Kony 2012 ignites armchair activism

By: Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor
Activism has always been a part of human nature. Whether righting a wrong, helping someone or raising money for a worthwhile cause, there is always something for those who want to be involved. By definition, “activism” is the intentional effort to promote, impede or direct change, and comes in many forms ranging from letters written to Congress members to rallies and marches. Then, there is the trend of “bandwagon activism” or being apart of something simply because it’s big and cool, and “armchair activism,” or being a part of a cause strictly through technological means. 
One recent example is the “Kony 2012” campaign, to make Joseph Kony, a name already infamous in many parts of the world, well-known in order to raise awareness to the cause. The surge of interest was a result of a 30 minute YouTube video released by the non-profit organization Invisible Children on the problem in Uganda. Joseph Kony began his reign of terror in Uganda in 1986, which resulted in the enslavement of over 66,000 children, who became sex slaves or soldiers in the Lords Resistance Army, and the displacement of over 2 million people. In 2005, he was indicted on charges of war crimes by the International Crimes Council, but has evaded capture. From the United States, in 2008 President Bush signed a directive to provide assistance to Uganda, in 2010 President Obama signed a bill that made it American policy to capture or kill Kony, and in 2011, Obama signed another measure that deployed 100 special forces to the area.

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