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The mayoral forum for only black candidates is a bad idea.

Melvin B. Miller

Bad ideas often find their way to Roxbury. A group of local residents is now developing a project which has to be the worst imaginable idea. They are organizing a candidates forum for Boston’s campaign for Mayor, but only minority candidates are invited to participate.

Such an event would be racially discriminatory. There is no explanation or rationalization that could make it acceptable. The golden rule is clear and simple –“Do unto others only what you would have them do unto you.” Blacks would be screaming “discrimination” if whites were to establish a candidates forum for whites only.

Unwittingly, the organizers have impaired the political success of the black candidates. Any candidate who attends can be subjected to criticism by white voters, who would expect to see the next mayor stand against racial discrimination. Candidates who refuse to attend would be vulnerable to criticism by militant separatists for their failure to comply with a poorly conceived black strategy.

Last week, Americans celebrated with great jubilation the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. That was a historic time when citizens of all races and all walks of life came together to eliminate the curse of racial discrimination. With that spirit so strong in the culture at this time, how could organizers of a candidates forum step back into the darkness of racial discrimination?

Where is the community leadership to speak out against this renunciation of the commitment to racial equality? Have we not learned from the effectiveness of Pres. Barak Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick that political success requires multi-racial unity?