my thoughts about KONY

Thursday, March 8, 2012
I’ve been wanting to write and felt so void of words. Finally a topic has presented itself that I cannot stand silent on. I offer no solution...only thoughts.

If you are on facebook you have already seen it. It’s taking social media by storm and millions of people will know who he is in little time. Even if they never watch the video.

While the KONY 2012 campaign has exploded the last few days several people are challenging the idea (though not really opposing, who could?). I must say that I agree with some of their concerns.

The financing is somewhat of a joke to me…many people are claiming that Invisible Children doesn’t have open or accountable records and therefore you shouldn’t given them your money. Most of the world lives on dollars a day, so if you want to give your dollars to this cause I think that’s great. Americans have more money than they know what to do with. Enough said.

The issue that really confuses and frustrates me once again is our American elitists attitude. IC needs to recognize that we MUST empower the African people to promote and produce justice & integrity in their leadership and social structure. We cannot do this for them. I don’t know how we do this exactly. But recognizing them for starters would help.

“…though President Museveni must be integral to any solution to this problem, I didn’t hear him mentioned once in the 30-minute video. I thought that this was a crucial omission. Invisible Children asked viewers to seek the engagement of American policymakers and celebrities, but – and this is a major red flag – it didn’t introduce them to the many Northern Ugandans already doing fantastic work both in their local communities and in the diaspora. It didn’t ask its viewers to seek diplomatic pressure on President Museveni’s administration….

And as far as President Museveni is concerned, my thoughts are these: if thousands of British children were being kidnapped from their towns each year and recruited into an army, you can bet that David Cameron would be facing some very, very serious questions in the Commons. You can bet that he would be grilled on why, years after the conflict began, there were still about a million of his citizens slowly dying in squalor in ill-equipped refugee camps. You can also bet that, after twenty-odd years of this happening on his watch, he wouldn’t still be running the country.”

This is what I’m talking about!? Instead of sending American troupes to hunt through the African bush when they probably don’t even know which snakes are poisonous, why aren’t we encouraging Ugandan leadership to do more. To be more.

Let me stop here and say that I am outraged that Kony continues on. I remember seeing the first IC video sitting on a floor with 30+ college students eight years ago and being completely outraged. If given the chance I would myself take a gun to Kony’s head but I cannot tell you how much I would rather hand the gun to a Ugandan. One who has lived in fear for decades. One who might have killed his own parents under Kony’s command. One whose face is now mutilated. We cannot understand or relate to this. And we are na├»ve if we even try.

This worries me even more…

“…the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter.

Amercian intervention isn’t always all “Tears of the Sun.” There are consequences and we must remember that! If Kony begins to feel more pressure from the USA I can’t imagine how things might change for his child army.

The problem with all these words is that I offer little solution. I am not saying that we shouldn’t support Invisible Children. I think that we should. However I don’t support the idea of sending Americans to Uganda or elsewhere to “fix things” and I wish that rather than trying to get in touch with Ryan Seacrest we were finding ways to support the struggling leadership in Eastern Africa.

As with most issues of injustice we can’t attack them guns blazing with tunnel vision. There is always more to consider. Especially when anything African is involved. Any amount of time spent on that continent will teach you that life isn’t and never was the way it is in the United States. We must support, promote and empower African people to have the courage to continue doing the right things.

Left Behind.

Monday, February 20, 2012
Last week I received an email from Save a Child's Heart, an NGO working in Haiti out of Israel. I had been in contact with them in October of 2010 as you can see below. According to the emails my friend Kensia will finally be receiving a life-saving heart surgery. I was under the impression that the entire case had been dropped with no one to follow up. I was wrong.

From: Jessica Scott
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2010 10:52 PM
To: Save a Childs Heart
Subject: Child in Haiti needing treatment

Hello Dawn,

My name is Jessica and I am a Registered Nurse currently working in Port-au-Prince, Haiti following the earthquake in January. I am an American here for 6 months helping to reorganize a hospital. I have come across a 15 year old girl named Kensia. She was evaluated by a retired Cardiothoracic surgeon volunteering here last month and has been determined to need an aortic valve replacement. I am not very experienced with hearts but here are some of his notes...

I have been looking for an organization such as yours for several weeks now and I wondered if this specific case is the kind of thing you take on. From what I have read and seen there is no heart surgery in Haiti at this time, so I have been seeking options in the US, Dominican, and elsewhere.

Thank you so much for your time,
Jessica Scott, RN
Hopital Adventiste de Haiti

On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 7:16 AM, Astrid Celestin wrote: you were cced.

Dear Dawn,

Below please find original email where you referred us Kensia.

Jessica, in the meantime, we obtained visas for Kensia and her mother, they should be traveling at the end of this month. The surgery is paid for...

Astrid and Emmeline

Praise God.