From the get-go there was something about the whole Kony 2012 campaign that didn’t sit right with us. Maybe it was just that it was so slick, so commercial, so intentionally viral without telling you what it was all about. Or maybe it was Invisible Children seemed focused on the crimes of Joseph Kony to the exclusion of the sins committed by the group’s partners in the Uganda government.
We should always trust our instincts: B.E. Wilson of Alternet sifted through annual reports and tax forms filed by Invisible Children and its donors and discovered serious connections to anti-gay groups like the Caster Family Foundation and the Call (both major players in the push for California’s Prop 8).
One of The Call’s major donors in 2008 also gave, that same year, over 400,000 dollars to Invisible Children. These links weren’t anomalies. They were part of a pattern.
What does Invisible Children share in common with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council (pegged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group”)…
What does IC have in common with the ministry of California evangelist Ed Silvoso, who works directly with leading Ugandan author and promoter of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (also called the “kill the gays bill”) Julius Oyet—who claims that “even animals are wiser than homosexuals”?
The answer? All of these ministries—the Discovery Institute, Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation, The Call, Ed Silvoso’s Harvest Evangelism, and Invisible Children—received at least $100,000 in 2008 from what has emerged in the last decade as the biggest funder of the hard, antigay, creationist Christian right: the National Christian Foundation.
Gee, we wonder if Oprah, Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres—all of whom have been targeted by IC’s appeal—are aware of its links to known hate groups. We’re gonna guess not.
So, does this mean we should assume any effort to bring a human-rights violator to justice is part of a anti-gay conspiracy? Of course not. But maybe we should all do a little digging before we start forwarding links or changing our names on Facebook.
Besides, we think Invisible Children works better as the name of a ’90s Brit-pop band than an activist group anyway.