Divestment is a reactionary tool to gain agency not used by those in power, but by those who are systematically disadvantaged. The term investment implies that one must have the agency and ability to determine where one's money is going to. Divestment is a crucial tool that momentarily shifts power relations among those who have the ability to control discourses and those who these discourse abject.
Campus climate is indicative of regimes of oppression that operate in a broader institutional framework, in which education systems are only parts of the machinery of a broader regime. When we equate calls for divestment and Pro Palestinian activism to causal effects of campus climate, acts of discrimination become trivialized to be associated to critiques of states and systems. Last spring quarter, an Asian American interest fraternity Lamda Theta Delta issued a video in which Blackface was performed which circulated throughout national news. Campus discourses quickly shift from critically assessing the racist video, to policing Black students’ reactions to the video. This is a prime example of historical oppression and American culture that produces Black bodies a non-human and abject in which our contemporary pop culture is founded on.
Campus climate is not acts of political resistance. Divestment seeks to humanize those persons rendered invisible by refusing to invest in the systems that seeks to erase their resistance and survival. As students of conscience, we have a social responsibility to critique systems in the United States, as well as transnationally. U.S. ideologies globally configure local politics. As students at a U.S. institution it is not our role to determine the best solution for the Palestinians and Israelis or even suggest state solutions. It should be those who live the everyday struggle under apartheid to choose what human rights look like. Thus it is our role to fight for the removal of U.S. investments in local conflicts, for the U.S. has committed an innumerable amount crimes nationally and globally whose effects can never fully be be accounted for.
ASUCI Executive Vice President