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John Silber holds a press conference in Roxbury

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Summary
John Silber speaks to the media and Roxbury residents
Topics
African American politicians, Political campaigns, Race relations, Civil rights, Segregation
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Log

1:00:05: Visual: Footage of John Silber (Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts) speaking at a press conference on the corner of Humboldt Avenue and Homestead Street in Roxbury. Bill Owens (State Senator) and other African American community leaders stand behind Silber. Silber says that there are upstanding, responsible citizens who fear for their lives in the Roxbury community. Silber says that he did not indict them in recent comments. Meg Vaillancourt reports that Silber held a press conference on a Roxbury street today. V: Shots of the press conference. Silber is surrounded by members of the media. A camera crew stands on top of a van to film Silber. Vaillancourt reports that Silber tried to explain his comments during a debate on the previous evening. Vaillancourt notes that a reporter at the debate asked Silber why he has not held any campaign events in the Roxbury, Dorchester, or Mattapan areas of Boston, which is also known as Area B. V: Footage from a gubernatorial campaign debate on September 11, 1990. Silber says that it is useless to give a speech about crime control to "a group of drug addicts." Silber says that it is better for him to give a speech on the steps of the Massachusetts State House. Vaillancourt reports that Silber tried to clarify his remarks today. V: Footage of Silber at the Roxbury press conference. Silber says that he regrets the confusion; that he did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings. Vaillancourt notes that Silber's comments were not all apologetic. V: Shot of a member of a TV news crew at the press conference. Footage of Silber at the Roxbury press conference. Silber tells a reporter that he was not making an apology to the community. Vaillancourt reports that Silber held his press conference in the area where Darlene Tiffany Moore (Roxbury resident and murder victim) was killed two years ago. V: Shot of a 1988 Boston Herald newspaper article featuring a photo of Moore. Vaillancourt reports that Silber chose the spot for the press conference in order to remind people of his crime control proposals. Vaillancourt notes that Silber also tried to blame the media. V: Footage of Silber at the press conference. Silber says that this is not the place for a speech about law and order. Silber says that he will make the speech at this press conference. Silber says that he recently gave a speech on crime control on the steps of the State House; that no one attended. Vaillancourt reports that there are six days left before the gubernatorial primary election. Vaillancourt notes that Silber received a lot of media attention today. V: Shots of members of the media standing on top of a van at the press conference; of reporters surrounding Silber at the press conference. Vaillancourt reports that the press conference changed its tone when a Roxbury resident told Silber that he needs to acknowledge drugs as an equal opportunity problem. V: Footage of Silber and the media at the press conference. Priscilla Flint Russell (Roxbury resident) addresses Silber. She asks him how the drugs and guns are getting into Roxbury. Russell says that Roxbury teenagers are not bringing in the drugs and guns. Silber says that the high-level drug dealers must be prosecuted by the federal courts. Russell asks who will be prosecuted. Silber tells Russell to ask Francis Bellotti (Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts). Russell says that she wants an answer from Silber. Silber says that he is not a prosecuting attorney. Russell stands and yells at Silber. Russell points out that Silber is the one who came to the neighborhood to talk about drugs; that she is not a drug addict. Silber turns away from the microphone, saying that he has no time for "fanaticism." Russell tells Silber to get out of the neighborhood. Vaillancourt reports that neighborhood residents talked about Silber's comments after the press conference. V: Footage of a female neighborhood resident saying that Silber showed his ignorance by speaking of her community in that way. Footage of an African American man saying that he got out of the neighborhood and went to college. The man says that he is not offended by Silber's statements. Footage of an African American woman saying that Silber's comments were taken out of context; that people are afraid to walk the streets. Vaillancourt reports that Roxbury community leaders held a press conference today; that they refused to speak Silber's name. V: Shot of Bruce Bolling (Boston City Council) speaking at the press conference. Footage of Gloria Fox (State Representative) speaking at the press conference. Fox says that Silber is a "wicked racist individual" who deserves no name. Fox says that Silber perpetuates the racist atmosphere which prevailed during the Carol Stuart murder case. Don Muhammad (Roxbury community leader) is among the leaders at the press conference. Vaillancourt stands on a street in Roxbury. Vaillancourt reports that Silber took a lot of heat from the Roxbury community today. Vaillancourt notes that the Roxbury community has not received much attention from Bellotti or from the Republican gubernatorial candidates. Vaillancourt reports that the Roxbury community felt snubbed by the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis (governor of Massachusetts) because the campaign made no major stops in Roxbury. V: Footage of an African American man saying that politicians need to be more visible in Roxbury when there is no election going on. Footage of another African American man saying that he expects little from the next governor of Massachusetts; that the present governor has done little for the Roxbury community. Shot of two white police officers carefully watching an African American boy as he walks down the street.

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