I guess I might be upset and write negatively about non-profit Invisible Children if I had been writing on Central African affairs for years (maybe decades) and hadn’t done much other than just that – writing. See, Michael Deibert wrote this really insightful post at the Huffington Post on the conflict in Central Africa, specifically with the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). While it was interesting to learn more about the region, I consider Mr. Deibert’s position stale, non conclusive and quite frankly, weak.
Beyond the fact that Mr. Deibert is really into his ramblings about how Invisible Children’s founders are ‘self-aggrandizing foreigners,’ he leaves his readers with little to do but close the tab on their browser. You read a little article, learn a bit more about the Ugandan government and then you’re done. Mr. Deibert was done. Almost like a textbook being closed upon current events that are shattering lives of the innocent. As though it’s just part of history and there’s nothing you can do, especially if you’re a white foreigner. This is Mr. Deibert’s approach to the crisis in Central Africa.
While I do not doubt Mr. Deibert’s apparent knowledge of Central Africa and peace, after all he is a ‘Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University’ and ‘enjoys making politicians nervous in countries around the world’ (his recent article would make any politician sigh of relief), I do doubt his ability to do anything beyond pontificate about peace and problems around the world. The problem is his lack of action. I would love to know what he’s actually done in the past decade specifically to stop the LRA or, according to his article, to stop the corruption of the Ugandan government. Sure, he’s written a book on it, big deal. Millions of people have become aware of Joseph Kony in one week because of Invisible Children’s film. Impressive. Awareness is part of the goal, and IC is way better at this then Mr. Deibert. Maybe he’s jealous.
Awareness and action go hand in hand. Mr. Deibert’s article is very well written on the history and context of the situation, but it stops at that. There’s no plan, no action items. So Mr. Deibert, I’m calling you out – what’s your next move for action? Where do you donate your time and money for impact? Will your next teardown of another non-profit actually address a plan?
For the record Mr. Deibert, I did ask myself, ‘who am I to call out Mr. Deibert?’ but the next question to come to me was, ‘who am I not to?’ Your move.
Still skeptical of Invisible Children? go here.