Then it went viral. (57,733,541 views at this exact moment of writing).
Then you had an inner struggle, torn between guilt for having been “duped” for liking the video and anger at Invisible Children’s “mistruths.”
Now my two cents.
Yes, it was over-indulgent. Yes, it was slightly cheesy.
But feeling compassion for something, should never be considered “jumping on the bandwagon.” Nobody is claiming to know the in’s and out’s of Uganda and it’s army, by feeling compassion or reposting the video.
Cynics claim to “think twice before donating to Kony 2012.” I certainly don’t claim to know all the answers, however, criticism and not donating are also not contributing to the resolve.
On the matter of donating, yes, I do believe one should first research what their money is going towards, for any charity. When I watched this video, I heard them say I could donate. I heard them say I could buy bracelets and posters, etc. But what I heard louder than that was, be informed, spread the word.
I don’t see the problem with their desire to want everyone to know who Joseph Kony is. This is a group of people following their convictions and trying to do something good for humanity; trying to help other people. Why must that always be met by such harsh criticism.
The organization, Invisible Children, has been criticized for their finances, critics stating “Only 32% went to direct services, with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.” (check link above for citation)
Invisible Children responds.
Perhaps 32% is a bit low, however an organization on that level, can’t run for free. People must be paid for their time. Travel and transport is necessary when traveling between continents. And then there’s film production. If anyone knows anything about film, is that it’s not cheap. Creating films, like the one you saw, takes money. If that short film hadn’t been made, the world would continue on, most people unaware of the issue. Spending the money directly to the cause, or using some finances to increase awareness for the cause. A catch 22 perhaps, but necessary to get the word out in my opinion.
What it comes down to, is why must we all find fault in others for trying to do good? I may not know everything there is to know about Invisible Children and its founders, I may not know everything about Uganda and the LRA. But I do know that the video made an impact in many people’s hearts and there is no reason for such criticism towards compassion.