My wife and I work with adolescents, and have recently joked that, it's become cool to hate nice things. Though it started as a joke I've been amazed by how much truth there is in that insipid little statement. It is popular, and easy, to dislike things. Whenever I encounter a song, idea, or movement that appears to be above reproach, someone inevitably comes along and explains why they believe that the thing I like is dumb and terrible.
I recently posted about Invisible Children and their Kony 2012 campaign. Within hours of doing so I heard complaints about what a lousy organization Invisible Children is. I've read some articles, and I concede that Invisible Children is not the paragon of virtue I wish they were, but I don't think they're all that bad either.
The criticisms are these: IC doesn't spend enough money on tangible relief work, IC was intentionally foggy the facts of Kony's current whereabouts and actions, and IC fabricated the rumor that US forces planned to leave Uganda. As far as I can tell, all of these criticisms are legitimate ones. If you'd like, you can read about them in detail on foreignpolicy.com, Aljazeera.com and CNN.com.
What I really want to ask of you is this: if you can't stand to align yourself with Invisible Children, please find a humanitarian organization that you can enthusiastically support. I personally recommend World Vision, but no matter what, please do your homework. Charity Navigator and similar sites offer free reviews in order to keep charitable organizations accountable. Please do pray for Uganda and please do contact your representatives about Kony, the LRA, and whatever other issues you care deeply about. Finally, if you have spent energy criticizing Invisible Children, please spend twice as much energy in vocal and generous support of a superior organization. It is not enough to merely expose and discuss problems; we must diligently research and share good solutions as well.