President Liebowitz sent an email concerning divestment to students, faculty and staff on Tuesday December 4, 2012. He announced that at least $33 million of the endowment is invested in fossil fuel companies and at least $7 million is invested in arms manufacturers.
Ron urges that we be “inclusive of all opinions.” To invest in fossil fuel companies is not an opinion. It is an act of violence against our planet. To invest in war is not an opinion. It is an act of violence against people.
Ron wants to consider “what the implications might be for the College, for faculty, staff, and individual students.” What we should consider is: what are the implications for our planet and its people — including but not limited to the College, faculty, staff and students — if we continue to invest in these companies?
Does our “fiduciary responsibility” take into account what we ought to be paying to clean up after these companies? Does it take into account the human costs? If it did, would we still invest in fossil fuel companies and arms manufacturers?
How many bullets can you buy with $7 million? How many bombs can you build? Is that 0.8% of the endowment so profitable that it is worth the price in human life to hold on to it? Knowing that it is such a relatively small amount of the endowment, it is unconscionable to not divest.
And so the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
–Martin Luther King Jr. “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top”