“I Heart the LRA”

31 03 2009

Controversial, Contextual and Changing the World

  • NOTE: This was written in response to a group of people that disagree with the newly released Invisible Children shirts.*

You can buy this shirt at: http://store.invisiblechildren.com/

Currently, the governments of DRC, Uganda and Sudan see the LRA as a collective (abducted child or not). The bombings of “Operation Lightning Thunder” prove this to be true. There were no efforts to isolate the commanders from the abducted children and hundreds were killed in this joint military offensive.

IC is trying to help change the current view of the LRA. The LRA is not a terrorist organization and we should start to view the LRA as innocent children who have been kidnapped and are held against their will. Saying “I Heart the LRA” is an act to separate the LRA and it’s leadership (Joseph Kony and his commanders), so that people can see that the LRA is not a terrorist organization…Joseph Kony is the problem and the terrorist.

The shirts are serving their purpose. It’s a beautiful thing that so many people are asking questions and really seeking depth and truth in the current situation. How incredible would it be if the communities in northern Uganda loved the LRA and when they return home to Uganda were received with open arms, forgiveness, reconciliation and support? If the negative association to the LRA is changed to a positive the child soldiers that return would have less stigmatization to overcome than they currently do.

Current former child soldiers are stigmatized as rebels in their communities. Even though they were forced to join against there will. How incredible would it be if the LRA became a positive stigma? And instead meant “innocent child” instead of rebel or terrorist. It might make it easier for their communities to receive them when they return home.

The current situation with the LRA and innocent children is a very complex and I believe these shirts are the least of our worries (and the child soldiers). The shirts will fade away a year or so after April 25th, but the hurdles these child soldiers will face will last their entire lives.

These concerns have really helped bring so much to the surface. I feel like I need to spend more time supporting the leaders of northern Uganda in their efforts to remove the real guns from the hands of the LRA and bring home their children.




One response

12 02 2010

We went to the website to get this shirt, but they don’t have it any more!!!!! where can we get one? I love it too much to make my own. Please answer us ASAP!!!!!!!! Muy importante!!! THank you!

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