PropertyOfZack Contributor Blog : : Jono Diener

by Zack Zarrillo - Mar 9, 2012

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Jono Diener from The Swellers has written some of the best blogs for our Contributor series on PropertyOfZack, and we’re glad to have him back. In his new blog, Jono dives into the Kony debate that was recently launched by Invisible Children earlier in the week. The topic is a touchy one, and Jono did his best job to give his thoughts on the situation in a well-thought out manner. Read up on Jono’s full blog below!

Three days ago I saw people on Twitter and Tumblr urging me to repost a video about some fella named Joseph Kony. Kony is a terrible person who abducts children, forces the boys (literally young boys) to go into war as his soldiers and forces the girls into sexual slavery. There are parts about the children being forced to kill their parents, and it just gets worse and worse. It really is a terrible thing. A Non-Profit Organization called Invisible Children who I’ve known about for years due to some really great bands supporting them were the ones responsible for putting together the video and creating the Kony 2012 Campaign. The idea is to make Kony the most famous person in the world to raise awareness of his wrongdoings and eventually get governments from around the world to step in and stop the problem at its source. It was an emotional video utilizing our digital-aged generation to unite and post everywhere we could to get this to pretty much take over the internet. I admit I was teary-eyed watching the video, especially seeing the founder’s young son so passionate about stopping the bad guys. 

So I did as I always do. I reblogged and retweeted the video (before watching it, so I could get to it later) and later that night went through the 30 minute emotional roller-coaster. It was all gravy until the next morning out of nowhere there was a post called Kony Criticisms posted all over Tumblr. I thought it was criticizing Kony the person, but no, it was criticizing the tactics and overall idea of how Invisible Children was operated. It went through some specific details about how much money IC currently had, and how much they spend and claiming that they were in fact a FOR PROFIT company. I also read something along the lines of the government already being aware of Kony and the LRA and how it was misleading to everyone that they weren’t… This was a red flag for me and I kept reading. It continued to detail individual “wrongdoings” of organization and how they supported military action, etc. etc. So before I started dialogue with my friends and public I sat back to develop my own opinion on the matter, as everyone should before donating time, money and a mentality to something. I decided the overall idea of getting Kony out of power and stopping LRA would be great. Stopping the slavery of children and forcing them to be soldiers would be a great thing. I was still weary of openly choosing a side on the issue as far as Invisible Children or not so I took it public.

Yesterday my blog (www.jonoblog.us
) became a source of information from both sides of the spectrum. I never picked a side, I simply posted criticisms or criticism of the criticism and told people to decide for themselves. A lot of great dialogue came out of it and even younger kids seemed to have a really good head on their shoulders about it. I’ve heard some things about charities/clothing companies keeping most of the money of their sales after claiming to donate ALL of it to the cause (not saying names) and we vowed that The Swellers wouldn’t support it. It’s an odd conundrum. These people are trying to do something great, something that most of us don’t have the balls to do… but are they doing it the right way? Do you still support the IDEA but not financially support the organization? Can we raise awareness of Kony enough but I don’t have to buy one of the kits to do so? Or is the opposing side of Invisible Children just a bunch of cranky b-holes? I’m really not sure. I have mutual friends with some people at Invisible Children and I really want to they’re great people. I honestly think the idea of what they’re doing is really cool. I don’t have a problem with someone with that much leverage putting almost as much money to raise awareness as they are for the actual programs. Do you know why? Because I think it’s something of a long-term investment. The part that gets a little scary to me is when people’s lives are at stake and a few dollars of mine can be contributed to someone losing theirs… It’s A LOT different than support something easy/cool like Shirts For A Cure. There’s an actual war going on. There’s putting people in power of someone else whether it’s local government or big picture and the things said local government do can be questionable…

So I leave you with this. Because of an organization like PETA I became vegetarian. People claim horrible things they’ve done, or how they go about things is wrong, etc. But regardless of all of that, because of 5 minute video from them my life changed forever, and I believe for the better. They have the balls to do something none of us would. Regarding this #KONY2012 campaign do we pick the overall message or do we wait to come up with a better plan and go from there? I want this to be an open discussion because I think the raddest part of ALL of this is is seeing people care for more than a day about something. Whether it’s debating the morality of an issue, it’s still a debate. It’s still conversation about something more than just retweeting, reblogging, poking and posting and moving on with our lives to eat Cheetos and sit on the Lay-Z-Boy. I’m not telling you what to decide on, that should be YOUR choice in every situation. Below are links to educate yourself on the discussion if you have the attention span to check them out. This is the world happening. I want to know what YOU think. I’ve learned to try to be as open minded about things as I can and I think it’s important as a culture we read into EVERYTHING rather than blindly accept. I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of it for years but now I think dialogue is the healthiest thing in all of our diets.

Links:
Kony 2012 campaign video:
http://vimeo.com/37119711
Criticism of the Kony 2012
http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/
Criticism of the Criticism of Kony 2012 (of IC member, not speaking on behalf of IC)
http://www.facebook.com/notes/john-rudolph-beaton/visible-children-viewed-critically/10150614970287933
Invisible Children’s OFFICIAL response to Criticism including finances
http://s3.amazonaws.com/www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html
Video claiming “irresponsible donations” breakdown of Invisible Children Chart
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvqFi_HRPmk&feature=youtu.be
  1. hopelessdreamerssingingwishes reblogged this from propertyofzack
  2. swellyeah reblogged this from jonathandiener
  3. moveintones reblogged this from fadedmystery
  4. jonathandiener reblogged this from propertyofzack and added:
    Debating the Kony situation, an open discussion!
  5. fadedmystery reblogged this from propertyofzack
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  8. regretrepressrebuild reblogged this from propertyofzack and added:
    I’m still making up my mind about how I want to go about supporting or not supporting this. It’s definitely interesting...
  9. propertyofzack posted this
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