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Melvin B. Miller

Stories by Melvin B.

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The perennial practice of police abuse

The Magna Carta, executed at Runnymede, England in 1215, was the precedent for the Bill of Rights and the right of judicial review that are so critical to Anglo-American jurisprudence. Yet protests against police violence in America continue 800 years later.

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Police violence is about more than broken windows

Americans must be willing to adopt imaginative programs to end the police victimization of black men.

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An attack on black progress

Gov. Charlie Baker has selected Ronald L. Walker II to join his administration as secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. An objective review of Ron Walker’s resume would determine that he is uniquely qualified for that post. As co-founder and president of Next Street Financial, Walker has developed a company to provide financial and consulting services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. However, The Boston Globe has challenged that selection.

More than ever, education is the key to success

Academic achievement was always respected by African Americans. Even in the days of slavery, education was desired, although it was often unattainable. Black commitment to the importance of educational achievement should now be stronger than ever.

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New York police defiantly turn away from civility

New York police officers violated basic laws of civility when they protested during New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s formal condolences to the family at the funeral of their fellow officer, Rafael Ramos, who was murdered by a deranged killer.

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Edward Brooke blazed trail for black progress

Sen. Edward W. Brooke will always remain a hero to the veterans of the battle for civil rights. He was keenly intelligent, extraordinarily gracious and endowed with natural and persuasive oratorical skills. Brooke set a standard for competence which very few can attain. Keywords: Edward Brooke obituary, Edward Brooke and the Civil Rights Movement, Roxbury, Gov. Christian Herter and U.S. Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, black Republicans

Rage: the product of a violent culture

As the assassination of the New York police officers indicates, non-violence is not an infallible effort.

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The death of courtesy

At the end of December it’s time to develop New Year’s resolutions to correct the foibles of the prior year. In order to do this, there has to be an objective assessment of one’s flaws. However, the capacity to perceive personal shortcomings may be greatly diminished in this age of egocentricity.

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Building wealth, even in the season of giving

At a time when many are focused on spending, it’s more important than ever to focus on building wealth.

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Rush to condemn Cosby premature

The uncorroborated complaints of sexual impropriety by Bill Cosby arouse the distressing memory among elders of similar past claims against black men.

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Racism: A scientific delusion

Many Americans consider as racist acts both the shooting death of the unarmed Michael Brown and the failure of the grand jury to indict his killer, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Such incidents of police abuse occur all too frequently. Racism has been a human affliction for centuries.

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Equal protection from the law

Police shootings of unarmed blacks in recent months have shone light on racial disparities in the American criminal justice system and pervasive police brutality.

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An unwarranted intrusion on parental rights

The National Football League has no right to require the players of any team to refrain from spanking their children for discipline. It was shocking to learn that the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has essentially ordered the Minnesota Vikings to fire their black running back Adrian Peterson for disciplining his son.

City must find a non-disruptive solution to homeless problem

The sudden closing of the city’s Long Island shelter has caused disruption in the lives of many of the city’s homeless. The city reportedly considered using a recently shuttered hospital in Roxbury as a temporary shelter.

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Voting: A key step to full equality

Efforts to gain social and economic equality of whites will come to little if blacks don’t exercise their right to vote.

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Another undeserved attack on an African American institution

A Boston Globe article highlighting the black-owned OneUnited Bank’s low Community Reinvestment Act score ignores the work the bank does investing the majority of its lending dollars in underserved urban areas.

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Visionaries seeking affluence for the people

Charles Stith and Andrew Young worked with federal regulators to shore up community reinvestment regulations for banks, helping ensure the economic benefits of banking activity are more broadly shared in the United States.

Beyond race and gender

This year’s statewide election features a gender-diverse pool of candidates for constitutional offices.

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Stay at the top of the political game

With higher-than average turnout numbers in recent elections, blacks have become a major force in Boston politics. High turnout in black communities could determine the outcome of the 2014 statewide election.

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Ballot questions let voters legislate

The Banner weighs in on the four questions on the 2014 Massachusetts ballot.

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No stop-and-frisk without probable cause to arrest

Barring police from stopping and searching people unless they have probable cause to arrest would go a long way toward bettering relations between the department and the community.

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Be somebody: Register to vote

Everybody has equal say on Election Day.

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America’s race sickness afflicts public health

Many Americans hold negative views of Obama Care, unless they don’t know they’re receiving it.

Commentary: Shifting sexual mores present new challenges

In January, a White House report entitled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” found that one in five women have been sexually assaulted in college. President Obama launched a new effort in September called “It’s On Us” to combat such offenses on college campuses. Old grads wonder whether the current openness of college dormitories is partially to blame.

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No excuses for failure to vote

With a criminal justice system that is skewed against blacks and a city council with just one black member, blacks in Ferguson would do well to exercise their political power and vote.

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Governor’s race wide open

While Massachusetts has consistently voted for Democrats in congressional and presidential races, voters have shown little party loyalty in gubernatorial races. With Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker running neck-and-neck, this year’s gubernatorial race could go either way.

Commentary: A challenge to parental discipline

Decades ago, standard equipment for an elementary school teacher in Boston was a rattan switch. Prescribing the rattan was a non-pharmaceutical remedy for ADHD.

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Equality still a challenge after 40 years of busing

Court-ordered desegregation was implemented in response to the longstanding unequal allocation of resources in Boston’s public schools.

The math is simple: Entitlements decline with the growth of good-paying jobs

Many low-income workers are better off on public benefits that pay for housing, food, and health care than they are working a minimum wage job. A Harvard economist argues that allowing people to continue to collect benefits while employed would help transition workers into financial independence.

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Good news in the battle against poverty

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the birth rate for teens 15-19 years old has dropped from 57 percent in 1991 to 26 percent today. The decline in teen births has saved the government $12 billion in the cost of providing social services.

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Ferguson blacks reap consequences of failure to vote

Blacks make up nearly 70 percent of the population of Ferguson, Mo., yet there’s just one black person on the town’s board of selectmen and just three of the town’s 53 officers are black. Voter turnout among blacks in Ferguson is low, leaving the town’s white minority in control of municipal government.

Broadening children’s perspectives

Conversations about race and ethnicity in America rarely include concern about the status and well-being of Native Americans

Book on Native Americans can give children a broader perspective on Native Americans and the natural world.

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Obama’s tough response is appropriate

Criticism of President Obama’s response to the Islamic State’s murder of James Foley ignores the broader implications of the president’s response.

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Police homicides: A continuing national problem

Police shootings of unarmed black men will continue until blacks amass political power.

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Ferguson, Missouri’s lesson on elections

Being Majority Minority does not beget power - voting does.

Ferguson demonstrates to blacks in Boston and elsewhere that voting is not at all an idle exercise.

Globe articles target vital small business program that benefits Boston’s small businesses

A series of Boston Globe articles targeted The Boston Local Development Corporation, a BRA lending program that shored up local businesses during the Great Recession.

Re-elect Auditor Bump — keep government honest

State Auditor Suzanne Bump has uncovered waste and fraud in government agencies, leading to significant government reforms.

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Decriminalize marijuana: End prosecutorial discrimination against blacks

Studies have shown marijuana to be far less harmful than alcohol, yet its continued status as an illegal drug contributes to discriminatory prosecution of blacks, who are 3.7 times as likely as whites to be incarcerated on drug charges.

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Smart choices for public safety

Banner endorses Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins and former state rep. Warren Tolman for attorney general

Banner endorses Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins for sheriff and former state rep. Warren Tolman for attorney general

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Diversity at The Conventions in Boston

The NABJ and the Boule held their conventions in Boston for the first time in their history

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Boule held their conventions in Boston for the first time.

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Too many excluded from the nation’s prosperity

A pattern of income inequality is destroying the middle class and the American way of life, and it is afflicting whites as well as blacks.

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Steve Grossman for governor

Banner endorses Steve Grossman’s campaign for governor

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Income inequality: A continuing American problem

The belief held by many whites that poverty is a black problem diverts attention from the widening gap between the nation’s wealthy and the middle class

Commentary: Media miss the mark on U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

While many in the U.S. media have criticized President Barak Obama for his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq, the president made sound policy decisions to protect U.S. troops

Mississippi blacks show greater sophistication at the ballot box

Black voters in Mississippi crossed party lines to block a Tea Party candidate from winning the Republican primary

Commentary: Now who you calling lazy? Ryan’s racist attack fails

The rate of unemployment in the first quarter of 2014 was 6.9 percent. As expected, the rate for blacks was higher at 12.2 percent, twice the rate for whites. According to Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee chairman, this is the result of poverty in our inner cities.

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It is imperative that African Americans remain politically active in next election

African Americans are key voting block and their votes can make the difference in a close election. In the presidential election of 2012 66.2 % of eligible blacks went to the polls

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Racial identity still a puzzling problem

Racially-ambiguous singer/actor Herb Jeffries pursued his career as a black man in an era when it was not profitable to do so

Full speed ahead with Tremont Crossing

Boston is being rebuilt. On the waterfront, new hotels, office towers and apartment buildings have changed its character. The waterfront has become the Innovation and Design District. Now it is time for a transformation in Roxbury.

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Objectors to Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper effort undermine initiative to help black boys, men

Several prominent blacks have voiced objections to President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper effort to alleviate the problems facing black men in the U.S. on the grounds that black women should be included.

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