Invisible Children’s newest film: MOVE
click here if you haven’t seen the video, or, just to watch it again.
I admit, I had no clue who the Invisible Children organization were until the KONY 2012 video was released in March. I’ve been supportive since. And I further admit that I’m a bit of a “clicktovist”, because I really didn’t know what else to do. I blogged, shared, tweeted; I defended and advocated. I showed up for Cover the Night on April 20th; the Facebook event for our closest city had 400+ people “showing up”. It was just me and one other person. We still went out and put up what we had. When I got to college, though, I found a little piece of Invisible Children on my own campus. Some of them have been roadies, and one even worked at the HQ during the highest points of the movement this past spring. As an aspiring photojournalist, I am so moved by the message of advocacy this latest video had sparked. We’re just a bunch of kids. We don’t have much money to donate, or political influence. We cannot just strap on a gun and go fly to Uganda and find Joseph Kony ourselves. But we still care. We still care after the video, after the “hype”, after the skepticism. This is still going on. This still matters. The people of America have the ability to turn away and go back to their everyday lives, carry on, and forget. We have the ability to shut it all off. But we also have the ability to do something about it; to spark action, to stop this war, to bring this hanis murderer to justice. Instead, most people have been using their power of social media to be negative. In the days immediately following the KONY 2012 video, this power truly was at its best. We saw pieces of this positive influence and unity during the Arab Spring–we tweeted, we shared, we reached out. But for KONY, everything quickly turned to harsh criticism, to the point where the negativity caused the director of the video to have a nervous breakdown (a very public, and even more negative effect).
One of the advisors for a group I started in high school is a Facebook friend of mine, now that I’ve graduated. He has always been known for his sass, but lately it’s been a bit much. I had posted a bulletin for collecting donations to a pregnancy center, and he was the first to make a very judgmental and insensitive comment. When I posted the new film, MOVE, he struck again; “You know KONY was a complete scam, right?”. If he had taken the mere 31 minutes to watch the video before using his social media power for evil, he would have saved himself a Facebook friend. It’s like he sees me as the uninformed one, that suddenly he’s an expert for being a critic of the one video he saw. Instead of informing himself, he had made up his mind. Instead of easing these doubts by watching the video, which addresses the controversy directly, he chose to be inactive to the cause and only active in putting supporters down. They worked on this cause for TEN YEARS; who would put their blood, sweat, tears, and passion into a movement for ten years, just to scam people? I personally know individuals who have worked for the organization; they are not fake. These are real people. Jacob, the Ugandan who sparked this passion for Creative Director Jason Russell, is not a liar. Who would make up such tragedy? How can you deny a war that tore apart an entire country, and is now spreading to the surrounding areas? This is no scam. I kept the comment, deleted the “friend”, and posted the video again. And again. And every day since.
The other response to the video that stands out to me is a message I received shortly after this. From my brother.
Now, there’s some things you might want to know about my brother and me. We are polar opposites when it comes to our views; politically, religiously and socially. We can never get through a discussion without it turning to an argument that goes terribly wrong. We’re both strong headed, which really doesn’t help the issue. So you can clearly guess what I expected when I saw his name pop up in my inbox.
I almost cried. And I never cry. First off, he confessed that he didn’t know much about the Invisible Children cause; first miracle. Fighting misinformed is completely foolish, and for him to admit this is shocking to me. Second miracle: He says he believes I am a good person, that is supporting a cause because I believe it is good. Why is this a miracle? Well, our most recent argument was at my grandmother’s, where I told her for the first time that I didn’t believe in God. My brother was there, and fueled the fire by saying that he went to church to show he’s a good person, and asked me (condescendingly) what makes me a good person if I don’t go to church. Apparently, the response “my good actions” was not valid for this “good Catholic”. So for him to admit I am a good person is astounding. He goes on to sympathize with the ridicule I’m receiving for supporting Invisible Children, by comparing the criticism of IC to the ridicule he gets for his religion (I am certainly guilty of this ridicule…). He ends his message with some motivational support; miracle #3: “The point of all this is just me letting you know that there are many people who choose to have faith in something even when it seems like the majority of people tell them otherwise. You do this because you know good will come out of it, and you hope that it will all be worth it in the end. If you’ve found faith in some organization and that makes you happy, I’m glad.” How encouraging; my brother actually being happy for me. But I think miracle #4 hit the spot. The previous miracles were miracles because I already knew them, he has just never admitted them. But lately, I’ve been questioning a lot about my future, so miracle #4 was painfully relevant: “I just personally think you’re destined for even greater things.”
I didn’t expect an emotional confidence boost, and I have yet to respond to his message because I can’t quite come up with what to say. But if I can get my own stubborn, conservative, arrogant, close-minded brother to back me up on this, it has to be something worth fighting for.
I see it this way: If someone in America were to walk into a classroom and shoot the teacher, rape the girls, and give guns to the boys, we would NEVER give up the search, even if they went into hiding. We would want to bring them to JUSTICE. Just because they don’t repeat a crime doesn’t mean they are not held accountable for it. Kony didn’t stop at one. He didn’t stop at 10. He didn’t stop at 10,000. He’s still out there. This is not over.
Let us help end this war, end this fear, end these crimes, and bring Joseph Kony to justice. Please watch the new film linked at the beginning of this post, and if you can, join us in DC on November 17th.
photo credit: blog.invisiblechildren.com
Please take a moment to read the words of fellow BU Invisible Children, here.