Invisible Children Addresses 'Slacktivist' Charges With Another Video

Ben KeeseyLast week the 30-minute Kony 2012 video from Invisible Children hit the Internet hard. It struck the hearts and Facebook statuses of many, as people watched outraged at the horrifying acts of Joseph Kony, a notorious war criminal who has led the Lord's Resistance Army in violent crimes against the people of Uganda. 

People shared it, made donations, and spread awareness. It seemed like a cause anyone with a heart and conscience could get behind ... until all the criticism came.

From problems with the way the organization has spent its funds to charges that they're "slacktivists" with no solid solutions to the problems, the backlash began. To answer it, the organization did what it seems to do well ... it released another video that takes on all of the criticism and answers the accusations one by one.

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Addressing viewers in an eight-minute film titled "Thank You KONY 2012 Supporters" that was released tonight, CEO of Invisible Children Ben Keesey says:

I understand why a lot of people are wondering, "Is this just some slick, kind of fly-by-night, slacktivist thing?" when actually it’s not at all. It’s connected to a really deep, thoughtful, very intentional, and strategic campaign.

As for financial transparency, he shows the organization's budgets for recent years and directs people to their website where they're available as well. I'm not sure if that will satisfy the Better Business Bureau, but if they're as transparent as Keesey says, that should help. 

Any claims that we don’t have financial transparency, or that we’re not audited every year by an independent firm, or that we don’t have financial integrity, just aren’t true.

I admit the skeptics made me question the merits of the original film after my first emotional reaction, but Keesey makes me want to believe in their efforts. It's a complex problem and I'm sure there will still be many criticizing them, but based on what I've seen, I respect Invisible Children for trying to attack it. 

Is the organization run perfectly with no waste or room for tightening its finances? Probably not, but if it raises awareness about this evil man and helps save even one girl from being forced into sex slavery or little boy from being made to fight as violent child solider, then I think it's worth the risk until someone provides a better means to do so. It's certainly seems better than doing nothing.

As Jacob Acaye, one of the victims of Kony featured as boy in the film, who is now 21, told CNN:

Whenever a brother is in a problem, whenever anybody is in a problem, it should get the attention of everyone in the world. It has been going on for the last 26 years. It shows that we are failing to solve it. And if there are any means that someone can help and it goes to end, then why not Americans get involved.

Are you skeptical of the KONY 2012 campaign? Does this new video address your concerns?


Image via YouTube

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