Sunday, March 18, 2012

a human burden (Kony 2012)

 I have been quasi-following the Kony 2012 chatter, and I wanted to post a few responses that I thought were excellent:

Viral Video, Vicious Warlord by Nicholas Kristof
When a warlord continues to kill and torture across a swath of Congo and Central African Republic, that’s not a white man’s burden. It’s a human burden.
Jen Hatmaker 
I believe we can engage a complicated crisis with respect for one another. We need not resort to name calling and slandering and throwing rocks at the soldiers on the frontlines while we write blogs on the couch. The lowest common denominator should not be our benchmark any longer. If you want to take a stab at someone, go for child predators and human traffickers and corrupt officials and complacent, indulged elitists who have made a living out of criticizing while not lifting a finger for their fellow man. Or Joseph Kony.
As for me, I’m going to move with the movers.
Kristen Howerton
Should we bask in blind privilege while being apathetic and ignorant to the rest of the world, for fear of someone chastising us for our privilege if we try to help someone less fortunate?  Ridiculous.  White privilege exists, whether someone is making a documentary about the Acholi people or working a corporate job in ad sales.  Frankly, I’m a little sick of it being levied as an insult for anyone who dares to advocate for people of another race or culture.
Sadly, a day or two after each of these posts were written, we learned of filmmaker Jason Russell's arrest and hospitalization following an apparent mental breakdown.  He was obviously broken by all of the criticism and stress.

I feel such heaviness and compassion for Jason and his family.  The only response to the open failure of another can only be sorrow for our common human frailty, an acknowledgement of the brokenness in each of us.

We are every one of us so conflicted with both heaven and hell, virtue and sin- we are all capable of both greater good and greater evil than we think we are.

And because it is the sensitive soul that bears these rare qualities of raw compassion and courage required to dream visions and make art, it is also this soul most easily afflicted, most tormented.

I want to believe that all is not lost- that the work of Invisible Children may only become more alive because the mission now is clearly not about elitism, but about the wounded fighting for the wounded, frail humanity speaking out on behalf of frail humanity.

I hope this footnote to the Kony 2012 story will help us to face the limits of ourselves, and humble us to live in vulnerability and courageous art.

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