Joseph Kony (UPDATED)

Prior to this morning, I’ve never even heard of this name or the story behind it.

That gradually changed as the tweets started coming @ me. “Jin, check out this video. It’ll blow your mind. #stopkony” 

Being that I am a curious individual by nature, it didn’t take more than three tweets for me to click on the link and watch the video. What video? If you haven’t seen it yet, it can be viewed here.

Little did I know, watching this video would set off a flood of thoughts that I have never explored. It also made me challenge myself to do some serious self evaluation.

Let me start off by saying this. I am by no means an activist by any definition. Do I care about where our society is heading and the well being of my fellow man? Absolutely. I may not be on the front lines fighting for certain universal rights and pouring my blood, sweat and tears into serving the less privileged, but I know in my heart when I feel something is right or wrong.

With that said, I was heartbroken watching the Kony video. I’m sure many of you who have seen it share the same sentiments. Then towards the end, I was inspired. Uplifted. It left me with hope. The notion that an idea can change the world. People are mobilizing. Now is the time. “Order your kit!” “Join our army!” 

I was revved up, ready to sign the pledge and do my part to make sure justice was served.

We need to make sure everyone knows about Joseph Kony and what’s going on. Apparently, the issue raised about there not being enough awareness was not only accurate but the plan to change this was effective too..  Myself being a perfect case study. Kony has been committing all these atrocities and I did not even know of the existence of this individual. Until today.

Then almost like a confirmation, as I was brainstorming the idea of putting together an Invisible Children track, the tweets started coming @ me again. “Jin, you need to do a song for the Invisible Children! #stopkony” 

If this was to be done, I had to make sure I knew as much as I could about what I was supporting so I started looking up as much info as I could online regarding the Invisible Children organization. That’s when things started to get complicated and I had to really assess what it was I was about to do…

Aside from the history of how the organization came to be, I did come across a few pieces that questioned the agenda of not only Invisible Children but organizations of such in general. In the various blogs and articles, the one common point that struck a cord with me was, “Have you ever even been to Uganda? Do you know from a firsthand perspective exactly what’s happening out there? Do you know precisely where and how much of your donations are going to those in need of assistance?” 

In the midst of my eagerness to contribute to the cause, these very practical  and real questions did slip my mind.

There was one article that said, “Look deeper.. don’t be fooled by sensational editing.”  That definitely made me check myself, cause I know as I was watching the video, I was thinking, “This film is amazing.” 

For the record, I am not saying that Invisible Children are what these writers are accusing them to be. In fact, I hope in writing about this personal experience of mine, it creates even more awareness for their movement and what they do.

I only hope to challenge myself and those of you out there who may be in the same boat as me to make sure our decisions and thoughts are consciously our own. You know that old saying our parents use to use when we were kids? “Well, if everyone else jumped off a bridge..” It still applies.

The other thing that’s been on my mind is, yes it’s great to be concerned with what’s going on in the world but to make sure we realize that this is not only happening in one part of the world. What Invisible Children aims to do for the suffering in Uganda is truly inspiring.. but what about the Invisible Children of China who get kidnapped everyday and limbs amputated to become street beggars.. or the young boys and girls in the Phillipines who are constantly forced into the sex labor trade. That’s just to name a few..

Aside from that, I also have to be honest with myself in regards to my lack of knowledge regarding foreign policy and how the gov’t plays a role in the grand scheme of things.

With all this reflection and contemplation, it forced me to take a step back and reconsider my initial idea to write/record an Invisible Children inspired song.

The last thing I wanted to come across as was an opportunist.

Then I thought to myself, if I let my fear of how I could potentially be viewed hinder my decision to take action, what does that ultimately say about my own character?  How strong do I hold to my personal beliefs?

I’m praying about it. Seeking peace. I ask that you all keep me in your prayers as well.

Then again, if it’s in God’s will it’s already done. It’s just a matter of how it unfolds.

For what it’s worth, the track that I’m planning on using has been on loop the whole time I’ve been writing this blog.

UPDATE*

A friend on twitter sent me this official response from IC. Glad to have some light shed on things.

20 comments
  1. pete5354 says: March 7, 201212:21 pm

    Hey Jin, its’ hard to see the links that you post. Your background color, makes it hard to see the links, they dont stand out… so when u say “it can be seen here” – i thought u posted the youtube video,but no video, and i coudlnt see the “here” was underlined, unless i looked reallly close… just giving soem feedback on your site. =D

  2. @mguelmendez says: March 7, 201212:28 pm

    Then I thought to myself, if I let my fear of how I could potentially be viewed hinder my decision to take action, what does that ultimately say about my own character? How strong do I hold to my personal beliefs? – man, thank you for this! self evaluation: On Holy Spirit: On thank you Jesus!

  3. @mguelmendez says: March 7, 201212:45 pm

    guys if you have time, watch Machine Gun Preacher, it’s an inspiring movie. it’s also about a brother trying to save kids from central africa

  4. renee says: March 7, 20123:16 pm

    there’s a bit of info here about the invisible children organization. people hopping on the bandwagon should read this first.

    http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/

  5. bg says: March 7, 20123:34 pm

    I, too am uplifted by your words, “If I let my fear of how I could potentially be viewed hinder my decision to take action, what does that ultimately say about my own character?”

    Jin: I’m not into rap or Jesus, but I still try to listen to your videos and I read your blogs. Why?!
    You may not have the music I like but you have the words that I LOVE!

    Keep going… =)
    Susan (from CA, USA)

  6. Astaire says: March 7, 20124:05 pm

    I think this may be the beginning of something huge. If the world sees what we can change through this then it could explode into more change being made all around the world. For the children everywhere. Sometimes you feel so helpless watching the poor especially if you don’t have a lot of money. This is a way where everyone can take part in some way. I totally related with you when you talked about what about the other children around the world. Justice will come for them all. The world needs unity and I can see this happening through this. No matter your race, religion, status, sex, age etc. I remember my sister Jessica used to go speak at schools a few years back for the Invisible Children she had shirts and everything. I didn’t pay attention to it back then as I should have. And the song was a natural response this morning ‘We are the world” popped into my head. And you automatically start thinking this needs a theme song.. something we can join in together and sing for these invisible children with no voices. Let’s keep spreading the word! Glory to God in the highest.. all good comes from Him.

  7. Gerald Peoples, Jr ~ DJ G says: March 7, 20125:10 pm

    Jin, you are a very thoughtful person. This line of thinking is often in front of me. There are so many injustices to stand for. Certainly, the Word tells us that it is pure to help the widows and the orphans in their distress. May His Spirit guide you to His calling for you, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

  8. admin says: March 7, 20125:22 pm

    Hey pete! thanks for the advice! i’ll be sure to fix the links asap!

    - NEEZY [ mcjin.com admin ]

  9. ms_mui says: March 7, 20125:43 pm

    ‎”If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it.”
    Would pray for the good cause(s).

  10. alikoh says: March 7, 20125:43 pm
  11. mrdizzybubbles says: March 8, 201212:42 am

    I recently stumbled upon the KONY2012 short film and totally appreciate your balanced approach to the issue. I am a bit of a child/youth advocate (which I’d like to add is different from activist) and believe that understanding is just as important as awareness and support. I suppose one of the characteristics of social justice advocacy is that one doesn’t (or can’t) know everything about the issue but once involved, I think it is so important to continually self-educate and support the issue in an informed way. I’m still learning about Kony and trust that it will be a enlightening journey. Best wishes.

  12. mcjin says: March 8, 20125:12 am

    Thank you all for the insight and keeping me in your prayers.

  13. Joel Espada says: March 8, 20126:40 am

    Jin, I believe this has truly been revealed to you through the wisdom of God. I was inspired even as I read it. You bring up a crucial point that many of us fail to see. Thanks for the insight brotha. I pray the Lord leads you in this time & season.
    P.S: We would love for you to come & share one day at the University of Connecticut. Feel free to email me for booking info.
    -Joel Espada

  14. riomuse says: March 8, 201211:23 am

    is everyone just having emotional knee jerk reactions to this, or are they researching it before passing it on? do we even know how current and accurate the information on the video is, or how central african activists who work in that country feel about our feel-good, well intended but ignorant interventions?

    http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2012-03-07-kony-2012-lord-help-us-because-this-campaign-wont-help-anyone

  15. JC says: March 8, 20121:42 pm

    after i watch the video, saw those kids’s body r the true defination of lath, only skin and bones, that shocked, im speechless, i duno what to say, we r all the same, we all hv parents, but the difference is their parents can’t protect them, not even the parents themselves, and i rmb,when Jacob said,
    rather than keeping us here, why not just shoot us,and end our life. talking abt his brother, he couldn’t say any word, he saw his brothe got killed,damn, thats horrible,,jesus, JOSEPH KONY, this ruthless, bloody bastard, let’s make him famous!!!

  16. DJ Cool Waters says: March 8, 20127:03 pm

    Hey Jin,

    If you have a spare few minutes I would really appreciate if you listen to this new song by Franklyn Music ft. Mega – Pray For Them. It’s a response to the KONY2012 promotional campaign. I’ve never met him like I have never met you but I am a huge fan of his music the same way I am of yours and I am sure you will be moved by the song. (LINK BELOW)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4WrmJdK_8Xw

    Grace and peace

  17. attentionpleaseglorytogod says: March 8, 201210:22 pm

    ALL KONY 2012 PEOPLE:

    A “charity” organization that comes out of nowhere to become a worldwide social media phenomenon of dimensions previously unseen? Its 3 CEO’s earn a $90.000 paycheck each? Only 30% of the money collected actually ends up in Uganda? An organization that lobbies for a DIRECT U.S. MILITARY INTERVENTION in an African country where just recently, in 2009, large amounts of oil have been discovered? Their fight needs to be fought quickly and in their video they express the urging desire for everything to go down within this year at best? They cooperate with and support Uganda’s People’s Defence Force, the country’s military that has been proven guilty of the exact same crimes the charge Joseph Kony and his LRA with? An emotional binding orchestration that specifically provokes corporate feeling along with generating a universal concept of enemy?

    And now everybody and their mother is on it? All those people going into a direction that has been chosen and determined from someone at the top. Yet all those people yell: “Look at the direction we are heading towards. That is a direction the people at the top will not like. And those people at the top will learn how many people walk that direction and how powerful we really are!” All those people think they are onto something big but really everybody just does exactly as they should. You do not even notice. And it should scare the shit out of you.

    People always wonder how mass manipulating and the system worked in Germany during its darkest era. This is it. The parallels are obvious. Kony 2012 could as well be called The Wave…

    Joseph Kony is the new Osama bin Laden/Saddam Hussein/Muhammad Gaddafi/Ruhollah Chomeini. An embodiment of evil pulled right from the dump of irrelevance into the spotlight of worldwide media attention to gain the peoples’ legitimization for another military operation.

    Joseph Kony is not and has never been the problem. He is just a product of his environment. An orchestrated chivvy will never be the solution. Actually it rather deflects the real issue.

    Africa suffers from the aftermath of the colonial era and continuous exploitation by the world’s great powers and profit orientated corporations that goes on to this day.

    Why go for Kony as your primary goal?

    Why not go for the big, influential pharmaceutical corporations that refuse to deblock licenses of the most basic, essential medicines so that financially weak countries in Africa can produce these themselves so they can actually afford them?

    Why not go for the big, influential agricultural corporations that refuse to stop genetically manipulating the seeds they sell so they cannot reproduce themselves in order to prevent financially weak countries in Africa to work their way out of dependency?

    Just 2 alternative Ideas. On the African continent, every day there is more people dying because of greed for profit and power interests than Joseph Kony and his LRA could possibly ever get in front of their gun muzzles.

    Can an orchestrated military chivvy chase against Joseph Kony really be the designated goal of an honest working, morally flawless organization that truly works towards the real well-being of the people of Uganda? Do you really wanna be part of this?

    FOLLOWING IS A COLLECTION OF ARTICLES AND SOURCES TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE SUBJECT AND TO VALIDATE ALL THIS INFORMATION. GO AHEAD AN READ AND FORM YOUR OWN OBJECTIVE OPINION. THIS IS JUST TO SPARK THOUGHT.

    Recent developings regarding the oil situation in Uganda:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/2009/dec/02/oil-benefits-rural-uganda

    http://www.busiweek.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2505%3Auganda-will-not-suffer-oil-curse-says-expert&catid=104%3Auganda&Itemid=1364

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/world/africa/uganda-welcomes-oil-but-fears-graft-it-attracts.html

    http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/18504-us-denies-interest-in-uganda-oil.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15645354

    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/uganda-oil-find-stirs-hope-and-conflict/

    Financial Information on Invisible Children & paycheck of their top 3:

    http://www.invisiblechildren.com/financials

    http://c2052482.r82.cf0.rackcdn.com/images/895/original/AR11_small_final2.pdf?1325722694

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

    Allegations regarding the Ugandan Army, called the Uganda People’s Defence Force, UPDF:

    http://www.childsoldiersglobalreport.org/content/uganda

    http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17456%3Aupdf-in-kony-hunt-accused-of-rape-looting&catid=78%3Atopstories&Itemid=116

  18. ATTENTIONPLEASE says: March 9, 201210:59 pm

    http://informationkony2012.tumblr.com KONY INFO. TRUE, OBJECTIVE AND VALIDATED INFORMATION FOR YOU TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON KONY 2012. ALL SOURCES INCLUDED. SPREAD THE LINK. EVERYBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW. FORM YOUR OWN OPINION. LOVE CONQUERS EVERYTHING.

  19. Raeha Butler says: March 10, 20123:49 pm

    When the Kony thing broke out on my Twitter/Facebook it was right before I was about to go to sleep. I saw the vid was 30 minutes and knew that I was too tired to watch at that time so I’d save it for the next day. When I woke up my Twitter/Facebook was plastered with it. Something didn’t feel right in my gut about it. I can’t explain it. Then I too found questionable things about the organization making me feel at ease that my wariness was not uncalled for. I also took the stance that you mentioned. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen in Uganda. There are children all over the world who are forced to do things they should never be made to do whether it be killing, sex, labor – whatever. I’m already supporting an organization that fights this in several countries and I regularly pray for this cause. I believe I’m doing my part that God has given me to do.

  20. Kwinner says: March 31, 20127:11 pm

    Im glad to know your views on this Kony ordeal. Similar to what Timothy deleghetto vlogged about on how u need to do your research before fully committing to support an organization and spreading the word. It’s nice to know people want to be a part of the loop since social media is the best way to spread the word, but are they doing it for the right reasons? I was emotionally touched by the video but I also knew things like this goes on unrecognized all over the world. One step at a time to make the world more aware of the dangers in this generation.

Submit comment