Today, in my incredibly crankified mood, I sat on the T and read the Metro. Ok, so "reading" isn't exactly the term I'd use when referring to what I do to the Metro each morning - it's more like skim all the crap I'll read on line when I get to work, read the gossip and arts section, skip business because I am stock-market-tarded, read the world news, go over the sports section, then fold it on my lap (not throw it on the floor you dirty Bostonians/suburbanites that make me train car resemble a STYE) and open my book. Usually I can do all of this before the train pulls out of the station.
This morning I was pleased to see a great deal of coverage of the Die-In that occurred on the Common yesterday, which came as the culminating event for Darfur Days, protesting the ongoing suffering and killings in the Darfur region of Sudan. "Yes" I thought "how wonderful to see coverage in the Metro." I scanned through the article and a quotation caught my eye. I saw "blood money" "retirement fund" "Fidelity." Fidelity, an investment company through which I have one of my retirement funds, invests in not only the rape of the natural landscape (an oil company) but one that operates in Sudan. Awesome. So when I retire I can look back and say "thanks to the Sudanese government that killed all these people, I can afford XYZ!!" Jesus. How wrong is that? How wrong is it that I sit here and talk about f*cking Rwanda and Darfur while I'm making interest off the Sudanese genocide? ugh. It makes me nauseous. And it makes me feel really naive for not doing some research, for not asking where my money is being invested. It sucks because I thought Fidelity's program was really great, the 2040 Freedom Fund. Yeah, guess not. I was so angry about this that I thought about closing my retirement fund today. Of course, I can't because work has rules, bitches. What I can do is make an appointment with TIAA-CREF, the other company through which I have investments and switch my retirement fund over to one of their Social Choice funds (if I am not already in a fund that is "ok" If you're wondering about your own retirement/mutual funds, you can check out the divestment screener here.) If you are curious about TIAA-CREF's policies toward Sudan, check those out here.
As far as Fidelity goes, they're going to be under a lot of pressure. If you are stuck in your funds for the time being, keep your eye on this great site and click on "Divest for Darfur." There you'll find a phone number for Fidelity. Ask them about Darfur. They won't like it. I'm going to tell them that I'm going to reinvest my funds elsewhere if they don't divest from Darfur. Don't let them bullsh*t you either. My college divested themselves from Darfur over a year ago, and they're a rich institution with a big endowment, and they've clearly shown that you don't need to be invested in genocide to make money. Sigh. Now I have to go research ING....thank God I am too stock-market-tarded to have stocks!