A native of Boston, Melvin B. Miller has been actively involved in political and public affairs for more than 40 years. In 1965, he founded the Bay State Banner, a weekly newspaper advocating the interests of Greater Boston’s African American community. Miller has served as the Banner’s publisher and editor since its inception.
Prior to the establishment of the Banner, Miller was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. In 1973, the State Banking Commissioner appointed him as the Conservator of the Unity Bank and Trust Company, Boston’s first minority bank. Under his stewardship the bank’s operations became profitable for the first time. In 1977, the Mayor of Boston appointed him as one of the three original commissioners of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. He later became chairman of the commission in 1980, and managed its operating budget of $193.2 million.
Miller was also a founding partner in the law firm of Fitch, Miller and Tourse, a primarily corporate law firm and he engaged in the practice of law there from 1981 until 1991. He was also Vice President and General Counsel of WHDH-TV, Boston’s CBS affiliate from 1982 until 1993.
A long-term trustee of Boston University, Miller became a Trustee Emeritus in 2005. He served in the three-member National Advisory Council to American Companies doing business in South Africa under the Sullivan Principles until the council was disbanded after the fall of apartheid. Miller is also a trustee of the Huntington Theatre Company and a director of OneUnited Bank, the largest African American owned and operated bank in the U.S.
A graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard University and Columbia Law School, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on him by Suffolk University and Emerson College.
In every major political campaign citizens encourage their friends and neighbors to vote. Those with an unclear understanding of the significance of the electorate in a democracy are often less committed to show up at the polls.
Political conflict still persists between those supporting Donald Trump and those who voted for Hillary Clinton. After a heated election for U.S. president, the ideal conclusion is for the spirit of national unity to prevail, but with so many unresolved conflicts, political solidarity now seems to be quite distant.
Trump wants to reduce the U.S. to a banana republic with family members employed in the government and business meetings held in the Oval Office. So far there has been little public protest.
Thanksgiving is a good time to consider the obstacles Americans have overcome to preserve the sanctity of family.
The right to expand for charter schools in Massachusetts has been defeated at the polls. Black residents in Boston have been deceived when considering Question 2 into believing that although charter schools have elevated the level of academic achievement of black students, it would be harmful to continue this strategy for success.
The Great Recession has eroded the middle class and induced whites without a college education and with little future to vote for Trump, 67-28 percent. They wanted to “Make America Great Again,” as Trump implored with his slogan. That alone was enough to tilt the final result. Even though they were the primary victims of government inaction, blacks could not support someone like Trump, who got only 8 percent of the vote compared with 88 percent for Hillary Clinton. Now the whole nation faces a problem created by white fecklessness.
Americans have just elected a new president, yet many citizens are skeptical about the nation’s future. The problems that have plagued the country for decades still persist. Racial conflicts and income disparities are in the forefront of issues adversely affecting the lives of countless citizens. Discrimination against blacks, Latinos and women places them at an economic disadvantage.
At this time just before the presidential election, there is a hue and cry to get out the black vote.
WBUR opinion polls indicate that 52 percent of Massachusetts citizens will vote “no” on Question 2, the right of 12 new charter schools to be established in the state each year. However, 53 percent of non-white voters support the measure. With 66 percent of charter school students non-white, a greater “yes” vote from blacks and Latinos should be expected.
Slavery, segregation and blatant racial discrimination have not succeeded in destroying the ingenuity and creativity of African Americans. Indeed, today’s more supportive circumstances should open the door to greater entrepreneurial opportunities for those who are skilled and determined.