As the Internet sensation “Kony 2012,” made by San Diego-based activist group Invisible Children, grows more viral, San Diego State students expressed analytical opinions of the video during an event held by the International Students for Social Equality on campus Tuesday.
Ricardo Ruiz, an SDSU teaching associate in political science, explained the event was not held to attack Invisible Children, but to give historical, economic and political perspective to the popular video.
“The purpose of the ISSE holding this meeting is not to question the intentions and motivations of the creators of ‘Kony 2012,’ or personally attack Jason Russell. I think Invisible Children is composed of a lot of young people moved by the injustice in Africa. We don’t see them as a sinister group, that’s not our interpretation. We analyze them from what it means from a political standpoint. The film, despite the intentions of the filmmakers, is used by the U.S. military as a justification to intervene for economic and geostrategic interests,’’ he said.
The ISSE claims Washington’s intervention against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army has selfish motivations, such as a recent discovery of oil reserves in the area where the hunt for the LRA is staged.
Justin Jones, a political science undergraduate and keynote speaker at the event, said the viral video did not make it clear that Kony is no longer active in Uganda.
“Both experts on the matter and news sources such as The New York Times state that Kony and the LRA have moved to neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Jones said.
Brandy Cyrus, a comparative literature and political science undergraduate, thinks the “Kony 2012” video sells itself as a quick answer to a complex question.
“The questions they should be asking are, will U.S. intervention in Uganda not only capture Kony, but will it make the lives of the Ugandan people and children any better? By looking at the record of U.S. intervention we can see that the lives of the people involved are often made worse by U.S. involvement. Whether or not the video will lead to the capture of Kony is secondary to what military intervention would do to the civilian population in these countries. The Kony video should not be taken lightly and its recommendations should be placed into a broader political perspective and not allowed to remain within the context of purely emotional appeals,” she said.