Anti-Kony campaign is simplistic but valuable

Thursday April 26, 2012

The campaign by the Invisible Children organization to bring Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony to justice is oversimplified and contains an element of trendiness. It is also valuable in its involvement of young people, including those in Berkshire County, in an issue outside both their borders and their usual sphere of interest.

Invisible Children's "Kony 2012" YouTube video triggered worldwide anger over the atrocities of Mr. Kony and his brutal Lord's Resistance Army. You would not know from the video, however, that the warlord is currently a fugitive hiding in the jungles of the Central African Republic. The re gion's problems are too complicated to be blamed on one man and there is a "white man's burden" element to the campaign to rescue blacks.

Locally, Berkshire Invisible Children activists have hurt their cause by spraypainting messages related to the pursuit of Mr. Kony and posting handbills that have ended up as litter. That must stop, but just as significantly, young people here and elsewhere are defying the stereotype that they are self-involved by educating themselves and acting on a far away tragedy.

"I've never run or participated in a movement like this," a Monument Moun tain freshman told The Eagle. We hope he and his fellow teens take part in many more.

Most immediately, we urge Berkshire young people to get involved in this year's national elections, which is critical in many ways to their future.


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