A Few Thoughts On the Kony Viral Whatever, or, Changing Your Facebook Status Catches Dictators!


They say a picture (such as the one above) is worth a thousand words. And yet, few things are as well said as 140 characters of Teju Cole. "The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm."

And hipster white dudes! We must all celebrate the entrenchment of heinous stereotypes because, hey, we didn't know there were child soldiers in Africa. And not just any country in Africa, by the way, but obviously the conditions are exactly the same throughout the whole dark continent.

Creating a false narrative (and therefore a false consciousness) will create lasting barriers to effective action from other individuals and organizations.

And by the way, guys, as Visible Children points out, Invisible Children's finances are public:

Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.

Even Foreign Affairs takes umbrage with IC's myopia, stating that it:

“manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.”

In other words, it's racist.

I leave you with Cole's rather provocative (and infinitely less sarcastic) 7 thoughts on the banality of sentimentality.


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