MARCH 30, 2012
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In recent weeks Invisible Children, Inc., a charitable organization based in San Diego, captured the attention of millions with their video “Kony 2012,” which documents the brutal African warlord Joseph Kony, his exploits, and Invisible Children’s campaign to stop him. The Lord Resistance Army (LRA) founder Joesph Kony has kidnapped hundreds of children and made them part of his organization. The LRA children are forced to kill and mutilate their friends and families. Invisible Children’s mission has caused controversy.
Pro BREA YOUNG Staff Writer
Their mission is to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to create awareness for all the wrong that he has done. A lot of supporters of this movement have received a tremendous amount of criticism. A lot of it being “Oh you watched a 30 minute video and now you’re a social activist?” That’s right. Social activism has to start somewhere. A lot of social activism has to do with awareness, and that’s what everyone is doing, creating awareness. In regards to Invisible Children’s ﬁnances, they are public with their spending. They are not hiding it what-so-ever. Many ask why they don’t just donate all of their funds to the war efforts in Uganda? Well, what would be more effective? Donating 13 million dollars (which by the way they would have never raised without spending a portion of their money on media attention), or them using a portion of their money to create awareness that in the end will result in more money, more awareness, and more hope? With this video, the subject matter is becoming a household name. People everywhere are starting to know and hear about it. The best part is they are starting to do something about it. Without spending money on media attention, they probably would have never got President Obama to send troops. They probably would have never gained any of their largest donors, supporters, and activists. This article would probably have never been published and we simply would have never known. The problem would increase
until there was little that anyone could do. Hats off to the Invisible Children. They created awareness about a situation many people had no clue about. Whether people would like to admit it or not, this is real. If people refuse to believe in its importance, they are only letting Kony win. People can do one of three things, ignore it, criticize it, or join the efforts to ensure this stops and never happens again. As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they ﬁght you, then you win.” Stop Kony 2012.
Con WILL SMITHERS News Editor
Upon thorough research, Invisible Children’s ﬁnancial records check out, with a surprisingly low percent of their budget spent on fund raising and ﬁlmmaking (37% of their budget is spent on their Central Africa Programs). I do not take issue with the tactic of making Kony “famous,” nor do I accuse the movement of “slacktivism.” So why am I not a fan? “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” These words begin a video titled simply “Kony 2012.” This idea has come, and almost entirely gone. To quote the Ugandan Prime Minister, if you go to Uganda “you will ﬁnd a very different place to that portrayed by Invisible Children.” The issue is not black and white. Blurred behind ﬂashy ﬁlm-work and Flux Pavilion is a complex history of revolutionary groups and violent overthrows ranging far back into Uganda’s past. However, in the video, we do not see this. Kony is no doubt evil, but so is the Ugandan military. The Ugandan military, under the rule of Yoweri Museveni (who has been in power for more than 26 years with highly questionable election results), used child soldiers itself. The strategy proposed by the charity is the maintenance of American troops in Uganda to train the Ugandan military to stop Kony. As I see it, this is training war criminals to catch war criminals. While this may be to some a necessary evil in the endeavor for a greater good, I feel it should be done without aiding these people. Invisible Children supports this strategy, therefore supporting a ﬂawed regime. It is the lesser of two evils, and I condemn it. Museveni should receive the same infamy and attention aimed at Kony, not support. If one accepts this indirect form of support, there is nothing morally wrong with taking part in the movement. I would rather put my money in a place where I feel I am not aiding a dictatorship, such as Save the Children or UNICEF.
the iliad’s opinion:
Teachers unfairly push A.P. testing For the hard-working student body of Poway High, Advanced Placement testing takes stress to a new level. One test will prove if you are worthy of college credit, and although College Boards gives students the chance to do so for just $92, ultimately it is up to the individual if they want to take the exam. When signing up for an A.P class, teachers inform students of the perks of the May test date. They talk about how you can save hundreds of dollars in college and how you can become exempt from many general education classes, all of which is true. However, if a student does not feel comfortable with the material during the school year, why are many teachers pushing kids to take a fairly costly test? Some are even going as far as to threaten grades, or
having kids sign contracts at the start of the class binding a pupil to the May tests. These tests are not cheap, and although College Board offers fee waivers that lower the cost of each test to ﬁve dollars each for families below a certain income level, those slightly above that stated income are forced to pay the full amount. If a student is in three or four classes, they are looking at about 300 dollars for hopeful credit. There should be more accommodations for those not wanting to take the tests. There is no reason why A.P tests should not be encouraged; however, if an AP student decided to opt out —regardless of the reason— teachers must respect their choice.