A. YOU’RE BEING LIED TO IN THE KONY 2012 VIDEO – WHAT THE TRUTH IS & ONE OF THE REASONS WHY YOU’RE BEING LIED TO:
Here is some must reading about Kony 2012, the most popular video on Youtube ever, seen by more than 100 million on the internet.1 The video is actually tricking you into pushing for a solution which will only further harm the people in Africa! This reading will set you straight and explain why you’re being lied to and manipulated with this video, and their follow-up video, Kony 2012 Part II, released today.
First read an article called “The downside of the Kony 2012 video -What Jason did not tell Gavin and his army of invisible children”, at http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/80787. In it you will learn about how the brutal government in Uganda used the hunt for Kony and the LRA as an excuse for the atrocities the Uganda government was committing on its own citizens:
“Young adults recall the time from the mid-90s when most rural residents of the three Acholi districts were forcibly interned in camps – the Government claimed it was to ‘protect’ them from the LRA. But there were allegations of murder, bombing, and burning of entire villages, first to force people into the camps and then to force them to stay put. By 2005, the camp population grew from a few hundred thousand to over 1.8 million in the entire region – which included Teso and Lango – of which over a million were from the three Acholi districts. Comprising practically the entire rural population of the three Acholi districts, they were expected to live on handouts from relief agencies. According to the Government’s own Ministry of Health, the excess mortality rate in these camps was approximately one thousand persons per week – inviting comparisons to the numbers killed by the LRA even in the worst year.”
The article also explains why the Ugandan people themselves do not want what the Kony 2012 video urges – they do not want the U.S. to help the Uganda government with its military:
“[T]he civilian population of the area – trust neither the LRA nor government forces. Sandwiched between the two, civilians need to be rescued from an ongoing military mobilization and offered the hope of a political process.”
The second must-read about Kony 2012, is a three-paragraph excerpt from an article written by a Professor who teaches about Uganda in which he discusses these 3 topics:
1) that the video tricks its viewers into thinking that the U.S. military in Uganda is a good thing
2) what the real problems are now in Uganda
3) what people in the U.S. can do to help the people suffering in Uganda – rather than making their problems worse by seeking continued and further militarization.
Here are those 3 paragraphs:
First, Invisible Children’s campaign [“Invisible Children” are the makers of the Kony videos] is a symptom, not a cause. It is an excuse that the US government has gladly adopted in order to help justify the expansion of their military presence in central Africa. Invisible Children are “useful idiots,” being used by those in the US government who seek to militarize Africa, to send more weapons and military aid to the continent, and to build the power of states that are US allies. The hunt for Joseph Kony is the perfect excuse for this strategy—how often does the US government find millions of young Americans pleading that they intervene militarily in a place rich in oil and other resources? The US government would be pursuing this militarization with or without Invisible Children—Kony 2012 just makes it a little easier. Therefore, it is the militarization we need to worry about, not Invisible Children.
Second, in northern Uganda, people’s lives will be left untouched by this campaign, even if it were to achieve its stated objectives. This is not because all the problems have been resolved in the years since open fighting ended, but because the most serious problems people face today have little to do with Kony. The most pressing are over land. Land speculators and so-called investors, many foreign, in collaboration with the Ugandan government and military, are grabbing the land of the Acholi people in northern Uganda, land that they were forced off of a decade ago when the government herded them into internment camps. Another serious problem for northern Uganda is so-called “nodding disease”—a deadly illness that has broken out among thousands of children who had the bad luck to be born and grow up in the camps, subsisting on relief aid. Indeed, the problems people face today are the legacy of the camps, where over a million Acholi were forced to live, and die, for years by their own government as part of a counterinsurgency that received essential support from the US and from international aid agencies.
Which brings up the question that I am constantly asked in the US: “What can we do?” where “we” tends to mean relatively privileged Americans. In response, and as a contribution to the debate going on in the US about Kony 2012, I have a few proposals. The first, perhaps not surprising from a professor, is to learn. The conflict in northern Uganda and central Africa is complicated, yes—but not impossible to understand. For several years, I have taught an undergraduate class on the conflict, and, although it takes some time and effort, the students end up informed enough to be able to come to their own opinions about what can be done. I am more than happy to share the syllabus with anyone interested! In terms of activism, I think the first step is to re-think the question: instead of asking how the US can intervene in order to solve Africa’s conflicts, we need to ask what we are already doing to cause those conflicts in the first place. How are we, as consumers, contributing to land grabbing and to the wars ravaging this region? How are we, as Americans, allowing our government to militarize Africa as part of its War on Terror and its effort to secure oil resources? These are the questions that those of us who represent Kony 2012’s target audience must ask ourselves, because we are indeed responsible for the conflict in northern Uganda—responsible for helping to cause and prolong it. It is not, however, our responsibility, as Invisible Children encourages us to believe, to try to end the conflict by sending in military force. In our desire to ameliorate suffering, we must not be complicit in making it worse.
Source: Adam Branch on Invisible Children
Here also is an excerpt from the short statement of the “The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars” about Kony 2012, located here http://concernedafricascholars.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ACAS-Central-Africa.pdf :
“[W]e are deeply concerned that the recent campaign in the United States to pursue and arrest Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), could have dangerous unintended consequences. Expanding U.S. military operations with the Ugandan army to capture Kony could increase the militarization of the region and lead to deaths of civilians who are caught in the crossfire or become targets of retaliatory attacks by the LRA, as has occurred in the past. Indeed, the Ugandan army itself has been guilty of atrocities and abuse of civilians.”
See also this article which links to:
“a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.”
Think Twice Before Donating to Kony 2012, the Charitable Meme du Jour
Address : http://jezebel.com/5891269/think-twice-before-donating-to-kony-2012-the-meme-du-jour?popular=true along with it’s follow-up http://jezebel.com/5891605/kony-2012-group-responds-to-increasing-criticism
For more links:
“A special Africa Focus bulletin has pulled together reflections of videos, blog posts, and articles with Ugandan voices and other commentaries. [See here and here.] This record is important in that it gives a comprehensive list of resources so that young students who are organizing rebuttals can find resources to counter the planned April 20 manifestations to support the call for the US military to intervene in Africa.” 2
B. WHO IS BEHIND THIS PARTICULAR DECEPTION-MANIPULATION AND WHY? WHAT ELSE HAVE THEY BEEN UP TO LATELY?
The United States Government, through its State Department, provided training, as you’ll see, to the Invisible Children filmmakers before they made the Kony 2012 film and they’ve been providing training to activists in other countries too. For example, let’s turn for a moment to the training and assistance they gave to the Egyptian activists:
“Not long ago, the State Department created its own group on Facebook called “Alliance of Youth Movements,” a coalition of groups from a dozen countries who use Facebook for political organizing. Last month, they brought an international collection of young online political activists, including one from the April 6 group, as well as Facebook executives and representatives from Google and MTV, to New York for a three-day conference. “
Address : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25bloggers-t.html?_r=1&sq=alliance%20farc&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print
From a New York Times front page story on 4/15/11 entitled
“U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Opposition”:
“[A]s American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab Spring, they are seeing that the United States’s democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.
Address : http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html
From the New York Post discussing the training sessions:
“There was also a panel devoted to “Egypt’s pro-democracy youth movements” and how to advance them with social media. Despite strong US ties with Mubarak, there’s evidence US officials quietly supported the same activists seeking to remove him, the cable shows. . . In 2008, the State Department co-sponsored a youth activist conference that helped organizations use social media to spread opposition across the globe.”
Why, you ask, would the United States Government actually help train Egyptian activists to use Facebook and other social media to help them organize protests to fight for democracy and overthrow a dictator that the United States Government has always supported? You know they’re not similarly supporting or training activists in the “99 Percent-Occupy Wall Street Movement”, who continue to suffer from unwarranted arrests, violence and harassment at the hands of governmental authorities. So you know the United States Government isn’t in a position to teach anybody anything about democracy. Professor Michel Chossudovsky has the answer:
“From Washington’s standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of authoritarian military rulers, as in the heyday of US imperialism. Regime change can be implemented by co-opting political parties, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement, and by manipulating national elections.3
The ultimate objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers and to uphold the “Washington consensus” of the IMF/World Bank economic agenda that has served to impoverish millions throughout the Arab World and beyond.4
Moreover, Western powers have used “Political Islam” –including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups– to pursue their hegemonic objectives. Covert operations are launched to weaken the secular state, foment sectarian violence and create social divisions throughout the Arab World.”5
(Source URL: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27884)
But here’s how U.S. State Department describes it in their own press briefing:
“Also, a foundation will be created called the Alliance of Youth Movements. And a hub, an electronic hub, again, anyone will have access to it around the world. Now, this conference – the entire conference will be streamed by MTV and by Howcast. We are – we at the State Department are one partner. In fact, we take a back seat to what the private sector is doing, which is just fabulous. But we’re happy to have gotten this thing started, at any rate. . . We also – you know, we strongly feel that in the world in which we live today, that we as the State Department can be a facilitator or a convener, but we really can’t serve to actually build these groups ourselves. They would have – they would not have very much in the way of credibility. . . .”
“The summit will also put out a field manual that will provide best practices, videos, and steps for building these kinds of movements.”
Professor Jack Bratich does a very careful examination of this new phenomena, which he calls “Genetically Modified Grassroots Organizations”, or GMGO’s, where the United States, media, both old (MTV, NBC, CNN) and new (Google, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube), and other corporations collude to create these seemingly “grassroots” movements which they can then work to steer for their own ends. I urge you to read it here: http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/tne/pieces/kyber-revolts-egypt-state-friended-media-and-secret-sovereign-networks As Bratich notes in another piece, “these emergent groups are seeded (and their genetic code altered) to control the direction of the movement.” You can see a less-than-7-minute video introduction Bratich gives on the topic here. And for additional details on various corporate and other ties in this project see: “Google’s Revolution Factory” at http://www.infowars.com/googles-revolution-factory/
So, they’ll steer the groups to demand bogus “democracy” rather than to make economic demands, and make sure the replacements to protest targets are friendly to capitalism. The U.S. State Department, corporations, google, the mass media, etc., are all in the mix of what they call their “counter-radicalization” mission – where they pretend that violence is the radicalization they want to counter, whereas it’s really anti-capitalist radicalism they want to stop. In former U.S. State Dept./Now Director of Google Ideas’ own words, which I admit take my breath away, they all need to get together and form initiatives to address this:
“With more than 50 percent of the world’s population under the age of thirty and the vast majority of those characterized as “at risk” either socially, economically, or both, an oversupply exists of young people susceptible to recruitment by the extremist religious or ideological group closest to them in identity or proximity. . .
expected to participate in the Summit, along with more than 200 representatives from civil society organizations, academia, technology companies, victims’ and survivors groups, government, media, and the private sector. They represent a wide spectrum of voices and experiences coming from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the United States, and Europe, including Ireland. . . .
The Dublin conference will explore the reasons former extremists turned to and then away from violence. It will examine ways in which connection technologies—the Internet, mobiles, and tablets—present challenges to stem recruitment and opportunities to tackle the problem of radicalization.
Google Ideas and the Council on Foreign Relations aim to initiate a global conversation on how best to prevent young people from becoming radicalized and how to de-radicalize others who are currently engaged in violent extremism.
The ideas generated at the conference will be included in a study to be published later in the year. In addition to radicalization, Google Ideas is also focused on the role technology plays in fledgling democracies and fragile states.”
See http://www.thinktankedblog.com/think-tanked/2011/03/cfr-jared-cohen-google-ideas-partner-counter-radicalization.html and http://blogs.cfr.org/lindsay/2011/03/21/guest-post-google-ideas-and-council-on-foreign-relations-team-up-on-counter-radicalization/ (emphasis supplied).
How’s everything working out in Egypt by the way? Has the U.S.-nurtured, genetically-modified-grassroots revolution been a success? Depends who you ask. The United States Government would say yes, while the Egyptian people say no.
As Jack Bratich notes about the Egyptian revolution:
“the post Day of Victory turn against protestors by the [U.S. trained] “youth”, the continued reliance on military power to ensure transition, the efforts to censor subsequent street signs are not just betrayals after the fact – they were likely results from the outset”.
The suffering of the people in Egypt has increased, and it appears that the United States’ “most important Arab ally”, the Muslim Brotherhood, with its “business-friendly emphasis on free markets” will be leading the country. (Those two phrase quotes from here and here.)
“Why did we have a revolution? We wanted better living standards, social justice and freedom. Instead, we’re suffering.” The world’s highest youth jobless rate left the Middle East vulnerable to the uprisings that ousted Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and three other leaders in the past year. It has got worse since then. About 1 million Egyptians lost their jobs in 2011 as the economy shrank for the first time in decades. Unemployment in Tunisia, where the revolts began, climbed above 18 percent, the central bank said in January. It was 13 percent in 2010.”
Prior to the revolution, the Egyptian government refused to take U.S.-sanctioned IMF loans, which only wreck country economies further. But now, post “revolution”, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s assistance, there has been an “IMF U-Turn”, as the above linked Businessweek article notes.
About the upcoming Egyptian presidential election:
“On Sunday, speaking on condition of standard diplomatic anonymity, State Department officials said they were untroubled and even optimistic about the Muslim Brotherhood’s reversal of its pledge not to seek the presidency. The Brotherhood’s candidate, Khairat el-Shater, a millionaire businessman considered the most formative influence on the group’s policies, is well known . . . Mr. Shater has met with almost all the senior State Department officials and American lawmakers visiting Cairo. He is in regular contact with the American ambassador, Anne Patterson, as well as the executives of many American companies here.”
Shater is meanwhile “lobbying hard for support of ultraconservative Muslim clerics, promising them a say over legislation in the future to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, as he tries to rally the divided Islamist vote behind him. . . .Giving Muslim clerics a direct say over legislation would be unprecedented in Egypt. . . . But any clerical role would certainly raise a backlash from liberal and moderate Egyptians who already fear Islamists will sharply restrict civil rights as they gain political power after the fall last year of President Hosni Mubarak. . . . Leading clerics with their trademark long, bushy beards and robes have become regular guests on TV talk shows and issue fatwas or religious edicts attacking secularists, saying Christians and women can’t run for president, and calling for greater segregation of the sexes. Al-Shater met for four hours Tuesday night with a panel of Salafi scholars and clerics, called the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reform, trying to win their support. The discussion focused on “the shape of the state and the implementation of Sharia,” the commission said on its Facebook page Wednesday. . . .The promise resembled an item in a 2007 political platform by the Brotherhood, when it was still a banned opposition movement. It called for parliament to consult with a body of clerics on legislation to ensure it aligns with Sharia. The proposal was met with a storm of condemnation at the time, and the Brotherhood backed off of it. . . “
So what does all this have to do with Kony 2012 again??? Well, the Invisible Children “grassroots” filmmakers were also students of the U.S. State Departments’ training, so we’ll more accurately call them a ‘genetically modified grassroots organization’. You can see the Invisible Children organization right on the website the U.S. Government created for this whole ongoing project, which they brazenly chose to call “The Alliance of Youth Movements” at www.movements.org, here at http://www.movements.org/blog/entry/featured-case-study-invisible-children/.
And so what is it about the Kony 2012 film that has the fingerprints of the U.S. State Department’s project on it? Jack Bratich notes that:
“the mobilization for action is one already determined as an instrument for someone else’s goals . . . Youth are dissuaded from seeing in their own neighborhoods and local organizations the opportunity to get involved in street activism and direct action in which they also shape the goals. Instead, they are routed into a heavily pre-organized package, complete with easy heroes/enemies and a game-like scenario. . . Eventually, all public Kony 2012 action is to result in a deferral of action to proper authorities (the NGO Invisible Children, the governments of the US and Uganda). This should come as no surprise, as Invisible Children was one of the first (and highly touted) participants in the US State-Department-facilitated Alliance of Youth Movements, even discussed in State Department staffer [now] Google Ideas executive Jared Cohen’s press conference announcing the Alliance of Youth Movements”.
Source: My Little Kony, Address : http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/13/my-little-kony/print
The Invisible Children Kony filmmakers also received training while in College designed by and for – wait for it – the U.S. military. (On the ‘military’, you’ll recall this quote earlier:
“Invisible Children are “useful idiots,” being used by those in the US government who seek to militarize Africa, to send more weapons and military aid to the continent, and to build the power of states that are US allies. The hunt for Joseph Kony is the perfect excuse for this strategy—how often does the US government find millions of young Americans pleading that they intervene militarily in a place rich in oil and other resources? The US government would be pursuing this militarization with or without Invisible Children—Kony 2012 just makes it a little easier.”)
This U.S. Military college training is discussed in the section below.
C. WHAT’S ANOTHER REASON FOR THE KONY 2012 DECEPTION?
“[O]ne of the objectives of this Kony 2012 video is to experiment with alternatives to the growing political consciousness of the youth in the United States as manifest in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.”
The quote above is from Professor Horace Campbell’s piece “Kony 2012: Militarization And Disinformation Blowback” at
Here are some more excerpts from it:
“I think that it is important to examine the wider context of the ‘invisible hand’ behind the production of Kony2012 and the current campaign calling for a day of Action on April 20. . . [P]lanners of the military information operations have been studying social media and information warfare in order to neutralize the growing opposition to militarism in the United States. This social media event must be examined thoroughly because the Kony2012 video broke records to become the fastest-spreading online video in history. This fact of the breaking of records alone requires deeper understanding. I will argue that the barrage of media coverage which ensured this record was not accidental. The massive promotion of this on-line can now be understood in the wider context of full spectrum warfare in which combat operations are reserved for the last resort. Psychological warfare and disinformation operations are crucial to weaken populations both at home and in ‘enemy’ territory. I am contending that the Kony2012 was a test to intercept the social media capabilities of the youths in the USA in this revolutionary moment. . . [O]ne of the objectives of this Kony 2012 video is to experiment with alternatives to the growing political consciousness of the youth in the United States as manifest in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
Jason Russell, the public face of this ‘non-profit’ organization, Invisible Children, had been trained in the US military sponsored information warfare center at the University of Southern California (USC) called the Institute for Creative technologies (ICT). . . The web site of ICT said explicitly,
“At USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), high-tech tools and classic storytelling come together to pioneer new ways to teach and to train.” . . .ICT was established in 1999 with a multi-year contract from the US Army to explore a powerful question: What would happen if leading technologists in artificial intelligence, graphics, and immersion joined forces with the creative talents of Hollywood and the game industry?“ . . . The University of Southern California nestled close to Hollywood with access to ‘inventive combinations’ has been one of the most successful in this competition for defense dollars and contracts such as that of ICT. . .”
Here’s an excerpt from ICT’s own press release about it:
“Sept.1, 2011 – The Department of Defense announced this week that the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) has been given a contract extension through 2014. The extension allows the Army to fund up to an additional $135 million dollars of research and prototype development over the next three years. . . “ICT brings USC’s computer scientists together with artists, writers and cinematographers, creating compelling and immersive training systems. . . . “This extension is a strong endorsement of the institute’s success in developing immersive technologies that have led to effective prototypes for training, leader development and physical rehabilitation. And the impact has gone beyond the military to society at large.” . . . ICT was founded with an initial five-year contract in 1999 . . .“ICT will be a joint effort of the Army, the entertainment industry and academe – an innovative team to advance dazzling new media and ultimately benefit training and education for everyone in America,” said then-Secretary of the United States Army, Louis Caldera, at the time. . . . “This combination of scientists and storytellers is what makes ICT so unique,” said John Hart, program manager at the U.S. Army’s Simulation and Training Technology Center, which oversees ICT’s Army contract. “We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with USC.”
Source: USC Institute for Creative Technologies Receives $135 Million Contract Extension From U.S. Army | USC Institute for Creative Technologies Address : http://ict.usc.edu/news/item/usc_institute_for_creative_technologies_receives_135_million_contract_exten/
And back to Campbell’s piece:
“Now, the defense planners have upped the ante in an effort to entangle the minds of the young in the United States by the skillful use of social media tools to harness support for US military operations in Central Africa. In the case of the video Invisible Children, we can see the sophisticated interplay of artificial intelligence, graphics and the exploration of new mind games. My own students from the Newhouse School have alerted me to the sophisticated techniques which were being experimented in this video, Kony 2012. Some of the experts in this field of 21st century communications and journalism call this technique ‘flashpublics’. . .
After the successful use of social media by the Obama campaign in 2007-2008 and the impressive networks refined by the April 6 movement of Egypt, long term planners had to experiment with new tools of information warfare. This information ploy against the youth had failed when the Save Darfur campaign was discredited. Books by Mahmood Mamdani such as Saviors and Survivors exposed the real mission of the planners of the Save Darfur Movement.”
[Note that Mahmood Mamdani is also the author of the very first must-read article about the lies in Kony 2012 which I mention at the beginning of this webpage (article at http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/80787 )]
And back again to Campbell:
“Jeremy Keenan exposed the fabrication of terrorism in the Sahara in his book, Dark Sahara. Abdi Samatar has exposed the fabrication of terrorism in Somalia. Peace activists have exposed the role of AFRICOM in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the covert operations now underway. All of these forms of militaristic interventions must be exposed.
It was said then (during the Save Darfur Campaign), as it is being said now, Africa does not need saviors. Africa needs solidarity and for this the peace movement in the USA ought to be at the forefront of exposing the real intent of the manipulation of this video and campaign. . .
Jason Russell in his own words has described his journey from the Institute for Creative Technologies to the formation of the Invisible Children NGO. It is this training that gave this organization the expertise to use film, creativity and social action to mobilize youths in support of the US military in Uganda. . .
With the new uprisings in Africa and the birth of global movements for change, the Invisible Children initiative was an attempt to halt the radicalization of the youth. It is an effort to blunt the growing and deepening anti-war sentiments in the society. In this climate, creating images of white supremacy and saving African lives was meant to harness the energies of millions. . . .
The 20 celebrities and 12 officials who have been targeted by Invisible Children can now make their position clear on the realities of the mindset of the violence which has engulfed Africans at home and abroad. There have been many who have been seduced by the campaigns of the US military. Now, the peace and progressive forces are being called upon to develop another type of storytelling and video game which can assist in the healing of humans.
In this way, there will be a global movement calling for the dismantling of the US Africa command and another force in world politics to channel the energies of the youth away from mind control and subliminal messages.
Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University.”
Source: Kony 2012: Militarization And Disinformation Blowback – OpEd
Address : http://www.eurasiareview.com/22032012-kony-2012-militarization-and-disinformation-blowback-oped/
D. HOW CAN WE AVOID BEING DECEIVED WITH SOPHISTICATED AND SLICKLY CREATED STUFF LIKE THIS KONY VIDEO? HOW CAN PROTEST MOVEMENTS AVOID BEING MANIPULATED BY THE POWERS-THAT-BE?
How can we avoid being deceived with sophisticated and slickly created stuff like these Kony videos?
We can separate the good from the bad. In the good department, this video, for example, reminds others to care about people in the whole world, not just those in their own country. (From the first Kony 2012 video: “We are living in a new world, Facebook world, where 750 million people share ideas, not thinking in borders. It’s a global community, bigger than the U.S.” and from the Kony Part II video released today: “It’s the idea we’re a global community, protecting each other.”) I try to do the same thing on my website’s homepage with my Dr. Martin Luther King Challenge: (Can you take to heart the following words he spoke just four days before he was gunned down? “First, we are challenged to develop a world perspective . . .” at http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.org/about-this-website/dr-kings-sermon-are-we-listening).
The Kony 2012 video also seemingly empowers others to work for a better world, that it’s not impossible: “It’s always been, that the decisions made by the few with the money and the power, dictated the priorities of their government, and the stories in the media. They determined the lives and opportunities of their citizens. But now, there’s something bigger than that. The people of the world see each other. And can protect each other. It’s turning the system upside down, and it changes everything.”
The bad is the characterization of the problems and their solutions, so in the same way that we instinctively judge the credibility of something an acquaintance tells us, we must always be critical readers/viewers/researchers/participants of information in the press and from strangers, always looking for answers to the following questions:
Who is making this statement?
Who is he or she making it for?
Why is this statement being made here, now?
Whom does this statement benefit?
Whom does it harm?
Does the statement and its conclusions make sense, and do they stand up to scrutiny, to your own and others’ research?
I found all the various critiques on Kony 2012 cited above by conducting a search on the internet, something we can do before accepting and passing on, or acting on something.
Of course, be suspicious of statements from the-powers-that-be, be suspicious when the war mongering U.S. government says it’s seeking peace, or when the U.S. government, whose two political parties both support just the 1%, says its promoting democracy. Be suspicious of genetically modified grassroots organizations – which the corporate mainstream press will advise are “spontaneous” and “from the people”, and knowing this, will remind you to check on the true nature of their “grassroots” bona fides and their proclaimed goals.
Look at the actions and past history, not just the words, to judge anyone or anything, and their past credibility or lack thereof (whether it be a news report, a Government statement, or a video from regular guys).
Remember fake opposition, the infiltration of opposition-protest and other movements, has been and will always be a tactic of the powers-that-be & certainly they will use and even create and promote social media and other technologies to assist with it. It doesn’t mean we can’t use their tools to fight them. Let them be the tools of their own destruction.