26 4 / 2012
An open letter to an Invisible Children counter-movement.
Hopefully this serves as an open letter to all counter-movements and everyone who feels that they are “against” Invisible Children.
Hi (names redacted),
I made a decision very early not to support any counter-movements - my goal is to encourage discourse, not put down the efforts of an organization which has, despite its faults, served thousands of victims well. I find your programming especially problematic: if postering is a poor method of fostering political discourse, defacing posters is several steps down the credibility ladder.
I am highly dubious of your motivation in advising me that a member of a PR firm is Christian - is that intended to make me doubt his character? This bigoted view is revealing. Fight propaganda with the fair pursuit of balanced truths, not with propaganda of your own.
Your petition calls for US legislation which would, as I read it, eliminate anonymous internet use. Quoting a law which you admit does not apply to to the internet, you appear to complain that it was not made clear what organization paid for the KONY 2012 film. You then go on to call for military withdrawal from Central Africa without proposing any alternative solution. My unsolicited feedback for you would be to focus your organization on one cause or the other, although I find neither cause to be particularly valid in their current state. In your petition you also refer to the fact that some Christian groups have supported Invisible Children, implying negativity without justifying this bigotry.
As a final note, if you had taken the time to read my writing carefully, you would note that the photo you are referring to is not mine but belongs to a talented professional photojournalist named Glenna Gordon, whom you ought be crediting - and that the photo is not at all of “the Invisible Children founders posing with the Ugandan military” as you claim, but with members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). If this is indicative of the general level of research you have conducted, this alone is reason for me not to endorse your ill-conceived campaign.
Please refrain from linking to my blog or any further action which may be seen to imply my endorsement. I have posted this response to your email on my blog, and would appreciate your permission to publish your side of the correspondence as well, along with a link to your website - but I will not do so without your permission, which I understand you may be reluctant to give. I urge you, however, to consider it. We must allow people to make their own decisions, and as you well know, there are two sides to every story.
Visible Children - KONY 2012, viewed critically.
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