Letter To The Editor

MLK misquoted, repercussions severe

Administration should better understand the meaning of King’s platform before quoting him

By Michael J. Gardner II ’17 G ’18 January 31, 2018

Graig and Chris, I trust my peers in the Rensselaer community to address many of the baseless points that your email outlined. I wish to address your citation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s curious how people love to quote Dr. King in topics they find conducive to keeping the status quo, such as you are doing now with shaming the alumni to increase donations. In his life, Dr. King looked upon the moderates in dismay for not enacting change to the status quo themselves; if they had, years of struggle would have been months. The Rensselaer community has peacefully demonstrated on multiple occasions to speak out against the anti-democratic changes to their home which have stomped out the tradition of co-governance between faculty and administration, and soon, the students as well. Dr. King’s teachings were those of love and understanding: we must first realize that everyone is a capable, logical human, and then work toward a common expectation that is based on common morals. One only needs to look at the past actions of the administration, that of treating students like uninformed children and faculty like machines in the knowledge factory whose goal is to churn out standardized professionals, to realize that the community is stumbling over the very first step that Dr. King outlines. I implore you to spend some time reading Dr. King’s code of ethics or to sit in on the ethics course taught by Professor Bill Puka. Maybe then we can start to treat our community as people instead of just capital.

Michael J. Gardner II ’17 G ’18