After watching KONY 2012, I immediately was moved and inspired to act. It is certainly easy to get swept up in the cries of “stop Kony” (which I certainly agree with) without completely thinking through the issue. If we truly want to protect lives and restore stability in this area (as the article I have linked to at the end of this post points out) it will take far more then simply bringing Joseph Kony to justice; it will take large scale involvement in the region. I am in no way saying we should not condemn Kony, but once Kony is gone, then what? There will certainly be others to take his place. If we want peace, we can’t stop at Kony. In order for us to truly make a difference, we can not, must not, let this become a simple fad, a buzzword that quickly burns itself out. In order to truly make a difference there must be sacrifice and commitment. If we are truly commited to not just removing Kony, but removing all tyrants in the region and bringing freedom to these unfortunate victims of madmen, by all means, let us do it and Godspeed our efforts. But we must not make the mistake of getting rid of one tyrant, then proceed to turn a blind eye to another regime that may follow. The Invisible Children organization is certainly a just cause, but their solution is shortsighted. By propping up a Ugandan military guilty of atrocities itself, simply eliminating Kony would do little to effectively end the genocide. Solving the problem can only be done with full scale involvement, and a complete reshaping of the region’s governing system (Think Iraq).
If we are truly to make a lasting impact for justice, we must follow our beliefs to their logical conclusions. If we take out Kony, we must also commit ourselves to stabilizing the entire region with a governing entity that respects its people. And if we commit to fighting social injustice across the ocean, we must also commit to fighting social injustice at home. It all comes down to whether we have the strength and fortitude to follow through on our words. Actions speak louder than words, and public opinion and hype is fickle, so let’s make sure that when we push “share” after watching “KONY 2012” we are not simply doing it as a part of a greater fad, but that we are making a statement that we are commited to righting wrongs, no matter what form they may take, and that we have the strength and perseverance to see it through to the end. So a word of warning to both those who mock the Stop Kony craze, and those who immediately jumped on board the bandwagon. It is right to speak out against injustice, but it is also important to consider the implications of our actions. We must look before we leap. Are we solving the problem? What will it take to solve this? What is the root cause of the conflict?
William Wilberforce’s efforts to abolish slavery in England only came to fruition when he was on his deathbed, after a life’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears. Keep that in mind as you read the following article and watch the Stop Kony movement. We must not speak out because it is convenient, but because we are convicted. Let us make sure that we will not stop at sharing the link and be satisfied with just eliminating Kony, and doing little to truly solve the problem, but let us shake the very foundations of fear and evil to their core. If we will act, let us act decisively and justly.