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Melvin B. Miller

Stories by Melvin B.

Will population shift challenge Roxbury?

Housing decisions depend primarily on income. While racial discrimination often affects housing opportunities, it is probably more informative to review housing issues from the perspective of constraints imposed by family income.

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Dylan Roof: a death penalty dilemma

The election of Donald Trump seems to have revived the hopes of white supremacists for their political reemergence. Congregants of Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church maintain a more compassionate state of mind.

Every vote counts

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.

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A loss of national unity

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.

Attacks on the culture of democracy

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.

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Thanksgiving: An affirmation of family

Thanksgiving is a good time to consider the obstacles Americans have overcome to preserve the sanctity of family.

Ballot Question 2: A missed opportunity

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.

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Trump victory spells stormy days ahead

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.

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America’s status needs rebuilding

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.

Win or lose, Trump’s candidacy poses problems for U.S.

At this time just before the presidential election, there is a hue and cry to get out the black vote.

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Vote yes on Question 2 for education success

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.

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Boston-area blacks have a history of enterprise and ingenuity

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.

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Developing a plan to build wealth

The quest for racial equality in America now confronts the most demanding obstacle — equitable economic attainment. That does not mean that African Americans and Latinos must suddenly become wealthy. The objective is that their income and wealth statistics become comparable to the data of other racial groups. The Banner’s recent financial literacy conference, “Money Talk,” held at Roxbury Community College provided advice and information on how to build black wealth.

Trump proposes plunder

Under Trump, America would become a rogue nation that plunders the natural resources of weaker countries. Trump supports theft on a grand scale. Is that how Trump plans to “Make America Great Again”?

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The real problem at BLS: Too few black applicants

Black leaders ought to focus on the more serious problem at Latin School — the lack of preparation to enable blacks to pass the test to be admitted.

ICIC promotes inclusion without inclusivity

Media outreach for Inclusivity event missing "minority" voice

According to their website they want to host a "national conversation about what it will take to create inclusive incubators and accelerators! This event will convene incubator and accelerator leaders, economic development professionals, city officials, and other stakeholders interested in inclusive innovation to identify strategies to break down barriers for women and minority entrepreneurs." But the newspaper of record for this community - not included.

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An American tradition of predation

Banks were once considered to be the safest place to secure one’s funds. A major purpose of banks has always been to serve as the safest depository, but now that assurance has been breached. The Wells Fargo Bank has fired 5,300 employees for failing to enroll depositors in additional accounts and then charging them a reported $1.5 million or more in fees. The issue now confronting the country is whether criminal indictments are to be filed against the bank executives who benefitted from bonuses earned from the fraud but were not directly involved in the scam.

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Vote ‘yes’ for better educational opportunities

Continued excuses for failure in the academic outcomes from public schools are unacceptable. Charter schools indicate that educational success is possible. It is too soon to shut down the innovation by voting “no” on Question 2. Vote “yes,” for the children’s sake.

A race-baiting strategy

Trump is masterful at playing the race card. The skill requires that his comments or deeds be defensible as innocent of racism. For him to be branded an outright bigot would not help his worldly image. But Trump is certainly aware that about half of his supporters have negative attitudes towards blacks. Several polls have established this fact. With his former assumption of the leadership of the “birther” movement to challenge Barack Obama’s constitutional legitimacy to be president, Trump demonstrated a willingness to be the regent of the racists.

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Hillary – the clear choice for Sanders supporters

Avid supporters of Bernie Sanders who do not vote for Hillary Clinton will have failed to understand Sanders’ political revolution. The objective is to gain support for issues that enhance the economic status of the average citizen. The charisma of the resident of the White House is helpful but is essentially irrelevant. Strategically, the Sanders revolution can maintain its power only with its solid vote for the presidential candidate who is most likely to be sympathetic to its goals. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.

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Applying a double standard to patriotism

Some critics of Colin Kaepernick condemn his protest as seditious, but how could that be when Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for U.S. president, has made public comments during the campaign that are at the very least subversive. Criticism of Trump has been relatively mild when compared with the outcry against Kaepernick who did no more than kneel during the national anthem, in constitutionally protected protest.

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Police abuse – 21st century lynching?

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was established in 1957 to bring the force of the federal government against the violation of voting rights in the South. This same federal clout will be needed to end the neo-lynching of unarmed blacks by the police.

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Vote Thursday Sept 8 in 6th Suffolk primary

Whoever wins the Sept. 8 election will likely become the community’s representative on Beacon Hill.

Trump lies with concern for black issues

Despite never demonstrating any special interest in the country’s racial problem, Donald Trump now has the audacity to assert that his election as president will benefit African Americans. “What the hell do you have to lose?” he callously asks.

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Commentary: Vote Thursday, Sept. 8 for 7th Suffolk District

Gloria Fox has held that office in the 7th Suffolk District since 1985, and has decided to retire. Whoever wins the Sept. 8 election will likely become the community’s representative on Beacon Hill.

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A troubling Trump victory in the primary

That Trump could do so well in Massachusetts, a primarily blue state, should induce Hillary Clinton supporters not to take victory for granted despite the encouraging current polling results.

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Constitutional violations by police should be a federal crime

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.

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The American Con Game

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.

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The U.S. needs a true patriot

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.

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Which side are you on?

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.

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Mere words won’t do

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.

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Police violence is genesis of violent reaction

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.

Workers’ benefits build opportunity

Those who are campaigning for greater worker benefits have some evidence that more security for employees does not necessarily pollute the job market.

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Ambition for academic excellence begins with the young

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.

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Trump’s defiance of American tradition

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.

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U.S. missing the mark

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.

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Loans of the last resort

Payday loans have been disastrous for many low income households. The default rate is about 20 percent and many borrowers are forced to renew with additional fees. Borrowers could end up with a debt that includes more fees and interest than the original amount of the loan. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes restrictions to require that lenders establish the borrower’s capacity to repay the loan.

Protesters sabotage Brooklyn district attorney

Thompson offended liberals when he failed to press for imprisonment of a former police officer who, during his days as a rookie, shot and killed Akai Gurley by accident.

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An abuse of citizens’ rights

A new Louisiana law categorizes crimes against police as hate crimes, triggering harsher sentences.

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Juneteenth has no beneficial meaning in Mass.

Blacks observing the Texas holiday of Junteenth would do well to understand the historical inaccuracies of the commemoration, and learn about the Bay State’s earlier history of abolition.

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Ali's assertiveness set a standard

Muhammad Ali’s prodigious boxing talent would normally be enough to enthrall his fans, but Ali had the character and the intelligence also to move forcefully outside the ring beyond the confines of America’s racial restrictions.

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Nothing less than betrayal

Many blacks believe that Clarence Thomas is more like the quisling in the slave quarters whose function was to preserve the authority of white privilege.

The death of journalistic responsibility

Decades ago, Americans often referred to the press as the Fourth Estate. That was an honorific to acknowledge the critical role of the press in monitoring the nation’s democratic system of government, but that term is not heard so frequently these days as the press has joined with other media to become primarily a significant source of entertainment.

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To your health!

According to government data, in 1900, whites lived on average for 15 years longer than blacks. Since then the gap has been closing. In 1990 whites still lived seven years longer, but federal records indicate that the gap narrowed to 3.4 years in 2014. Blacks live an average expectancy of 75.6 years compared to 79 years for whites.

Trump gets it wrong again

Calling Sen. Warren Pocahontas reconfirmed his lack of understanding of American history.

Trump has reconfirmed his fundamental racial insensitivity and his lack of understanding of American history.

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Diversity run amok

African Americans still toiling for full equality throughout the nation should not be hampered by the negative implications of diversity that have been sown by Harvard’s ill-advised policy.

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Racial equality not a Trump priority

There seems to be very little that African Americans or major Democratic Party leaders can do to change those circumstances that drive support for Trump. The prospect of a Trump presidency should be so horrifying to African Americans, that there has to be a massive commitment to vote in November, and to vote for the Democratic candidate.

Unjust voter suppression

Conservatives have been employing a perfectly legal technique for reducing the black vote. It is actually a two-step process. First, a bigoted criminal justice system convicts blacks of felonies. Then once a felon, the citizen loses the right to vote. However, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic Governor of Virginia, has developed a technique for circumventing this disenfranchisement.

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The growing cost of police misconduct

The increasing cost of judicial judgments is now causing major cities to reconsider the proficiency of the police.

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A dearth of depth in a complex world

During the civil rights era the issues confronting African Americans were so apparent that there was little room for controversy among the leaders. Segregation, racial discrimination and the restriction of voting rights all had to go. While leaders could disagree with the strategy to achieve those goals there was little difference of opinion on the objectives. Now times have changed. While problems are still determined to be racial conflicts, it should be obvious to most observers that race is not always the primary issue. The controversy is really who will control the wealth and the votes. The nature of discrimination is often so subtle that it can be reasonably asserted that race is not at all the real issue.

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