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Melvin B. Miller

Stories by Melvin B.

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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An affront to Boston's Black History

Boston Courant now the Boston Guardian

Newspapers still matter - and so does understanding history.

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Small contributions combat corporate political influence

The super-rich will clearly do whatever is necessary to preserve their wealth. If as Sanders asserts, social change only comes from the bottom up, then those with limited income will have to donate even modest sums to political candidates who are committed to ending America’s crippling wealth disparity.

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Blacks still need effective communications campaign

The nature of the media has changed substantially over the last 50 years, and the technology has become more complex. Blacks should nonetheless find a way to mobilize a media campaign both to counter the attacks of the mass media and to inspire the community to unite and press forward for progress.

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The maturing Black Lives Matter movement

The fatal shooting of black men by the police used to be considered a normal aspect of police work, but public attitudes changed last year when several outrageous incidents were videotaped for all to witness. The videos rebutted the police version of events.

What inspired the Massachusetts vote for Trump?

Massachusetts is a very blue state. In fact, it is considered to be one of the national outposts of progressive politics. This is a reputation established by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and is certainly sustained by the present senior Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The red states of the Old Southern Confederacy are looked down upon as backwaters of bigotry. It was something of a shock, therefore, that Donald Trump did so well in Massachusetts in the March 1 presidential primary.

Obama upstages Republicans with court choice

Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of political victory and have handed Obama another political coup.

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Obama upstages Republicans with court choice

Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of political victory and have handed Obama another political coup.

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A myth unveiled

A more perceptive analyst might have concluded that undereducated and financially-stressed Trump supporters might be angry because the American Dream has failed them. Many low-income white Americans believe the blame for their failures should lie with immigrants and blacks. Now comes Donald Trump who promises “to make America great again,” and restore the affluent status to which they are entitled.

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Education: A correction that combats recidivism

Governments must assure their citizens of protection from criminals. Massive imprisonment is the strategy in the U.S. Unfortunately, it does not work. Recidivism is so high that the convicts are soon back in jail after a short time on the street. But there is a growing belief that providing a college education to qualified prisoners might help to resolve the problem.

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Corporations: Inanimate criminals

Americans do not readily accept the idea that a corporation is a person. A corporation does not breathe and eat and think like a human being, but over the years, U.S. courts have attributed more human rights and qualities to corporations. This legal device suits the wealthy who own the capital stock of corporations, but progressives have begun to challenge the concept.

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Shifting the burden to Boston’s home owners

If approved, the Just Cause Eviction ordinance will deprive property owners of their rights and diminish the attractiveness of homeownership as a sound investment. Now the City Council has also burdened homeowners with the cost of paying for the detectives’ pay raise.

Commentary: Boston Latin School: A challenging route to success

Boston Latin School has become one of the nation’s iconic institutions. Its list of early alumni appears to be taken from the record of outstanding Americans: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Hancock, George Santayana and others. In the years since its founding in 1635, Latin School has developed its own character and a unique culture.

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Black press is key to self-determination

The Bay State Banner’s mission to inform and advocate on behalf of the black community is part of a history of black advocacy that goes back to the early 19th century in Boston.

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Citizens crusade needed to end unfair wealth inequality

African Americans must, therefore, vote for the candidate for president who is most likely to mobilize a citizen’s crusade for equity. The election returns from New Hampshire indicate that Bernie Sanders is that candidate.

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Battle over growing wealth disparity looms large in Democratic primary

The question now is whether blacks are willing to employ their might at the polls to support Bernie Sanders, a candidate with the temerity to confront the plutocrats to defeat economic policies that keep blacks impoverished. Hillary Clinton is certainly preferable to any of the Republicans, but now is the time to join the revolution to diminish the nation’s wealth inequality.

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A lack of civility tolerated at Boston Latin

Black students have every right to file an official complaint of racial abuse, but it is good to remember that it is also demeaning to be considered a whiner. Bigoted whites have every right to dislike blacks as long as they do not violate the blacks’ peaceful enjoyment of the academic process. However, polite society will tend not to embrace those with a disposition to reject others on the basis of race, religion or country of origin.

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No more honors for bigots

There is a common practice across America for communities to erect statues or monuments to honor the achievements of local residents. For those whose accomplishments are less prodigious, it is customary to place their names on buildings, public squares or streets. The objective is to imbed in the culture the character of the honoree to serve as a role model for future generations. But now protestors have begun to challenge the worthiness of some of those who have been so memorialized.

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Putting a best foot forward

Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up at a time when it was culturally expedient to induce youth to mature quickly. MLK was born on Jan. 15, 1929, the same year that the Great Depression began. This period of economic decay continued until 1941, and it created a sense of urgency about survival among Americans, especially blacks. The life expectancy for an African American born in 1930 was only 48.1 years.

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