when the dust clears

Words about and images of matters political, social, and military

My Mom Says No To David Koch

with 3 comments

My 75-year-old mother, a retired teacher, not an activist, wrote this letter to friends about a difficult choice she was recently forced to make. Give it a read.

November 7, 2011

Dear Friends,

Last week I received a special holiday mailing from the American
Ballet Theatre announcing the upcoming production of The Nutcracker
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. My granddaughter, Rachel, loves
ballet and takes lessons around the corner from BAM. Her Christmas
gift had landed in my lap! Or so I thought.

As I read the colorful brochure more closely, my joy took a nosedive.
I noticed a line in bold print at the bottom of the page: “David H.
Koch is the Lead Underwriter of The Nutcracker. Thinking that this
person might be one of the two billionaire brother philanthropists
prominently featured in current news reports, I decided to check it
out online. I hoped I was wrong but it turned out I was right.

Rachel will be deprived of attending this performance, which
undoubtedly she would have loved. I cannot in good conscience support
any activity to which David or Charles Koch lend their name. To do so
would be to validate their actions and beliefs.

I am aware that the Koch brothers have contributed to many worthy
medical, educational and arts institutions. But I am also aware that
they have used their wealth and power to build, support and fund a
far-flung network of think-tanks, organizations, and causes designed
to disenfranchise a majority of Americans and to benefit a distinct
and wealthy minority.

Their nonphilanthropic ventures include support for Americans for
Prosperity, an anti-labor, global-warming-denying, Tea
Party-affiliated group—which they helped found—and the American
Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC has worked to undermine
environmental regulations, defund public schools, block health-care
reform, and crush unions. The brothers have also provided financial
backing for Scott Walker’s attack on public service unions and for the
the presidential campaign of Herman “Shucky-Ducky” Cain. Charles Koch
has even likened the Obama Administration to the regime of Venezuela’s
Hugo Chavez
. These are just a few examples of the brothers’
undemocratic operations. (See Jane Mayer’s August 30, 2010, New Yorker
piece, “Covert Operations: The Billionaire Brothers Who Are Waging a
War Against Obama.”)

In my view, these activities taint the Kochs’ “good works.” Such
philanthropy has the potential to promote acquiescence at the least
and silence at the most among recipients of their largesse.

If you are troubled by the nature and scope of these activities,
please join me in rejecting what the Kochs stand for and refrain from
buying tickets to The Nutcracker. This grandmother is already hunting
for healthier gift options.

Thank you,



Written by bxpnyc

2011/11/08 at 22:03

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Your mom, my friend, Edith, is a rock star.

    Bari George

    2011/11/08 at 22:22

  2. Where I agree, but these ventures insure artists of work. I am hard press to boycott when the rich do something good. Lets boycott their products, (not made in America) or banking institutions. The Arts do not effect the bottom line as much as their business ventures.

    Donna Gorsline

    2011/11/09 at 11:27

    • This reply from Edith: “Thank you for your thoughtful response. I stand by my message as stated, recognizing the right of others to disagree.”


      2011/11/11 at 16:51

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