DOUCHE OF THE WEEK

KONY 2012’s Invisible Children Cares About Ugandans—But Only If They’re Heteros

Each week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week. 

Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].

We were tempted to give the Douche of the Week honor to the thousands of people who mindlessly re-tweeted, Facebooked and emailed Invisible Children’s viral video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. Seriously, its 2012; haven’t we all learned already to sniff around—or at least think twice—before jumping on the latest cause.

But we realized we were being a little mean (Us, mean? No way!)—at least those bandwagon-jumpers’ hearts were in the right place.

So we’re pinning DOTW onto Invisible Children itself. (That’s IC co-founder Jason Russell playing White Savior at right)

As we reported earlier this week, IC has links to anti-gay Christian groups like the Caster Foundation, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. They also share funding sources with Harvest Evangelism’s Ed Silvoso, who helped push Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill.

Oh, and in case you missed it, that was Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) in the Kony 2012 video.

You know, the guy who said U.S. foreign policy should be based on the Bible. The guy who said he’d never hire an openly gay staffer and who came up with “God, guns, and gays” as the GOP’s campaign strategy. The guy who boasted, “in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”

Yeah, that guy.

Sorry folks, but Invisible Children is looking more and more like a Christian missionary group rather than a human-rights organization. (And as several readers have pointed out, a number of their talking heads ping the gaydar as fundamentalist closet-cases.)

Today, New York magazine reports IC has responded to skepticism about its motivations with a new follow-up video (one that hasn’t gone quite a viral as its debut clip) and a twitter hashtag, “#AskICAnything,” that IC chief Ben Keesey says he’ll respond to personally.

Maybe someone should tweet him a question about the disastrous screening of the Kony 2012 in Uganda last night. As Al Jazeera reports, it was quite the shit show:

The audience was at first puzzled to see the narrative led by an American man—Jason Russell—and his young son.

Towards the end of the film, the mood turned more to anger at what many people saw as a foreign, inaccurate account that belittled and commercialised their suffering, as the film promotes Kony bracelets and other fundraising merchandise, with the aim of making Kony infamous.

One woman I spoke to made the comparison of selling Osama Bin Laden paraphernalia post 9/11 – likely to be highly offensive to many Americans, however well intentioned the campaign behind it.

The event ended with the angrier members of the audience throwing rocks and shouting abusive criticism, as the rest fled for safety, leaving an abandoned projector, with organisers and the press running for cover until the dust settled.

The group is looking worse and worse—and more inept by the day. As New York‘s Joe Coscarelli explains, IC originally agreed to an interview with Jezebel, but then suddenly begged off. An email was sent to the site yesterday by Invisible Children’s Director of Idea Development and Ideology Jedidiah Jenkins. (By the way, what’s creepier: the guy’s hillbilly name or his Orwellian title?)

…I guess we’re currently focusing on producing just a few more pieces addressing criticisms from our own channels, and then moving on to implementation of specific steps of policy-related activism and on the ground work.

There’s been such a onslaught of discussion, it’s overwhelming to tackle it all. I’ll be in touch, and maybe we can follow up with a solid discussion in the near future. 🙂

OMG he did not use a smiley face!

Later, the company pulled the oldest of PR tricks to deflect calls that its anti-gay. The “some of my best friends…” defense! (An oldie but a goodie!)

VP of Business Operations Chris Sarette (right) explained how Invisible Children couldn’t be homophobic because he works for them and he’s gay:

“I have been a core member of the management staff at Invisible Children for five years. The fact that Invisible Children sees people as PEOPLE—whether they be family, neighbors, or children in Central Africa— is one of the reasons I finally came out as a gay man.”

Well, there you go: case closed! Because, as we all know, anti-gay groups never employ homosexuals. Except for the Republican Party. Oh, and the Catholic Church. And the United States military. And… well, you get the picture

All together now: What a bunch of douches!

Photos via Facebook, CNN