Broward College's MLK Day Celebration Is Hypocritical

Evan Rowe is a former professor of history at Broward College.

Broward College, that hallowed institution of community access to higher education, wants to help remind students about its whitewashed version of the King legacy, one that is now entirely compatible with its consistent abuse of adjunct professors.

The college will be awarding funds for projects that "support the legacy of Dr King." The BC administration hypocritically celebrates his legacy while adjunct professors, who number somewhere around 50% of the faculty, live near the poverty line that King worked so hard to push people away from.

Generally speaking, the King legacy has been retrofitted to fit the modern right-wing vision of equality, which is centered around the use of diversity as a substitute for equality. In other words, the upward redistribution of wealth and power is acceptable, so long as the workforce upon which the rich make their fortunes has a diverse percentage of nominal minority members (i.e. a few women, a few blacks, a few gays...).

This, of course, serves as political and ideological cover for the narrow minority at the top of the economic spectrum, who receive the majority of the wealth on the backs of the low-paid common worker.

In fact, King called for a "radical redistribution" of wealth and power. He did not suggest that it be redistributed upwards, but rather that it be redistributed downwards.

That idea is at odds with what is happening at Broward College, where administrators have engaged in a process of redistributing money to themselves, paying the president of the college a package of over $450,000 per year. Nationally, in higher education, 71% of money is now going to administrative costs. Administration should be a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. But perhaps it's hard to see it that way when you're pulling down a couple hundred grand a year isn't it?

Luckily, somebody put together this MLK montage to help the out-of-touch college elites connect King's legacy from their whitewashed version of it. Perhaps they need a "rubric" (a silly neoliberal education buzzword) to help them collectively come to their moral senses, or they can just watch and listen to the man himself.

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