Statement on David Koch’s Death
While David Koch may be gone, his anti-democratic legacy lives on in higher education. Jasmine Banks, Executive Director of UnKoch My Campus, is available to comment on this damaging impact.
Also available for comment are our college fellows, working on the ground to reverse the violent reverberations of Koch's donations.
Please contact our Media Consultant, Avital Norman Nathman at email@example.com for assistance.
David Koch’s death is not a victory for the democracy movement. David Koch died today with a net worth of $59 billion. When one has this amount of wealth at their disposal, their money buys immortality.
Over the course of David Koch’s lifetime, he and his brother Charles invested the wealth they derived from their corporation, Koch Industries, into an expansive infrastructure of political influence. Koch’s wealth underwrote the creation and growth of university research centers, think-tanks, and astro-turf advocacy organizations that are alive and active across the country today. It also bankrolled the careers of many state and federal politicians who are actively shaping state and federal policy.
Sponsoring this political infrastructure, especially through their investments at colleges and universities, has been Koch’s strategic way of underwriting a shift in our nation’s culture over the past 60 years. By leveraging educational institutions to mainstream the ideas that support their anti-democratic policy agenda, the Kochs and their donor network have been successful in ensuring that their ideological legacy lives on well past their physical ends.
As David Koch’s family mourns his loss, we are pausing to grieve too. We grieve for the families who lost loved ones due to limited healthcare access. We grieve for the Black communities living alongside waterways polluted by Koch’s chemical plants. We grieve for the Indigenous nations who had oil stolen from their lands to build Koch’s industrial wealth.
The political infrastructure David Koch’s wealth has created exists to uphold cultures of white supremacy and capitalism long after his death. The mainstreaming of violent ideology through Koch's lasting investments in higher education continue to bring death and grief to our communities every day. So while we pause to grieve the destruction of democratic values today, tomorrow we will keep organizing.