum’s main goal is to teach about the Holocaust, it was also created to be an institution that stands against contemporary genocide; initiating change, and alerting the American population to acts of inhumanity taking place around the world.

KONY 2012 is a documentary video created by the activist group, Invisible Children.  The video brings to light the issue of the children soldiers in Uganda who were kidnapped by a man named Joseph Kony, and forced to fight in his army, known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, or the LRA.  To date, Joseph Kony has kidnapped more than 30,000 children who he uses as both soldiers and sex slaves. [2]

Told from the point of view of a former LRA child soldier names Jacob, and film director Jason Russel’s son, Gavin, the video seeks to make Joseph Kony known to the world.  Through the use of Facebook, the video’s goal was to reach 500,000 people, but after only two days on the web, reached over 3.5 million.  That number has continued to grow as more and more people become aware of not only the video, but of the genocide taking place with Ugandan children. [3]

I was unaware of the severity of the situation in Uganda.  I had been introduced to the concept of children soldiers previously, mainly through the medium of pop culture, such as the television show “Law & Order:  SVU,” when one of their episodes revolved around the suffering of children soldiers who had escaped and immigrated to America.  Other than that one episode, I have not seen anything that relayed information on the ongoing war overseas.  It was therefore not surprising to me to learn that millions of other Americans were also unaware of the genocide and acts of inhumanity taking place in Uganda.  The mission of the Invisible Children is to alert the world into action, to gain knowledge of the situation, so these acts can be stopped, and Joseph Kony can be captured at last.

The Holocaust happened because the world was unaware of the death and genocide that took place in Germany and Poland, and because those who did know, turned a blind eye to the suffering and death around them.  The world was shocked when the camps were discovered by Allied troops in Europe, but by then it was far too late, and six million were dead.  KONY 2012 and Invisible Children aim to prevent these same massacres from happening, by showing the world through a medium that reaches everyone, the Internet.  Their mission is one and the same with that of the Holocaust Museum, to continue to be a standing force against acts of inhumanity, and to let the world know that these acts will not be tolerated.

[1] The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://www.ushmm.org/museum/mission. March 15, 2012.

[2] Invisible Children.  http://www.invisiblechildren.com. March 15, 2012.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Images By:  Invisible Children

One thought on “KONY 2012: The Time is Now

  1. While I am ecstatic that this film is driving more and more individuals to become civically aware global citizens and I completely agree that Joseph Kony needs to be brought to justice, I feel that the Kony 2012 video and the Invisible Children group are oversimplifying a very complex issue. I totally understand the energized, emotional reaction to the video and I was definitely whipped into a frenzy when I first saw it. I think that a little more investigation is necessary, however, to understand the many issues that complicate politics and violence in Central Africa. There is a great blog article from a journalist at the Guardian here: http://ow.ly/9FRkY

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