This week has seen humanity use social media for an exemplary cause. The exposure of some of the world worst war crimes and a person so evil that the worlds superpowers are scared of him and his army of tortured souls, or at least scared of the mess that the country from which he and his army originates from is in.
I am talking about Joseph Kony, and of course the Kony 2012 Campaign borught to light through a beautiful if only simplistic view of the atrocities that are taking place now in the democratic republic of Congo but originated in a horrifically effected Uganda.
Whilst this is probably the most disturbing thing I have had brought to my attention through social media, along with interesting behaviours of American soldiers in the Afgan war, and ongoing stories of Hilter’s regime, I could not help but be shocked by the reactions of some of my friends and critics the world over. Mostly the reactions of my friends [sic 'facebook friends'].
After watching the Kony video and listening to the narration that clearly describes over thirty thousand people losing their family either by their own forced hand or from that of another innocent 12 year old wielding an assault rifle or a petrol soaked rag on a stick I was once agian shock by the tragedy, and immediately wanted to know what I could do to help ‘Invisible Children’ with their battle to set up emergency radio frequencies, build schools and do whatever else they could do to help Jacob and people like him.
I watched the boys, hundreds of them, huddling together in a room, for years after having to leave their family so they wouldn’t be killed raped and tortured. Sleeping in conditions, not that far from the also troubled (poor use of words I know) refugees, that are caught in a massive whirlpool of uncertainty and fear of arrest. I watched this and welled up. The English language has a phrase for this.
“That is Fucked”.
Some of the reactions though have been right up there with what I would call “Fucked too”. One ‘friend of a friend’ on a popular social media channel, decided to chip in right when the disconcerting discussion around how the Invisible Children were going about spending their money. They were appalled at the fact that the CEO was accepting 90k per year to run the Charity (NGO), they also had another well informed ‘aqaintance’ interject with their humble opinion that we have crisis’ in Australia that are closer to home they we should be contributing money to.
From that statement I formed only one question.
When was the last time you saw footage on A current Affair of 150 or more kids aged 10-15 with no adults around, sleeping in one room, too scared to go home for fear their families would be raped, tortured and killed. Not returning to their village more than 20kms or more away, scared that they would be forced by an army of people their own age, into raping, torturing their own village and then burning it down.
Personally I have not seen this in Australia, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, well actually it doesn’t happen. For all the terrible things that do happen in Australia, the varied abuse of our beautiful Aboriginal culture, the poor treatment of the homeless and the difficulties associated with assisting people in the lower income brackets ( wow a sentence without saying socio-economic), I cannot recall a village burning down, or en-mass rape and pillage of a small town.
I cannot recall ever wishing I could just pay ten thousand dollars to a dodgy boat driver, just to try and attempt to escape to another country with a beautiful democracy.
You know why?
Because Australia is referred to as Paradise. When I say that, I am making a vast generalisation, but it is true. Although we are still within the monarchy, we are supremely democratic, to the point where we still allow free speech and people like Bob Katter to make obscene homophobic television commercials.
I really hope that people realise this before opening their Facebook warrior mouths. I hope that even as the most candid conversation takes place that these things are though about before someone else says “we need to stop the boats” or “those bastards need to get in line like the rest of the legal refugees”
That last one, the ‘get in line statement’ says a lot. Especially coming from a bunch of white collar upper middle class citizens that get impatient and think it is a travasty that they had to wait for 5 seconds after a light turned green, violently beeping there horn at the car in front as if a small village was being burned down. It wasn’t.
The salary in question is 90k. Yes, it is a lot. But I am sure that the man running the charity, has big decisions to make, I am sure he drives a BMW, I am sure, that he has given up much of his life and injected it back into the exposure of this terrible situation, I am sure he has a family to take care of.
But did you also know, that the guy that takes your pictures at an Xray clinic, the nurse that expertly takes care of you at a hospital emergency, the Executive assistant to the Manager of your local bank branch may well be on the same pay. The Average pay at present is around 65k per annum. There are a lot of numbers both above and below this figure, but did we forget that the very recent #Occupy rallies?. Think back a couple of media weeks.
These are the CEOs that we should be getting angry about.
15million per year. Who needs that kind of Bank roll to live? Who?
These are the people that we should be passing ignorant comments about on Facebook. The guys that have a helicopter to get to work. the Gina Rineharts’ of the world.
I am sure they have worked hard for the cash, but I am nearly damn sure that the CEO of Invisible Children works harder, and for a better cause, than to increase the profits of the bank.
Tim Michin has a great song called ‘Fuck the Poor’ and it repeatedly mentions the fact that that we donate to waylay some guilt. Perhaps we do. Indeed we do but perhaps the Banks and ignorant comment passers should be donating more.
I am a slacktivist – Self confessed. I am not organised enough to get together on any thing remotely charitable aside from donating, but I can also speak up non ignorantly when needed. Without fear that it is not fashionable.
Yes there is some things in Australia that we can concentrate on too, but nothing compares even remotely to the attrocities that are happening at the hands of people like Kim Jong Ills Son, Joseph Kony, and several other poor excuses from Human beings.
We could wish for Darwin to have invented a disintegration ray gun to support his theory of evolution.
Like the clothes shops tell us what clothes we are allowed to buy at present by not stocking anything else, out of current season, it is the same with the media. They are trying to tell us what we currently should be concerned with.
My only advice. Join Twitter. Listen to what the world thinks is important. Not the AAP.