So, apparently, people are getting all up about this Kony 2012 thing. Some because they don’t like what the dude is doing (or did, I’m a little fuzzy as to this Warleader’s status in terms of how active he is. I’ve heard he’s hiding). And then others are upset about how the group trying to get something done about Kony isn’t donating all of their money, or enough money, etc. Not to mention the fact that one of the Head guys apparently had some sort of “incident” which involved him running around in broad daylight in his underwear, screaming, jacking off, and being a wee bit crazy.
Of course, I haven’t seen the video, and I don’t really care how the organization in question spends its money, and I haven’t a clue as to what made that one dude go running around in his tightly-whites. I am not unsympathetic to the plights of those involved in Africa who are the victims of Kony. His deeds are horrific, I am sure.
But how is he any different from the other dozens of warlords in Africa? Why go after him, rather than another. Or why not go after them all, for that matter. The method itself, seems rather inefficient and self-satisfying too. “Let’s make a viral movie and get global opinion to shift enough that the world goes after this guy.”
Or, you know, you could take six months, get a long range rifle, train yourself, then get into Africa and hunt the guy down like you’re Wolverine.
Yes, much of the world would probably frown on this solution, and you’d likely fail and be killed as succeed. But it’s a bit more honest than demanding that someone else go and risk their lives to get rid or Kony. Or drag him before the World Court, which I don’t think has really managed to do anything except fuck up spectacularly. Sure, you can sit there with your movie and say “Look, I am making a difference!”
But are you really? Have you saved a life with that video? Sure, you’ve spread the word about this horror, one of so many horrors that happens in Africa. But while you were making it, watching it, putting it out there, waiting for the “Public” or the “World” to go and do something about it, how many people were raped, tortured, killed, or otherwise harmed? How many of those people could you have saved if instead you had spent that money buying a weapon, that time training with it, and then going there, drawing a line in the earth, putting your life on the line, and saying “Fucking Hell No!”
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there horrified by what I just said there. I don’t really care though. It’s easy to be all righteous and demand people should do something. It’s a lot harder to be the one doing the dirty work.
Then of course, there’s the issue of is it the place of us or the “World” to step in. Because there’s a hell of a lot of hypocrisy there when you start thinking about it. So many who want something done about Kony strike me as the very same people who scream and rail about what a terrible, imperialistic nation America is for running around trying to be the “world police” and interfering with how other countries run themselves. Till something like this happens, then it’s all “OMG, Do Something!” Then, afterwards it’s back to whining about how Evil America or anyone else for doing just that.
Recently, I got out some of my Thor trade paperbacks, set right after Ragnarok or something, and all the Asgardians are dead. Thor is going around bringing them back, and he finds some in Africa, while his human host/partner Donald Blake is working for Doctors Without Borders, helping out with victims of a genocidal campaign. After the obligatory fight (in which Thor handles the enemy handily thanks to being the God of Thunder (duh) he and the Warrior Three who he brought back want to go after the enemy and finish them (the are Asgardians, after all). They are stopped, however, by an older African who is the leader of the people they just protected. He tells them not to, for the enemy will return regardless, and by killing all of those who attacked, they would only cause their brothers and fathers to come seeking more vengeance. And that the problem cannot be solved with violence, but with time, and it certainly cannot be solved by White Men.
Initially when I read that (at much more innocent age) I thought it horribly racist. What color does it matter a person is, if they are there to help. But lately I have come to understand. The problems in Africa are Africa’s problems, and must be solved by Africa. Some might argue that Africa only has these problems because of White people (a horribly naive view of things) but even if that was the case, White people wouldn’t be able to create the solution. And we certainly didn’t create all the tribal racism that exists in Africa. That existed long, long before the “White” man ever showed up there. But we, be we White or just all of the World together, we can’t solve Africa’s problems.* Africa has to solve it’s problems. We can try to help, but in the end we may only slow the inevitable, not stop it.
(*Actually, we can, but that would require a return to Imperialism, where we ruled with an Iron Fist and kept them in line and not killing each other. But people these days find that so horribly disagreeable that they won’t stand for it. So the problems must continue.)