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Melvin B. Miller

Stories by Melvin B.

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Injustice in Mass. criminal courts gets less attention than in Fla.

Injustice in the Mass Criminal Courts - The relatively mild sentence for Michael McLaughlin, the disgraced former Chelsea Housing Authority executive director raises questions about fairness in the Massachusetts criminal justice system

The Bomber Cover on Rolling Stone has an unexpected negative impact

The Bomber Cover on Rolling Stone has an unexpected negative impact

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Trayvon’s legacy: A review of self-defense

African Americans across the country are not surprised that George Zimmerman was acquitted. He had conveniently gunned down the only direct witness to his murderous assault, Trayvon Martin. The prosecutor was left with a totally circumstantial case.

Legal support for “saggy pants” defiles advancement for black youths

A major responsibility of adults is to provide youngsters with sound advice and counsel. Of course it is natural for the young to resist the wisdom of their elders

Pull up “saggy pants” says Black Mental Health Alliance of Mass. (BMHAM)

A common fashion for young males is to wear pants slung so low that their underwear is clearly visible.

Time for a winning strategy

The Fourth of July is not just beer and barbeque and fireworks displays. Independence Day is also a time for thoughtful citizens to reaffirm their commitment to the basic principles of the republic. The nuances between the people and the government are constantly subject to review.

Paula Deen’s costly mistake

Times are changing. Those who remember the Old South during the civil rights era might find the story of Paula Deen astounding. Back then blacks had to ride in the back of the bus, they drank from separate public water fountains, and they could not eat in restaurants reserved for white customers.

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U.S. Supreme Court decision – Another impediment to black voting rights

Since the election of Barack Obama as president, there has been considerable speculation about whether a post racial era has been launched in America. Liberals hope that racial discrimination has essentially come to an end. Conservatives know that racial hostility continues to exist but they insist it is time to terminate all the sanctions designed to end discrimination. They point to the election of an African American to the highest office in the land as evidence that times have sufficiently changed.

Lovie Elam: Long-time Democratic delegate

Remembering Lovie Regina Elam

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U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’ confused rationale in sentencing recommendations

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz sought a prison term of 33 to 41 months when Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner was convicted of accepting a bribe of $1,000 for constituent services. However, Ortiz accepted a guilty plea in exchange for a one-year sentence from Michael E. McLaughlin, who as head of the Chelsea Housing Authority took unauthorized compensation of up to $366,000 per year.

Avoidance of obesity is a personal responsibility

Americans once believed that obesity resulted from continual overeating. That was before medical science examined the issue. Recently the American Medical Association declared that obesity is a disease.

RoxMAPP program solves problems for RCC and Madison Park High School

RoxMAPP program solves problems for RCC and Madison Park High School. Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Tom Menino have collaborated to establish a unique program uniting Madison Park Vocational Technical High School and Roxbury Community College. Entitled RoxMAPP (Massachusetts Academic Polytech Pathway), the program is expected to accelerate the preparation of high school students for technology based employment opportunities.

Black wealth gap continues to grow

Black wealth gap continues to grow

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Make your vote count on June 25

When Boston’s black community first learned that the majority of the city’s population belonged to a minority group, there was a sense of elation. It was as though something special had been achieved. Then reality began to set in as residents realized that nothing more than an opportunity had been created.

Needed transparency in public spending

The state auditor has the official responsibility to review thoroughly the expenditure of funds by public agencies.

GOP: Education is for the rich

Fifty years ago, large corporations aggressively recruited students graduating from major colleges to enroll them in their executive training programs. Then the college degree quickly became a passport to America’s middle class. This spring, graduates in the class of 2013 confront a completely different environment. Meaningful jobs are scarce, and an estimated 70 percent of the class has debt averaging $35,200, according to a study by Fidelity Investments.

Keep the momentum going

66.2 percent of registered blacks went to the polls, compared with 64.1 percent of whites.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, blacks had the highest percentage of registered voters go to the polls in the November presidential election. This is the first time that blacks as a group outperformed whites on Election Day. In 2008, black women had the highest turnout, but the lagging males brought the average down.

An emerging multi-ethnic majority -

First Suffolk Senatorial District changing demographics

For generations, South Boston has been the seat of working-class Irish political power. The symbol of that hegemony has been control of the First Suffolk Senatorial District to which William Bulger was first elected in 1970.

Alarm bells toll for U.S. higher education

An analysis of 1,700 colleges and universities in the U.S. found that about one-third could not stay on their present financial path and survive.

According to a recent study by Bain & Company, a local consulting group, the new student would also be well-advised to review the financial statement of the college of his choice. An analysis of 1,700 colleges and universities in the U.S. found that about one-third could not stay on their present financial path and survive.

Linda Dorcena Forry for state senate

With Forry as the senator from the First District, this will be the first time in several generations that the interests of blacks, Asians and Latinos assume the status of political priorities

More public interest needed for government regulations

in a technologically complex society, the government must sometimes intervene to protect the public.

Americans are staunchly independent. That is a quality inherited from their ancestors who had to be rugged individuals to survive on the frontier. There is a cultural disdain against restricting rules and regulations. However, in a technologically complex society, the government must sometimes intervene to protect the public.

Mayor Menino - A tough act to follow

Tom Menino has continued to lead Boston with vigor for a record 20 years

Affirmative action still under attack

Civil rights advocates awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Fisher v. the University of Texas believe the case concerns the legitimacy of UT’s affirmative action plan for admissions. However, the case actually involves an even more extensive issue — whether any such plans violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

NAACP’s super-sized mistake

In this day of childhood obesity epidemic, the NAACP’s storied reputation was sullied recently by the decision of its New York state chapter to oppose Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of sugary soda drinks in some stores and retail establishments.

Vigilance needed to protect voting rights

Opinion by Melvin Miller

During the civil rights era, many Americans developed a profound respect for the U.S. Supreme Court as the guardian of the nation’s highest standards for freedom, justice and equality. Unfortunately, recent comments by members of the Court now tend to vitiate that reputation.

‘Payday’ loans risky business

Most Americans are customers of a bank. However, a survey of about 54,000 U.S. households by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) in December 2009 found that 7.7 percent of U.S. households had no bank checking or savings accounts.

Savings – A source of wealth

The loss of black household wealth during the recession. The net worth of black households in 2004 was $1 for every $11 of net worth for white households. In 2009, the net worth of white households had become almost 20 times higher — $92,000 to $4,900 for blacks.

H-Block: A community standard

H-Block: A community standard

A new direction

Editorial

The level of academic achievement of American youth is a major public policy concern.

No resting on our laurels

Editorial

the Democratic base is more dynamic. Blacks, Latinos and Asians voted for Obama in overwhelming percentages, and these groups are young and growing.

A Roxbury standard: The Original H-Block

Black History on Roxbury, MA

A section of Roxbury now referred to as H- Block has an illustrious history.

MLK’s message on economic growth

Editorial

The media ignored the “Jobs and Freedom” part of the title, but King never relented on his commitment to improve the economic status of the poor. After enactment of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in 1964 and 1965, respectively, King dedicated the rest of his life until his death on April 4, 1968 to the Poor People’s Campaign

Prosecutorial malpractice

Editorial

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz aggressively prosecuted Aaron Swartz, a 26-year-old computer prodigy, for wrongfully downloading numerous academic journal articles from an MIT website available only to subscribers. Swartz acted not for personal gain but because of a strong political belief that the internet should be free and open to everyone.

Defense — an excessive expense

Defense — an excessive expense

Barney Frank, an effective choice

Barney Frank, an effective choice

The roots of Kwanzaa

The roots of Kwanzaa

All’s fair in politics

Sen. John Kerry has lived a life of extraordinary public service. He was first elected in 1985, became a leader in the U.S. Senate and is now highly respected by his colleagues. His many years as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have made him uniquely qualified to perform with distinction as the next U.S. Secretary of State.

A business plan for 2013

A business plan for 2013

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Christmas spirit exhorts higher character standards

“Peace on Earth, good will to man” is a universally recognized Christmas prayer. It induces everyone to respond to their higher instincts and be compassionate and generous to others. That is not the usual state of mind. There is so much cruelty and violence in the world, we take that conduct to be commonplace; but during the grace of yuletide, stories of inhumanity seem to be deviant.

Higher ed: The rational decision

Higher ed: The rational decision

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A proven solution

Results from the annual state-run MCAS tests determine the academic standing of students. Those performing satisfactorily will be ranked in the “advanced” or “proficient” categories. While about 76 percent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) student body is black or Latino, their test results are on average inferior to those of the 13 percent who are white. Despite the discouraging BPS results, three charter schools have reversed the test standings.

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