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Senior Research Paper

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Shelby Johns

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Senior Research Paper

Shelby Johns Was Kony 2012 a Scam? Preface In 2012 there was a YouTube phenomenon called Kony 2012. The video begins with how the world has changed because of technology. With many people accessing the internet, we can share our personal lives with the world making us closer than ever. The video was emotional showing the director’s personal life and family. He talks about how his son made him look at the world differently and how he wants to leave the world a much better place for future generations.
The video goes into detail, mentioning Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA, in Uganda. He kidnaps children and forces them to be child soldiers. Kony is considered the world’s worst killer but Congress did not want to get involved. As more people were aware of Joseph Kony’s crimes against humanity, Congress began to act. While Kony has not been stopped, the director's empowering words encouraged more people to get involved. He emphasizes that the more people care, the more Congress will pay attention.
The director's goal was to make Joseph Kony infamous but he was criticized for pro war stance. I heard about how the video was a scam but had no knowledge of the details. Reconsidering the video now, I realize how naive I was to believe it. I never looked up any facts and believed what I saw. Now I am beginning to understand that while the internet brings us together, it also makes it more difficult to find the truth. Background Continued While the video is empowering, it is also a brilliant use of propaganda and the connections to the viewer provide a strong opinion but does not state the whole truth. Jason Russell, as the director, uses ethos, logos, and pathos to capture the attention of his viewers. He twists words making Kony seem more powerful than he actually is. His organization, the Invisible Children Inc. only gives a small percentage of its earnings to the direct cause. Looking into these facts more deeply shows how Kony 2012 could be a scam.
Jason Russell uses ethos connotation making him seem like a credible resource because of his knowledge about Kony even though he is biased since he is the director of the film and is recorded to earn over 90 thousand dollars a year. Secondly, he uses logic when he asks his son, Gavin, what he thinks we should do, making it seem like the answer is simple. He also uses his son to capture an emotional connection to viewers. Impacted Person Jason Russell is a co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Invisible Children Inc. He is married to Danica and has two children, Gavin and Everley. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California's film school with a degree in Cinema Production. His first film was Roseline: The story of an AIDs victim, he later filmed/produced 5 other films Together We Are Free, The Rescue, Tony along with Kony 2012 and the Invisible Children Inc.’s new movie Move.
In late 2003 a group traveled to Africa to film. In northern Uganda, they found out about the LRA and saw how it affected children’s daily lives. Coming back to America they started their nonprofit organization. He was shocked that the world was completely unaware of the dangers in Uganda, he began to spread awareness by creating videos and using the internet to send their message to as many people as possible. His nonprofit organization for Invisible Children Inc. was the better part of invisible for almost 6 years.
While a great spokesperson, Jason is known for his radical ways. His movement to help the invisible children in Africa is also his only source of income. He currently earns over ninety thousand dollars a year from the nonprofit organization. While most people believe the money earned from his organization is going to good use, in reality most goes towards salaries and filming production while only thirty one percent goes directly to the cause. Response Kony 2012 was almost a one hit wonder. It took the Invisible Children’s Inc. eleven videos to capture my attention but I forgot their message in a matter of months. I heard about a scam calling the video a fake but never took time to find more information. Re-watching the video brought back the memories that there are problems in the world that no one in America notices or is aware of; however, I do not want to be fooled into something untrue.
Kony 2012’s video impacts me emotionally by the hardships that young children have to go through. Through the entire video, I saw a harsh view of what Uganda was supposedly going through. Russell and his team spent many years in Africa making videos which made him a credible resource; however, they mainly filmed before 2003.
The LRA formed in 1987 and by 1992 Joseph Kony's forces may have gotten as high as one hundred thousand child soldiers. Invisible Children’s Inc. formed in 2004, when Kony’s forces are said to have dropped dramatically to only four hundred. With his forces shrinking and rumors of him being dead for almost five years, how is the LRA as important as Al-Qaida and other groups who affect the entire world?
Although I believe Joseph Kony should be captured and the LRA should be stopped, the LRA is not the only group who has captured many innocent victims. Making a dramatic video to capture Joseph Kony is not going to solve all our problems but it could be a place we can start. Work Cited In northern Uganda, Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s resistance army, says that his action of killing thousands of innocent Africans was “in the name of Christianity”. He started his small army by kidnaping children, killing their parents, and making the boys into hardened soldiers and the girls into sex slaves. Even though he was at the top of the International Criminal Court's list of killers, the government would not take action stopping these crimes. A group of people started an organization called “Invisible Children Inc.”.
They chose to make videos to raise awareness about Joseph Kony. A total of ten videos had been produced with very little results. Finally their eleventh video got everyone's attention, making Joseph Kony infamous. The video is very impacting and caught many viewers attention. Jason Russell, one of the organization's co-founders has had an amazing influence on the people who have watched the video as he talks about his personal life and experiences filming in Uganda. One child, Jacob, impacted him the most. Jacob was once a child soldier for Kony but escaped. Jacob says that he has no hope and would rather die than continue his daily routine worrying about when he will be captured again.
For eight years, the U.S. Congress refused to act because they did not want to get involved with foreign policy when our financial interests are in jeopardy. Finally Congress took action for the first time because the Americans insisted. President Obama sent a small group of soldiers to help the Ugandan Army capture Joseph Kony. Important Events 1978 2012 2004 Joseph Kony formed the United Holy Salvation Army claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. It is now known as the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Since 1987, Kony is believed to have captured between 60 thousand and 100 thousand child soldiers. He believes he is a “spokesperson for god” while most say his crimes are against humanity. 2005 On July 8th, 2005, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant to arrest Joseph Kony. Although he is wanted for his war crimes, he has not been caught. On June 21st, 2007, the first Invisible Children’s video was posted but received little attention. They started traveling to schools around the U.S. to expose the LRA and its crimes. The students and younger generations had a large emotional response and wanted to take action against Kony. After traveling to Uganda Jason Russell co-founded Invisible Children Inc. in 2004 to have the children’s message heard. His group went to Washington D.C to inform Congress about the growing problems in Uganda. Every senator and congressman they asked said that America will not get involved with foreign policy when our financial interests are at stake. 2007 2011 On October 14, 2011, the government sent a small group of soldiers to Uganda to help train and search for Kony.
On December 2, 2011, a 14 year old boy soldier says that Joseph Kony knows the United States' plan and has changed his tactics to avoid being captured, which makes it even more difficult for the Ugandan army to capture him. 2010 The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act was enacted by congress in 2010. It was promoted by the Obama administration that made it American policy to kill or capture Joseph Kony and to end the Lord's Resistance Army. On March 5, 2012, the eleventh video was posted called Kony 2012. It currently has over 94 million views using celebrities and policy makers to make Joseph Kony infamous and forced people to pay attention. Their focus was to cover the U.S. on April 20, 2012 with Kony 2012 posters all over the country showing that we care and will help create justice. Only a few days later, the Kony 2012 video got criticism saying that they twisted the truth to get attention and now has been forgotten. Although President Obama has been accused that his decision to send the assistance was a reward for Ugandan assistance in Somalia, human rights advocates report that both the Ugandan and Sudan’s Army have exploited children as soldiers. Some criticize Congress’s decision to provide military support and funding for armies accused of using child soldiers when they are fighting to stop Kony’s soldiers. The Ugandan government claimed that the LRA has reduced its numbers to a thousand soldiers but other sources have claimed the estimate is 3 thousand. The government also claims that the LRA has continued to decrease to four hundred by 2011. Interview with Gary Johns Tagxedo Kony 2012 claims the money goes toward children providing them with hope but only 31 percent of the company’s earnings go to Ugandan children. Most of the money goes toward salaries and the filming production. The money is not being spent wisely,instead of using it to stop Kony it is used to deal with the aftermath.
With Kony avoiding being caught, there are not a lot of recent facts about him. Most of what has been spread is by word of mouth. While some say his groups are growing, people who live Uganda say Kony has been dead for 5 years and there are more important matters at stake. Kony has moved his forces out of Uganda and into other countries. Now Uganda is more worried about Al-Qaida and their president who is claimed to have child slaves so the question is should we even be looking for Joseph Kony and if so are we looking and helping in the right place? Table of Contents: Preface.................................................4



Important Events...............................10

Impacted Person................................21



Work Cited..........................................24 JOHNSON, SCOTT. "The Hunt For Kony." Newsweek 159.17/18 (2012): 36. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.
Karlin, Beth, and Richard A. Matthew. "Kony 2012 And The Mediatization Of Child Soldiers." Peace Review 24.3 (2012): 255-261. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.
"The Kony 2012 Documentary: An Avant-garde Approach to Justice - Part 2." LRA: A Regional Strategy beyond Killing Kony. [Nairobi]: International Crisis Group, 2010. Print.
O'Dowd, John. The Amazing Story of the Kony 2012 Phenomenon. [S.l.]: J. O'Dowd, 2012. Print
Rice, Xan. "We Are Killing In The Light Of God." New Statesman 138.4973 (2009): 28. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
"UGANDA: Kony 2012." Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social & Cultural Series 49.3 (2012): 19208B-19211C. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.
YouTube. YouTube. YouTube, 05 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc>.
Polity.org.za. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://www.polity.org.za/article/the-kony-2012-documentary-an-avant-garde-approach-to-justice---part-2-2012-11-26>. Kony 2012 Is a Social Media Case Study. 2012. Photograph. Http://notothequo.com/kony-2012-social-media-case-study-stats-and-insights/, Blog, Social Media. 2012. Photograph. Why We Should Take Heart From the Backlash Against Kony2012. Apr. 2012. Web. Dec. 2012. <http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/why-we-should-take-heart-from-the-backlash-against-kony2012/254231/>. 2012. Photograph. Cover the Night. Mar. 2012. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. <http://vibewire.org/?s=kony+2012>. Photograph. The 2012 Time 100 Poll. Apr. 2012. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2107952_2107953_2109983,00.html>. Photograph. Kony 2012 Cover the Night in Hamton. Apr. 2012. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. <http://canadianawareness.org/2012/04/kony-2012-cover-the-night-in-hamilton/>. 1.What do you think of when you hear “Kony 2012”?
“I have not seen their videos but I know the some of what went on.”
2.Do you think it was brilliant propaganda or a complete scam?
“I believe it had intentioned to be propaganda against Joseph Kony.”
3.Is 31% of the money collected from the Invisible Children’s corporation enough to go directly to the children in Uganda?
“No, I think that in any not profit organization should give more than 50 percent to the direct cause.”
4.Since the LRA is out of Uganda, should the money go to another country instead? If so, which country?
“Wherever the LRA is most prevalent to help the children”
5.Do you believe that Kony is dead?
“I have no information that leads me to believe that he is dead. In other words, he probably is still alive.”
6.Most of the money earned was spent for advertising and promoting Kony, why do you think so?
“I think they did that to advance their cause. By that I mean they spend their money promoting of the video to make people aware.” 7.They have produced twelve different videos, why do you think this one had the most views?
“I think that they spent more money promoting this than any of the others.”
8.Why do you think the phenomenon stopped?
“Our culture in America has become indifferent to many causes and the election pulled away most viewers.”
9.Do you think it will keep going?
“I think someone else will attempt it again to draw attention to him but if not Kony some other dictator. So the answer is yes.”
10.Why do you think people believed them so easily?
“The subject matter is the children and when the children are not being treated fairly it draws a lot of attention.”
11.Should people still give to this organization?
“That is a decision that person needs to decide their selves.
12.Should people still worry about Kony?
“If he is alive yes but in the same vain, if it’s not Kony it will be someone else.”
13.Should America continue to contribute to helping the Ugandan Army?
“If Kony is not in Uganda, the answer is no. We should help other countries.”
14.Do you think Kony will be stopped?
“Yes eventually. I think evil is its own worst enemy.
15.How long will it take?
“I have no idea. Years probably.”
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