“Structural Economic Violence”

I teach with hunger. Literally.

AAUP reports that part-timers now make up 50 percent of total faculty. As adjuncts proliferate, the number of tenured jobs falls. Why pay full salaries when you can get workers on the cheap?

Hordes of adjuncts slog like migrant workers from campus to campus. Teaching four fall and four spring courses at $2,700 each generates an annual salary of $21,600, below the national poverty line for a family of four. In a classroom across the hall, a tenured professor could make $100,000 for teaching half as many courses to half as many students. The tenured commonly speak of their teaching “loads,” as if they were hauling burlap sacks of weighty tomes up to the heights of Mount Academia.

To continue reading Colman McCarthy’s blunt illustration of my life, his article, “Adjuncts fight for crumbs on campus,” published by the Washington Post, please click here college’s dirty little secret.

I read this article at work when a colleague brought in a print copy of the Post. A group of us “migrant workers” passed it around on the DL like kids passing a note around the classroom. We felt validated, noticed, appreciated, all the while thinking, God forbid any of our bosses catch us reading this! like servants from the Medieval ages.

Even in the unifying moment that Coleman’s article generously gave us, we needed to be “hush, hush” about not only liking the article, but also even having it on campus. As McCarthy points out, we are barely surviving; we are desperate for income; we can’t afford to piss anyone off, yet we are also educators, teaching our students to think critically and to observe, to ask questions. As their instructors, however, we suppress our own.

I don’t have health insurance coverage. I don’t have my own parking space though I drive to and from different campuses. I don’t have an office (merely what I like to call “my mobile locker” rolling briefcase). And even publishing this post makes me nervous.

I do have great students. I do love teaching. I do have big dreams, but after reading Coleman’s piece, I’ve started to wonder if that’s all they are.

Miami, Gables practice ‘brick-and-mortar’ racism – Speak Up – MiamiHerald.com

Miami, Gables practice ‘brick-and-mortar’ racism – Speak Up – MiamiHerald.com

Carlos Medina, Miami, FL

I have been invested in the Coconut Grove community for 20 years, as a volunteer, an employee of a business there and a concerned citizen. Moving Coral Gables’ trolley-bus repair depot to the West Grove is an action steeped in historical injustice. Once again, this pleasant community is being treated unjustly, with condescension and with a sense of privileged charity by those in power, whether they are business people or politicians.What I saw and heard at a recent meeting run by city of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was appalling. Sarnoff is on the wrong side of this issue, as are the phantom Coral Gables politicians who sent their lawyer but skipped this important meeting, which was overwhelmingly attended by West Grove residents. Sarnoff’s presentation was self-serving and insulting, publicizing the names of those in need who he so selflessly helped throughout his career.This is a racial issue of the first order. It is a replay of the playbook from the ’50s and ’60’s used by people with political and economic power to place their ‘inconvenient’ highways, stadiums, garages, depots, hospitals and prisons in the less powerful neighborhoods. Then they would cite “property rights” to sugarcoat such unseemly actions and the sprinkling of “benefits” already bestowed upon the “ungrateful” neighborhood.That is why Sarnoff’s presentation was so demeaning to our local democracy. He defended Coral Gables, with people who do not vote for him; there was the glaring absence of any Coral Gables politician and a “master knows best” attitude vividly on display. I was moved by the large presence of residents and by the many volunteers who are working like mad, on various fronts, to put a stop to this miscarriage of justice.I suggest that the West Grove community contact Al Sharpton and Bishop Victor Curry, of Miami’s New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International, who sits on the board of Sharpton’s National Action Network. Jesse Jackson should also be informed. If necessary, I am willing to donate funds, time and heart to help make this possible.The glaring light of the media that their presence attracts will expose what is going on in Miami. The West Grove is a living witness and survivor of brick-and-mortar racism.Let the City Beautiful build its oh-so-perfect repair depot within its own boundaries. Let the West Grove residents have some peace. And let Commissioner Sarnoff, who has done many wonderful things for Miami, get back on the right side of this issue and use his talent to protect and preserve the neighborhood of those who voted for him.

Carlos Medina, Miami