If there ever was a viral video, KONY 2012 would be it. In just 6 days it hit 100 million views making it the “most viral video in history” according to Mashable.
Just to put that in perspective, it took famous viral videos like Laughing Baby, Charlie Bit My Finger Again and David After the Dentist over a year before they got that many views. The next fastest viral video to KONY 2012 would be that of Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent which achieved it’s 100 million views in 9 days (see Visible Measures‘ graph for more stats).
Whether all 100 million of those people made it through all 30 minutes of the video, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I’ve never been more sickened by criticism. I’ve written on this blog before about how today’s society is highly critical about everything—especially when they can hide behind the protection of a keyboard (see post 1 or post 2). We rip apart everything we see and it makes me feel so sick that I can’t even begin to scroll through the KONY 2012 YouTube comments. Especially when the first one I see says something along the lines of:
We should concentrate on saving AMERICA first. Kony 2012 is a SCAM for Uganda’s Oil and the region’s resources. Joseph Kony has not been active in over six years. Wake up people! Don’t fall for this scam!
Where do people come up with this stuff?
I wonder how many other negative comments have popped up since that one was made. After all, from the moment I started watching the video to the point in time I am writing this, there have been 1,519 other new comments made on this YouTube video.
On top of this my wife read to me some negative article about Invisible Children before I even got a chance to watch the video. It seems everyone wants to accuse Invisible Children of not spending their money appropriately, minimizing the years of effort they’ve made to make the invisible children out there visible.
By the way you can see how real their work is by reading their financial response or simply watch them clear up all the confusion and gossip in this video:
Everyone’s quick on their feet to react. And furthermore, everyone’s quick on their feet to try to counteract a very real situation out there that needs very real help and justice.
Q. Should we go green?
A. Heck yeah!
Q. Should we treat animals more humanely?
A. You betcha!
Q. Should we do something about slavery?
A. What? Slavery doesn’t exist.
Actually, it does. And Joseph Kony and the L.R.A. are a prime example of what slavery is. According to Not For Sale, there are an estimated +30,000,000 slaves in the world today. That’s more than any other point in human history. They’re children and adults. Women and men. They’re being sold and forced into all kinds of slavery—sex slavery being one of the big avenues.
I work as a pastor in the Free Methodist church and for quite awhile, I thought the “free” in Free Methodism was a part of my past, not my present. We got our denominational name partly because we opposed slavery at an unpopular time to do so. It was so important to us to see it ended that we had to incorporate it in our name as a part of our vision. And now here I stand today, becoming more and more aware of slavery around the world and in my own backyard. There is still a reason today to push the free in Free Methodism and fight for social justice in all areas of the world.
For such a long time I thought there was nothing I could do. But as I educate myself more on the subject, I realize there are things I can do—one of those primary things being educating myself. The more you know and the more you spread that knowledge, the more we create a community of people looking to take a stand against injustice.
And it doesn’t take the identity of being Christian to battle something like slavery. We all know slavery is wrong that we all want to do something about it. We can stop Kony. We can stop slavery. At times we may feel small and unable to make such a massive change, but we can.
Many didn’t believe that Hitler did such horrendous things to the Jews at the time that he did. And now here we stand today, trying to pretend that Kony and slavery doesn’t exist either. Why? I don’t know.
Perhaps the startling realization that all of this does exist is just too much for some to take.
This is me: a small pastor at a small church writing a small post on a small blog in attempts to make a big impact. What are you doing?
God, forgive me for ignoring injustice for this long.
Places to start: