I’m not usually one for blogging about current events, mostly because I don’t watch the news enough and don’t always know exactly what I’m talking about, but I found something tonight that I’m passionate enough about that I can’t help but write about it. And just a head’s up, this is all just my opinion; I’m not educated on every background of all of this and I’m only writing about it because I feel the need to say something.
So to start, most anyone that will read this post has probably seen or at least heard something about the Invisible Children organization and their recent video titled KONY 2012. <–but just in case you’ve never heard anything about it, click there.
As I was scrolling through Facebook a few hours ago, I came across a pretty shocking article, stating that Jason Russell, the co-founder of the organization and creator of the KONY video, was reportedly found running through the streets of San Diego, causing a scene by pounding his fists into the pavement, stopping traffic, yelling irrationally, all while dressed only in his underwear and then, eventually, completely naked. Some articles say there was a report of some really obscene behavior, but I don’t think it’s actually confirmed. Anyway, the police detained him, and he’s now being hospitalized with the possibility of either some drug use or a major mental breakdown.
To be totally honest, when I first read the article, I was disgusted with him. I thought, what kind of a guy would try to do something so spectacular for the world, and then go out and make this decision? For goodness sakes, he has two little children, and there are people in Uganda who seem to really look up to him for what he’s trying to do for their country. What a sick, twisted thing for him to do.
I also thought about what this means for Invisible Children and the KONY 2012 movement, and how this could very well mess up a lot, if not all, of the efforts they’ve made to change the situation in Uganda. I wanted to accuse him of being a selfish idiot for what he’d done.
Then I thought about it again and I realized, yes, what he did was absolutely, ridiculously messed up. Whatever caused him to do this, whether drugs or a mental disorder or whatever else, obviously made for a really awful, awful mistake. But who am I to judge him for this? I don’t know why it happened…if it was a mental breakdown, then what if he is under some kind of pressure for making these documentaries that I could never imagine? And if it’s drugs then maybe there’s a reason he took them in the first place. (Not at all to say that it’s okay in any situation to take drugs, I’m only saying that people usually don’t just take drugs if everything is going right in their lives.) I think it would be wrong to say that just because Jason Russell did something wrong automatically means that the Invisible Children organization is wrong, or that he’s a bad person because of this one thing. I’ve already seen many comments from people on these articles about how they can’t support the Kony movement anymore because of this, or that they “just knew” there was something bad about this movement and about Jason.
My point is this: regardless of people’s mistakes, we cannot go around saying everything they do or everything they are associated with should be judged by that mistake. I personally think Invisible Children is an amazing organization that is trying to do a great thing for a country. Jason Russell was trying to do a great thing for a country. Something just went wrong with him along the way and I don’t think anyone, especially not myself, has the right to say whether or not he’s a “messed up” person, or that this should be a reason to disregard all the work he’s done in Uganda over the last ten years or so. If you support Invisible Children and are considering not supporting because of this, or if you don’t support Invisible Children, just take a second to think before you make an opinion of the situation. We have a God who gave us more grace than we could ever, ever deserve; we really should be extending that grace to others, even when we don’t agree with what they’ve done.
If anyone has any comments, please, feel free to say something. I’d really like to know what opinions are out there, ’cause all of what I just wrote is based off of an opinion made in the last few hours, without knowing what the outcome of this situation will be. I’d like to get more insight on all of it as well. Thanks for reading!