#Kon2012 And The Imperialist Scramble For Africa
Tweet what you will, but I find the sudden interest which sparked the #KONY2012 and #STOPKONY trends on Twitter both extremely suspicious and slightly patronising. The former, because of what this ‘discovery’ of child soldiers implicates for Africa in the long run, in particular, East Africa which has become a region of political importance with Britain planning to intervene in Somalia and the latter because this is not the first case of its kind. It is also rather distressing for me, as an African, to see my continent suddenly become a bandwagon and finally be of relevance after centuries of injustices being born there. Africa has been raped, murdered and pillaged by the West since the slave trade and has continued to be right up until this Kony malarkey so it begs the question – why do the West care? Did they care about Africans when they dragged us on bloody feet and chains and made our ancestors their slaves? Did they care when their companies illegally dumped nuclear waste on Somali shores? Or perhaps they cared deeply about the Coltan rush in the Congo?
I understand that to some, this video may be a shock, but to many it isn’t. It does not make it any less disheartening and disgusting but the message we should be sending is that ALL injustices are wrong, not the few that have the potential of justifying another Scramble for Africa because of its geographical or political relevance in a world that is slowly but surely being knocked down by the West in their plan to destabilise the Global South. And even if they are wrong, it gives no moral justification to any Western involvement because we all know what the outcome of such a mission will be. It will be Iraq, Libya and Syria. And civilians’ blood will be on the hands of all of those who called for this. I also find it astonishing that there is a genuine consensus in this country and in the West in general that *we* are somehow superiorly able to impose *our* military presence and our values on another people. This Western supremacist idea is not only foundationally ignorant and patronising but used as a tool to manufacture the consent of such adventures of governments and this should be challenged constantly.
Of course Kony is a dodgy and evil character, but surely we should have been able to a) know this before it became a trending topic on Twitter and b) been able to accept this WHILST also challenging the stance of groups such as Invisible Children who have been involved in very dubious business from the start. An organisation that has ‘direct military intervention’ as one of its aims is certainly one that should not be fronting this campaign or any other which involves Africa. Awareness is always a positive thing but this issue is way too complex and complicated than simply watching a thirty minute video or using a hashtag on social media. However, it is also simply not enough to sit on a fence and say that raising awareness for THIS particular campaign is your sole purpose without acknowledging the implications of your approval for “just anything to be done to save the poor African children!” (suggesting therefore assenting to Western involvement.) If you really care about Africa I suggest you rewire your brain into understanding how Europe and America actually underdeveloped Africa instead of jumping on bandwagons with no real comprehension of historical relations between the West and Africa. Unfortunately, there are no cleverly put together emotional videos on that which have worldwide attention as of yet.
Again, if you cannot see this timely campaign as a ploy and tactic to further destabilise Africa in order to pursue and maintain their interests as an imperial and colonial entity as well as to excuse and defend another Scramble for Africa then you, my friend, are very silly and probably shouldn’t be reading this. We never seem to learn from history and are constantly looking to the future for questions that have already been answered. The ‘poor little black kids’ don’t really need you to save them, as without you, they probably could have saved themselves.