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Melvin B. Miller

Stories by Melvin B.

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Blacks oppose monuments to the seditious Confederacy

From the black perspective monuments to Confederate generals stand for white supremacy. It is absurd for white protesters to expect that blacks, who are in the majority, would continue to tolerate the existence of the symbols of their oppression and disenfranchisement.

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No easy explanation for Fenway Park racism

Boston has to work to change its culture. The “City on a Hill” must have a metropolitan demeanor in order to sustain its lofty reputation. But there must be some considerable effort to identify the causes of the mindless white racism.

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A bad tradeoff

Patriot’s Day is a major holiday in Massachusetts. It is a celebration of the beginning of America’s Revolutionary War against Britain. Every year a rider impersonating William Dawes rides a horse from Eliot Square in Roxbury to warn the residents of the western suburbs that “the British are coming.” Minutemen reenactors confront the British Redcoats in Concord and Lexington and once again fire “the shot heard around the world.” The performance of the colonial militia generated a strong interest among early Americans in maintaining the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Talk is cheap: Police killings require substantive changes

What manner of conversation will modify unpleasant attitudes that have become part of the American culture? The problems facing the nation cannot be overcome with mild pleasantries. If whites learn to understand that black lives matter, perhaps they can also then move on to love one another. Mere conversations will not get us there.

Free college tuition: An idea whose time has come

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged to provide free tuition at public colleges and universities. This was attacked by conservatives as unrealistically expensive. However, public colleges in California and City College of New York had once been tuition free. Now Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed free tuition at community colleges for Boston public school graduates.

Publisher’s statement on web-based help wanted ads

Now the Banner has developed an efficient digital system that will simplify the efforts of human resource executives to recruit needed staff. And the system is cost-effective. What is more, a digital help wanted Banner ad will reach a youthful, more highly-educated and metropolitan-oriented audience on the Banner website.

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Voters: the essential element of democracy

At no time in recent memory have the principles of democracy that are the nation’s foundation been more threatened. It is critical for citizens to provide the volunteers and financial resources to enable MassVOTE to accelerate its efforts.

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A crippling social malady

America’s racism is complex and confusing. Toni Morrison, the prize winning author, in an interview with Charlie Rose some years ago, stated its nature quite simply: “Don’t you understand that people who do this thing, who practice racism, are bereft? There is something distorted about the psyche. It’s a huge waste and it’s a corruption, and it’s a distortion.”

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Highest incarceration rate: America’s dubious distinction

American politicians enhanced their get tough on crime reputations with laws that required imprisonment for violators, but the rising cost of incarceration is forcing social policy planners to consider the impact on government budgets.

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The people matter

An aroused and committed public opposition of citizens successfully defeated the president and other politicians who attempted to revoke deserved public entitlements by artifice. The people should remain alert because other Trumpian frauds are likely to be revealed.

Needed: A cultural commitment to academic success

One thing is clear: The continued failure of blacks and Latinos to qualify for Boston Latin School is not acceptable.

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True patriotism is more than cheap platitudes

What they call patriotism now is a pale reflection of the love for America that abounded in the 1940s.

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Academia’s complicity in the slave trade

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study recently sponsored a well-attended conference entitled “Universities and Slavery: Bound by History,” to discuss the complicity of academia with slavery in America. When considering slavery, one’s first thought is the Civil War and plantation owners growing rich from forced labor. The nation’s exalted institutions were considered to be far removed from such a depraved practice. However, with the growing recognition of the involvement of esteemed universities in slavery, it is becoming more apparent that slavery was more extensive than was generally believed. Ironically, academia has become a major battleground for opposition to affirmative action.

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Arroyo suspension an undemocratic procedure

Felix Arroyo, the first person of color elected to be register of the Suffolk Probate Court has been suspended from office, pending an investigation of the dysfunctional operation of the office.

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The battle for voting rights continues

As the annual Black History Month draws to a close, it is well to remember George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” After Barack Obama’s ascension to the presidency, there is a strong desire to conclude that a non-racial America has evolved. Indeed, the great legacy of black achievements for the benefit of the nation warrants the status of equality for black citizens. Every February African Americans note their contributions, but it is painful to recollect in detail the infliction suffered in generations of racial abuse.

An attack on consumers

An Obama rule requires investment advisors to consider the best interests of their customers in making decisions in retirement accounts was upheld.

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Are excessive police salaries in Boston’s public interest?

The highest paid city employee in 2016 was a Boston police detective who was paid $403,000. In fact, 98 of the top 100 highest earners were employees of the police department.

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A White House not worthy of respect

Americans believe that the president of the United States is due the greatest show of respect. Political commentators and the media have been trying to be deferential despite Donald Trump’s bizarre views and inappropriate conduct. But finally the lid is off. Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that Trump is a fraud. This statement by a highly regarded senator enables the public to criticize the president without being attacked for impropriety.

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An affront to Boston’s black history

David Jacobs decided to appropriate the Boston Guardian name when he found it inadvisable to continue publication of his Boston Courant under that legend. Any copyright protection of the Boston Guardian had expired, but Jacobs was nonetheless informed that the Guardian had special historical significance. Now every week there will be another desecration of the special status of Trotter’s Boston Guardian. Certainly Trotter’s protest against racial defamation ranks up there with other early Boston oppositions to injustice.

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Time to stop killer cops

Despite great public awareness of the violence between the police and unarmed blacks, the incidents continue. President Trump seems to have great sympathy for the police as does his attorney general designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Chances of blacks prevailing in criminal prosecutions against offending police officers are slim.

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America’s political schizophrenia

For many citizens, the issue of Russian hacking has not been satisfactorily resolved. Congress has agreed to investigate the matter further. Lewis has established a reputation for courage and integrity. Just as he stood tall on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965), Congressman Lewis stood alone to preserve the integrity of American democracy.

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Trump defies presidential standards

During the recent campaign for president, critics often expressed concern that Donald Trump was not presidential enough. For many people a certain dignity and decorum were required for the job. Nonetheless, Trump understood the necessity of appealing to the “ignored” and “overlooked.” He did not want to be identified as one of the “elite” who looked down upon the working class folks. Unfortunately, many of Trump’s constituents tolerate a laxity in the requirements for president that could damage democracy.

Banking on local talent

In a great move for the citizens of Boston, the directors of Eastern Bank have voted to elevate Robert Rivers, the former Eastern Bank president, to chairman and CEO. The move had been anticipated for a year with the expectation that Quincy Miller would be available to assume Rivers’ former duties as president. Miller was formerly the Massachusetts state president of Citizens Bank.

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A failure of white privilege

Political pundits have not yet offered an acceptable explanation of why many of those who had voted for Barack Obama would years later vote for Donald Trump. Perhaps the answer lies in the failure of white privilege to function as expected. There is a mistaken assumption that white privilege must always involve racial discrimination.

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A winning attitude key to black business success

During 2016, the spirit of entrepreneurship seemed to blossom in Boston’s black community. The Bay State Banner helped to fertilize this growth with publication of a business magazine entitled Banner Biz. The year before the Banner sponsored two “Pitch in the City” events to induce young entrepreneurs to develop the ability to present their ideas in an effective manner. Even many of those with no plans to start a business are now aware of the importance of the development of wealth by blacks.

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A patriotic resolution

In the past, Americans have been casual about their involvement in political matters unless an election is underway. This year, during the coming period of dynamic change, your New Year’s resolution must be to remain politically active in order to preserve the democratic culture.

Upscale white nationalism presents new threats

As leader of the “birthers” who challenged Barack Obama’s legitimacy, Donald Trump rose to prominence among white nationalists who hailed his election as president. The alt-right are conservatives who alternatively oppose racial diversity. It is critical for other citizens to confront the racial views that will divide the nation.

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American consumers victimized by banks, corporations

There is a strong sense that American culture is becoming increasingly more predatory, a proposition that is at odds with the spirit of Christmas.

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Trump’s presidential con job

There seems to be no limit on the price that some whites are willing to pay for the delusion of white supremacy. And Trump, the consummate conman, knew just how to pick their pockets.

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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.

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.

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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