To start: No. I have not watched the Kony 2012 video produced by Invisible Children. Just like I have not seen The Help or The Blind Side.
And I’m not going to.
Because all three of those films include a very large dose of the “white savior complex” and I won’t be part of it.
It’s not that I am not worried about children in Uganda, or poor “ghetto” children who play football, or what may or may not have happened in the 1960s. It’s that I don’t think throwing money at a situation I know nothing about (and can’t learn in 30 minutes) is going to do any good. Especially when only about 32% of it is actually going to the cause.
And I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way, check out the Kony 2012 – A Different Perspective page to find links to other thoughts on the campaign.
Enough on Kony for a moment, we have bigger things in North Carolina to worry about. Like the Amendment that’s on the May ballot (in exactly 2 months) that threatens to upend the rights of any non-married relationship.
Why do I not see more action about that from the folks in NC?
Pay attention people!
We have a local issue…that we can do something about…right now…that does not (necessarily) involve money.
If you want to drop everything and spend a week (or a year) learning all about Uganda (and all the other countries the LRA has spread to), that’s fine. But don’t pretend that you’re going to make a difference by watching a 30 minute video, crying a bit, and sharing the video with a million of your friends.
Instead, take 10 minutes to learn about the proposed amendment, then sign up to volunteer to help with the campaign. Let’s see here, in the 30 minutes you spent watching the Kony video, you could have:
- educated yourself about this local issue that presents a serious problem to ALL N.C. families;
- called 3 people, informed them about the harms of the amendment, and asked them to vote against it on May 8;
- had an in-depth conversation with one person who could then spread the “vote against” message;
- placed a yard sign (or 10) in your front yard.
I believe there is a place for “armchair activism,” but not when it comes at the expense of local issues that matter.
When people in America have equal rights, equal economic opportunities, and an equal chance to get ahead in American society, then and only then do we have time to watch a 30 minute video on the problems in other countries presented through a Western, white lens. Until then, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work right here.