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by Yvette Carnell
I’m all for a good bit of slacktivism, also known as “raising awareness”, ever now and again. It’s easy, and a good idea, to introduce folks to atrocities halfway across the globe that they wouldn’t have been aware of had it not been for your video or blog.
But, regarding the Kony 2012 video, there was already a fair amount of attention dedicated to the Ugandan guerrilla rebel group Lord’s Resistance, due partly to President Obama’s decision to send troops there a few months back. And we already have actual Ugandan bloggers who are ready and willing to tell their story.
Yourblackworld also reported CNN’s interview with an actual Kony victim, so the question becomes; what is this Kony 2012 charity up to? Why does this charity feel the need to co-opt the voices of Ugandans and filter them through the Kony 2012 medium?
Well, once you investigate the history of the folks behind the Kony 2012 viral video, it becomes apparent that they’re right wing Christian missionaries, and are functioning in that long and tortured tradition of many missionaries to Africa, best profiled in Achebe’s renowned novel, Things Fall Apart.
Here is the head of the Kony 2012 movement, Jason Russell, in his own words, from a speech at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University:
“A lot of people fear Christians, they fear Liberty University, they fear Invisible Children – because they feel like we have an agenda. They see us and they go, “You want me to sign up for something, you want my money. You want, you want me to believe in your God.” And it freaks them out.”
Uh-huh. If I hadn’t attributed the quote beforehand, you could have just as well ascribed it to Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, and that makes a lot of sense considering that the evangelical right wing in this country has ties to the unrest in Uganda.
Remember, it was American right wingers who pushed Ugandans to invoke a law making homosexuality punishable by death. Of course, Uganda lawmakers are getting the bulk of the blame for that wrongheaded legislation, but it was pushed and funded by American right wingers like the Kony 2012 charity heads.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: On issues relating to African affairs, it benefits African Americans to listen to actual Ugandans, Nigerians, Liberians and other black people who actually live on the continent before offering ourselves up ourselves as pawns to imperialist players.
A cursory Google search could’ve provided us with all the information we needed to form an opinion on Kony and his henchmen. Kony 2012 wasn’t necessary then or now.