Members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) recently received a series of emails from third-party pressure groups, urging them to vote against supporters of the boycott of Israeli institutions in the elections for the organization’s officers. Boycott opponents are using outside support to try and meddle in the organization’s democratic process. We hope that members will ignore this noise and vote for AAA office holders based on their merits.
As anthropologists, we believe that a critical global perspective, a suspicion of authoritarianism and state power, and an inclination to understand and even sympathize with the experiences of oppressed groups are meritorious qualities that we should look for in the AAA’s leadership.
As the United States faces a resurgence of right-wing nationalism, scholars face increasing challenges to our academic freedom. These include blacklists of faculty who express solidarity with Palestinians and other left-leaning causes, repression of labor organizers, and efforts of alt-right groups to infiltrate campus spaces. Now more than ever we need to support colleagues who will defend our academic and civic rights.
Support democracy in the association and in academia and vote in the upcoming AAA elections, which ends in only a few days — May 31st. AAA Members can access their ballots by clicking on this link and entering their login details. If that doesn’t work, go to www.americananthro.org, log in, and look for the “Vote” button on the right-hand side of the screen.