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.
It is time for citizens to have the right to file in federal court a criminal complaint against police officers who violate their constitutional rights.
The race problem persists in America. Reaction to Donald Trump’s hostile remarks indicates that it is alive and well. Remedies for the problem have had only limited results. There is no consensus on what has provoked the conflict. Some now believe that whites with modest incomes have been intentionally deceived by the plutocrats in order to establish a conflict among working-class Americans to prevent them from organizing for social change.
During World War II, American citizens established a very high standard of patriotism. To many of those imbued with those values, the remarks of Donald Trump border on treason. He publicly denounced America’s allies, openly courted Russia, a potentially hostile nation, and mocked Gold Star parents. That Trump’s campaign is still viable after this indicates some Americans no longer really value patriotism.
Fair minded whites are now aware of the continuing disrespect and aggressions against African Americans. It is a modest request that they accept the principle — black lives do matter — even if they question some of the political strategies. It is time for an effort to correct the nation’s tolerance of bigotry to create a spirit of unity that will strengthen America’s position in the world. This will benefit all citizens, black and white.
Some journalists and commentators have suggested that interracial “conversations” are needed to resolve the problems. While the intention is undoubtedly well meaning, there is no reason to believe that such discussions will simply lead to effective resolutions. Although they are not so stated, the fundamental demands of the Black Lives Matter groups are non-negotiable.
The long list of police abuses are easily sufficient to cause a strong-minded individual to “snap.” What needs to happen now is for the police across the country to change their offensive culture toward blacks as well as other citizens in order to eliminate the enmity.
Those who are campaigning for greater worker benefits have some evidence that more security for employees does not necessarily pollute the job market.
More black students should be encouraged to enter Latin School, but success will require the development of a massive cultural interest in academic progress that must begin no later than elementary school. That would be a worthwhile project for Boston’s black community.
Trump has built much of his support on trash-talking rather than proposing real solutions to the nation’s problems. While many of his comments are rude and defamatory under American jurisprudence, freedom of speech is at the most extensive in political contests.
America can be proud of the quality of its colleges and universities, but the status of secondary education is substandard. The Program for International Student Assessment periodically tests 15-year-old students from various countries on math, science and reading. The effectiveness of the educational systems of the various nations is then determined by the results. The U.S. is outperformed by 29 nations in math, 22 in science and 19 in reading.