Critics rally against charity behind Kony campaign


If you haven’t heard of Joseph Rao Kony by now, you probably will soon. An online campaign to make the alleged war criminal “famous” has gone viral in a big way. Invisible Children, a non-profit group dedicated to helping children in war-torn and impoverished areas, made a video calling for the Ugandan warlord and leader of the Christian fundamentalist Lord’s Resistance Army to be brought to justice. It’s received more than 7 million hits on YouTube so far. On Twitter, #StopKony has been trending worldwide, and celebrities like Justin Bieber and Rihanna have helped spread the word.

And why not hop on board? As leader of the LRA in Uganda for the past two decades, Kony is allegedly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, the abduction and killing of children, and—perhaps most infamously—for brainwashing and recruiting child soldiers.

But, as The Guardian reported Thursday, some people are raising concerns about the charity behind the campaign. Chris Blattman, a Yale University professor, has criticized the organization for promoting campaigns that are “inherently naive” in their language that aims at “saving” children in Africa. He says this “hints uncomfortably at “the White Man’s Burden,” referring the patronizing term used to justify European imperial exploits in Africa and Asia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Others have pointed out that the Kony2012 campaign encourages Western forces to cooperate with the Ugandan army in bringing Kony to justice without acknowledging that military’s record of human rights abuses. “We have documented numerous cases in which they’ve been involved in torture and arbitrary arrests, as well as a score of killings of unarmed protesters and bystanders during political demonstrations in the past three years,” Maria Burnett, Human Rights Watch’s Africa division senior researcher, told The Guardian.

Is it fair to criticize the campaign for failing to grasp the complexities of the region’s political and social realities? Might some detractors feel differently if Kim Kardashian wasn’t on board?

Sadly, the answer is maybe.

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Critics rally against charity behind Kony campaign

  1. Who cares.. stop this son of a bitch! KONY is a Monster and will be dealt with not only in this life but the next..

  2. I expected more from this article. I feel like they are reaching. 

  3. I am already sick of this “campaign” and “charity”, which spends more money on half house emotional exploitation than actual care. Interpool has already been after this guy for years, and if he’s gone another will surely take his place.

    We need to put in place measures to rescue those who are currently child soldiers, prevent more from becoming so, and stopping the influence of the LRA.
    There are so many facets to this problem and this proposes a simple solution, it’s never that easy.

  4. yeah lets stop this ass

  5. I guess the Yale professor thinks it’s only morally acceptable to help people with the same skin colour as yourself.  

  6. why does the video have so much illuminati symbolism in it?  
    kony 2012=manufacturing consent for war

  7. I am a little confused why you label the Lord’s Resistance Army as “Christian fundamentalist”. There’s nothing Christian about murder or kidnapping and raping children. As someone who has traveled to Northern Uganda and interviewed those who have lived through his reign – no one deludes themselves that religion has anything to do with his actions. 

  8. God forbid that someone cooperate with an abusive dictator’s army to battle another despot.  Only morally bankrupt organizations like the US and Canadian governments do things like that.