Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Last night, the Board of Managers re-adopted their policy of not letting social considerations drive their investments. In a dramatic gesture to affirm these guidelines, the Board voted unanimously to re-invest in Apartheid.
“Our highest priority is the ability of Swarthmore students to get a world-class education,” Board of Managers Chair Tom Cock ‘78 said. “The reality is that the Apartheid industry is one of the most promising fields today, and we expect it to bring great benefit to our students.”
To execute the decision, half the endowment has been invested in South Africa Tradition Alliance (SATA), a venture-backed startup that is hiring freelance mercenaries to restore Apartheid in South Africa. Moreover, the Board decided to retroactively cite the 45 students who sat in the President’s Office in the 80s, and over two dozen who disrupted a 1988 Board meeting, adding warning letters to their record with the College. Messenger boys have been dispatched across the nation to deliver these letters.
“This is not an extremist stance,” Cock said last night. “In fact, investing in Apartheid is the least political thing we could’ve done. We are doing this for educational excellence.”
SATA Inc. President Mike Johnston applauded the decision, saying: “The Apartheid divestment movement really hurt us a lot, so we are very glad that Swarthmore is taking this bold stance. Racial capitalism is here to stay. This way, at least, students can reap the benefits.”
SATA has been selling stickers and buttons and lobbying for apartheid since the regime fell in the early 1990s. One board member reached out to a business partner that works with SATA late last night to confirm investment.
In response to the decision, angry student activists stormed Parrish in search of answers. They got one from Investment Manager Park And-Stunts, who is optimistic about the new opportunities that these investments will bring to Swarthmore.
“This is actually an exciting and unique opportunity,” And-Stunts said. “We are in intense conversation with our Apartheid partners and have great hopes that we can improve their policies from within. Only by working together can we solve the global challenges facing us.”
In an all-campus telegram, Dean Liz Braun re-affirmed the College’s commitment to overcoming racism on campus.
“We believe our greatest contribution to fighting racism is here at home, where we have recently introduced the highly innovative Racism Tax that puts us years ahead of our peer institutions,” she said. The internal tax charges departments for every class with an all-white syllabus.
The decision also came as a shock to Mountain Justice. Co-coordinator Stefan O’Hamper ‘17 told the Daily Gazette in an email, “This came out of nowhere. I honestly don’t know what to say. We are incapable of being dismayed any more.”
Members of the Swarthmore Conservative Society, however, applauded the decision, claiming it was a return to form for the College.
“We welcome the school taking a stand against social-justice bullies,” conservative Marco Pitt ‘18 said. “Racism is obviously real, but you’re not going to solve it by crying and whining about the College giving millions to a white supremacist police state. Maybe go out there and actually help someone for a change.”
I liked this article until I got to the last two paragraphs. Opinions like this one about the Swarthmore Conservative Society, while humorous, get in the way of dialogue on campus.