A Random DC Protest: Invisible Children

Did you see the earnest college students making cardboard homes on the National Mall last weekend? Did you wonder why?

Apparently, the Invisible Children campaign will end the enslavement of child soldiers in Northern Uganda by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army through awareness and aggressive campaigning of the US government.

Aggressive campaigning that requires much use of pink by kids who didn’t know basic facts about Uganda or the LRA.

Questions like “What the capitol of Uganda?” or “Who is the leader of the LRA?” were greeted with mumbles before an answer was found. “Aboke abductions” “Night Commuters” or “Yoweri Museveni” just brought on blank stares.

Before carpeting the Mall with cardboard & kids, maybe the Invisible Children campaign should start with its own, internal, awareness campaign. Making the LRA entry of Wikipedia required reading would be a decent start.

64 Comments so far

  1. Bart (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

    Wayan, your opinions are meaningless.


  2. Wayan (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

    Actually, Bart, the whole point of my post is that its you, and anyone else who just up a decided it would be cool to camp out on the Mall without understanding the deeper issues involved, who is meaningless to the Ugandans who have the means to make change.


  3. Bart (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

    You’re missing the point. I don’t know if you noticed… but the bulk of my last post was a personal attack on you. It’s not about IC anymore… You’ve already made it quite clear that your ignorance on that matter cannot be reversed.

    What I’m saying… is that you and everything that you do and stand for is completely worthless. You are doing nothing with your live to better the place that you live in. You spend all your time and money doing things for yourself.

    So not only are you ignorant of the fact that the 5 people you talked to represent 1/1200th of the entire group in D.C. but you’re also a bad person. I cannot see a single redeeming quality in you.

    I suppose that’s your choice though, so I won’t dispute it.

    Finally, to use your own argument against you, It’s very obvious that you haven’t done your homework and researched Invisible Children… or watched the documentary. Had you done that… you would know that the Ugandans are aware of the group, and very grateful. Many Ugandan children have been put into schools as a direct result of people like me caring. The IC bracelet campaign has given many Ugandans much needed employment, and through these and other programs, conditions in Northern Uganda are becoming better and better all the time.

    Just swallow your pride and stop arguing. You can tell us that we’re stupid… not helping… or whatever, for as long as you’d like. But the fact of that matter is, your arguments are falling on deaf ears. You can’t stop us, so why bother? You’re just wasting your time. And mine…

    Anyways, I have a paper to write. I’m done wasting my time.


  4. Mike N. (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 3:12 am

    Bart,

    I certainly appreciate your defense of Invisible Children. Trust me, I love Invisible Children more than most, it consumes my head and heart every waking moment. I’d rather not say this in a public venue but I have no other way to communicate with you. I have to admit I don’t like the way you are defending IC by attacking Wayan. I understand that people like Wayan are frustrating, but not supporting Invisible Children doesn’t make him a bad person. He doesn’t understand like we do that we each effect each others lives, and it is up to us how much we do so and whether we do it positively or negatively. The personal attacks show that you are sinking yourself to his level. Don’t fall victim to that trap. Name calling is the hobgoblin of little minds, and anyone so passionate about helping and defending Invisible Children certainly has a big heart, and I believe is not small minded.

    Remember that a lot of people are reading this. Some are supporters of IC, some have never heard of it. It’s important that we take the high ground and stay mature and reasonable in our arguments. Don’t attack Wayan as a person, argue the apathy he encourages. Remember the love and beauty that has been created through Invisible Children, and all the good that has been done. One naysayer won’t change that. A million naysayers couldn’t change that. Wayan doesn’t matter. Jacob matters. You and I matter.


  5. Bart (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 4:09 am

    Mike,

    Sorry… I have a short temper. I shouldn’t let it get carried away. However, I never said Wayan was a bad person for not supporting IC I looked at his personal website and saw how he carries himself, and how he talks about himself… THAT’s why I said he’s a bad person.

    If you would like to discuss it further away from this forum, my email is: bws2527@rit.edu


  6. Don (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

    Man, I thought Wayan was being a little hard on some of the folk out there till I read all the responses here. Cynicism may not change the world but it’s sure less puke-inducing than some of the self-congratulatory & hyperbolic stuff above.

    Sit-in kinda stuff is useful for some public awareness and to demonstrate to our elected officials that there’s some concern about an issue, but only somewhat. Demanding respect for people who show up without even a superficial understanding of the issue, however? Please.

    The idea that there’s some value in a bunch of folks simply showing up to show that they’re against suffering is comic. We’re all against suffering, no matter how many straw men you want to prop up to rail against Wayan and anyone else who’s not sufficiently rah-rah for your taste. Politicians all know that everyone is against suffering. They also know that a huge number of those people who are against suffering will waiver significantly in their devotion when it comes time to make a personal sacrifice.

    Rosa Parks and anyone else who got arrested to take a stand showed a willingness to sacrifice. People who take jobs in scary neighborhoods for pay far lower than they could earn elsewhere show a willingness to sacrifice. The people who went on the Avon walk last weekend after taking the scary step of asking their friends and co-workers for money to support the cause showed a willingness to sacrifice.

    The people who decided to take a bus to the mall and hang out overnight with their friends in a tent? Please. I’m not calling them bad people, but granting them some moral victory over Wayan because when he was in Uganda putting money into their economy he spent time by a pool? Let’s not overlook either – Wayan wasn’t asking you to declare his time there as some grand gesture deserving of respect.

    Lastly, holier-than-thou personal attacks as a way of responding to Wayan’s position on the IC demonstration? Pathetic. You should be ashamed, Meghan and Bart. You want to get some credit for the fact that you’re repulsed by suffering in the world but you participate in ad hominem attacks? Your devotion appears long on mall-sleeping but short on controlling your own behavior.


  7. Meagan (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

    Wayan,

    Please watch this. You may not agree, but it does make a difference.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI_suOg7Awc

    Thank you.


  8. Meagan (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

    Actually, this would probably be better for you to watch. It explains things better.

    http://www.invisiblechildren.com/theMovie/media/index.php?mediaID=57245760


  9. Bart (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 2:20 am

    Don,
    Wayan is the only person here to have made the claim: “Demanding respect for people who show up without even a superficial understanding of the issue, however? Please.”

    He’s completely wrong in that respect. He asked a handful of kids some questions and got a less than reasonable response. That does not mean that everyone there was as uneducated as they were.

    “The idea that there’s some value in a bunch of folks simply showing up to show that they’re against suffering is comic.” – Nobody said that was the point of Displace Me, so I don’t understand where you’re getting your information from.

    “The people who decided to take a bus to the mall and hang out overnight with their friends in a tent? Please. I’m not calling them bad people, but granting them some moral victory over Wayan because when he was in Uganda putting money into their economy he spent time by a pool?” – I’m not going to comment on the whole pool thing because it would just be beating a dead horse. However I would like to point out that the money that Wayan put into the Ugandan economy was around 1 USD per hotel he stayed at. He made that point very clear on his site. Also, Not everyone took a bus… I myself drove 6 hours and spent $150 on gas to get there.

    “Lastly, holier-than-thou personal attacks as a way of responding to Wayan’s position on the IC demonstration? Pathetic. You should be ashamed, Meghan and Bart. You want to get some credit for the fact that you’re repulsed by suffering in the world but you participate in ad hominem attacks? Your devotion appears long on mall-sleeping but short on controlling your own behavior.” – I already pointed out that my comments were unnecessary and out of line. I let my temper get carried away and I apologize.

    I just think that making comments like this against youth who decide to put down their video game controllers, get away from the TV, get off their asses and TRY to do something is counter productive. If this is the reaction they’re going to get then they’re not going to even try to help anyone anymore. That can be a serious problem… especially with todays youth who tend to not care about much more than when the next episode of American Idol is on.

    Watch the videos that Meagan posted above… It can’t hurt…


  10. Don (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 11:57 am

    After attacking Wayan with personal insults you apologized to some other poster for losing your temper, not for what you did or said, or to the person you attacked. Your contrition needs work, Bart.

    I think your definition of “try to help” needs improvement too. There’s nothing wrong with going to something like IC but the comments above repeatedly refer to participation as people actually choosing “to act” or “doing something.” Quite frankly, I think that denigrates the efforts of people who actually work for change and contribute to a cause.

    A night hanging out on the mall with your buddies is a night you could have been a volunteer at a battered women’s shelter.

    $150 in gas could have enriched the lives of hungry kids in Africa rather than Exxon shareholders.

    I don’t begrudge you the time or the money. It’s yours, you can do what you like with it. I don’t expect anyone to give up everything they enjoy to try to save the world. It’s just not possible.

    Just don’t demand that I act like you’re Rosa Parks because you went on a camping trip and took a placard.


  11. Bart (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 4:48 am

    This will be the last post that I make. I will not be visiting this forum again.

    You’re right, I did apologize for losing my temper, and that’s all I apologized for. I could apologize to Wayan, but to be honest I wouldn’t be able to do so with sincerity, so I didn’t. They were out of line, and I shouldn’t have posted them, but either way I would have thought them.

    In my last post I chose the words “try to help” because no matter how useless and ineffectual someone thinks Displace Me was, they can’t deny the fact that those involved were at least trying to accomplish something good. That’s not to say that those involved, including myself, aren’t more dedicated to the overall cause. A group of my friends and myself have taken the initiative to create a club on our campus for the sole purpose of raising money and awareness for IC. I wouldn’t speak ill of mine and my friends’ efforts. I was merely trying to put a different light on the subject that even people opposed could agree on.

    The night spent on the mall could have been thousands of good and righteous things, but we wanted to help IC at Displace Me, so we did.

    True, however considering the circumstances it was completely unavoidable.

    I don’t expect anyone to do that either. I do however expect those who do not involve themselves to at least respect and encourage the actions of those who are involved, providing that the activity is harmless.

    I won’t. The criticism however, is unjustified and should be kept to oneself.

    adieu


  12. KDS (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

    Wayan,
    I am very impressed by all of your travels- I just wanted to let you know that not everyone that was out there on the mall was uneducated. I happen to be very passionate, not just about the atrocitites in N. Uganda, but all over the world. If asked those questions, I could answer them in a heartbeat- and then given you more background than you wanted. Actually, I am on my way to N. Uganda on Friday. I am working with an organization that is working to reform the hospitals there.

    Although some people dont know as much as others, they have all seen the movie, and know that they want to do something to help. Perhaps the uneducated should do some research, but that doesnt take away one little bit of the passion that they have.

    -K


  13. Angela Becker (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 8:02 am

    You dont have to know how to build a space shuttle to appreciate a man landing on the moon. You certainly do not have to be a whiz at geography etc. to show compassion to those in need. Love is universal and requires no degree.

    Angela


  14. Hilary (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    Wayan,

    You posted earlier,”its you, and anyone else who just up a decided it would be cool to camp out on the Mall without understanding the deeper issues involved, who is meaningless”

    This is exactly where you’re getting it wrong. The people who protested, whether educated or uneducated, all understood the deeper issues involved, or else they wouldn’t be there. The deepest issue is that people are suffering, and they shouldn’t be. You don’t need to know any more than that to be able to show your hatred of such a thing. You are criticizing them for not knowing the answers to your trivia questions, while they are getting to the root of the problem: human suffering.

    At tip for the future: it might help you to showcase your intelligence if, before posting, you read through your posts to check for grammar mistakes.

    Respectfully,
    H.W.



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