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Six part series on Ray Flynn and Mel King

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Summary
Christopher Lydon presents a six-part series on mayoral candidates Mel King and Ray Flynn. In the first report, Lydon talks about the similarities between the two candidates. Lydon notes that both men are social workers from working class backgrounds and that both men have worked with teenagers. This report includes interviews with Kathy Flynn (wife of Ray Flynn) and Joyce King (wife of Mel King), who talk about the generous natures of both men. Lydon interviews Robert Flaherty (South Boston resident), Paul Parks (architect), Edward McCormack (attorney), and Ed Domit (social worker) about the backgrounds of both candidates. Lydon interviews Kenneth Hudson (Boston Neighborhood Basketball League), Robert Shagoury (computer manufacturer), and Walter Byers (Chairman, Massachusetts Boxing Commission) about the community work of both men. The second report explores Flynn's exceptional athletic career at South Boston High School and Providence College. Lydon interviews James Kelly (South Boston High School, class of 1958), Gertrude Morrissey (teacher, South Boston High School), and Jerome Wynegar (Headmaster, South Boston High School) about Flynn's athletic achievements. Lydon interviews Flynn about his experiences as an athlete; Flynn talks about being the only white player to play on an African American basketball team. The report includes interviews with Ruth Batson (civil rights activist) and Lawrence DiCara (former member of the Boston City Council) about Flynn's leadership abilities. The report includes footage of Flynn playing for Providence College at the National Invitational Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 19, 1963. The third report examines Mel King's background and early days as a social worker in a Settlement House in the South End. The report includes footage from interviews with John O'Bryant (Boston School Committee), Paul Parks (architect), and Joyce King (wife of Mel King), who talk about the diverse neighborhood where King grew up. Lydon interviews Ed McClure (US Justice Department) and Herbert Gleason (former Chairman, United South End Settlements) about King's early years as a social worker. Lydon also interviews Robert Shagoury (computer manufacturer), Edward Domit (social worker), Thomas Shea (retailer), and Chuck Turner (teacher), all of whom comment on King's social work. In the fourth report, Lydon discusses Flynn's evolving political views. Lydon notes that Flynn has changed positions on many issues since the 1970s, and that Flynn was a leading opponent to busing for school integration. The report includes footage of Flynn talking about his role in the busing crisis. Lydon also interviews Jerome Wynegar and James Kelly about Flynn and the busing crisis. The report also includes footage of Lawrence DiCara, Edward McCormack, Kathy Flynn, Ruth Batson, Domenic Bozzotto (labor leader), and Peter Dreier (professor, Tufts University) discussing Flynn's political beliefs. The report features photographs of Flynn's anti-busing activities in the 1970s. The fifth report explores King's political beliefs and his activism on behalf of people of color. Lydon notes that the white community tends to see King as a protest leader. Lydon reviews King's involvement in political issues in the 1960s and 1970s. Lydon interviews Paul Parks, Herbert Gleason, Ruth Batson, Andrew Natsios (State Representative), Tunney Lee (professor, MIT), and Chuck Turner about King's beliefs and his record as a legislator. The report also includes footage from an interview with King. King talks about his quiet nature and his political philosophy. The report features photographs of King's political activities in the 1960s and 1970s. In the sixth report, Lydon interviews King and Flynn about their similarities and differences. Lydon notes that Flynn emphasizes the similarities between him and King, while King accuses Flynn of practicing "me, too" politics. King and Flynn each speak about their approaches to politics. The report includes footage from an interview with Kenneth Hudson, who talks about the similarities between King and Flynn. Lydon interviews Domenic Bozzotto and Andrew Natsios about each candidates' relations with organized labor. Lydon interviews Herbert Gleason and Jerome Wynegar about why they support Flynn; he interviews Ruth Batson and Chuck Turner about why they support King. Produced by Christy George.
Topics
African American politicians, Busing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Political campaigns, Race relations, Segregation, Civil rights, South Boston High School
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Log

1:00:10: Visual: Footage of Kathy Flynn in her home. Kathy Flynn (wife of Ray Flynn) talks about the generosity of Ray Flynn (candidate for mayor of Boston). Footage of Joyce King talking about the quiet generosity of Mel King (candidate for mayor of Boston). Christopher Lydon reports from a rooftop. Part of the Boston skyline is visible behind him. Lydon reports that Flynn and King are both quiet social workers. Lydon talks about the similarities in the resumes of the two candidates. Lydon notes "accidental" similarities in that both candidates are sons of longshoremen and both have six children. Lydon reports that both candidates were the first in their families to attend college. V: Shot of black and white photo of the basketball team at Providence College. Flynn is in the front row. Shot of a black and white group photo King and other students from Claflin College. Lydon reports that both candidates returned to Boston to work with teenagers in the city. V: Footage of Robert Flaherty (South Boston resident) talking about Flynn's love for the city of Boston. Flaherty says that Flynn's father was active in a union. Footage of Joyce King saying that Mel King's father was active in a union; that Mel King is very proud of his father. Footage of Paul Parks (architect) talking about King's West Indian background. Shot of a black and white photo of Flynn and his family. Footage of Edward McCormack (attorney) talking about the Irish American culture of South Boston. Footage of Ed Domit (social worker) talking about the culture of the South End neighborhoods. Shots of black and white photos of King as a basketball coach with young players. Lydon reports that King coached youth sports as a social worker. Lydon reports that Flynn started up the city-wide Boston Neighborhood Basketball Association in the 1960s. V: Footage of Kenneth Hudson (Boston Neighborhood Basketball League) talking about Flynn's involvement in the Boston Neighborhood Basketball Association. Hudson says that King encouraged youth to play in the league. Footage of Robert Shagoury (computer manufacturer) talking about how King put together a Little League team in the South End. Footage of Lydon interviewing Walter Byers (Chairman, Massachusetts Boxing Commission) in front of the Roxbury District Courthouse. Byers says that social workers like King and Flynn have worked with the community and know what the community needs.

1:06:19: V: Footage of Flynn talking about his performance in a debate against King. Flynn talks about his experience in athletics as a youth. Shots of Flynn at a debate with King in Fanueil Hall. Lydon stands in front of South Boston High School. Lydon reports on Flynn's exceptional athletic career at South Boston High School. V: Shot of a trophy from the 1983 Ray Flynn Road Race. Footage of James Kelly (South Boston High School, class of 1958) saying that Flynn was the best athlete ever to attend South Boston High School. Kelly talks about Flynn's athletic career in football and basketball. Footage of Gertrude Morrissey (teacher, South Boston High School) saying that Flynn played on winning teams at South Boston High School; that Flynn's personality has been formed by his athletic success. Lydon reports that Ben Schwartzwalder (football coach, Syracuse University) had been impressed by Flynn's football skill in 1957; that Schwartzwalder was told by Flynn's coaches and guidance councselors that a kid from South Boston would not perform well in high-level competition at a university far from home. V: Footage of Lydon interviewing Jerome Wynegar (headmaster, South Boston High School) in front of South Boston High School. Wynegar says that a poor self-image and a lack of confidence are common among South Boston youth; that many South Boston kids are told that they are not "good enough" to do anything significant; that he has been trying to help South Boston kids realize their potential. V: Black and white television footage of Flynn playing for Providence College at the National Invitational Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 19,1963. Footage of Flynn talking about his love for athletic competiton. Flynn says that he had to work very hard to become a good athlete. Flynn talks about what he has learned from athletics. Shots of black and white photos of Flynn as a baby; of Flynn as a child in his baseball uniform. Shot of a medal from Providence College inscribed to Flynn. Footage of the 1963 basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Footage of Flynn talking about the setbacks he experienced as an athlete; that he was cut from the roster of the Boston Celtics. Shot of a black and white team photo of Flynn with the basketball team from Providence College. Lydon reports that Flynn came into contact with African Americans and other minorities through sports. V: Footage of Flynn talking about his experiences as the only white player on an African American basketball team. Footage of Ruth Batson (civil rights activist) talking about Flynn's opposition to busing and school desegregation in the 1970s. Batson questions Flynn's commitment to equal access for people of color. Lydon reports that critics question Flynn's ability to lead the city. V: Footage of Lawrence DiCara (former member of the Boston City Council) saying that Flynn has the ability to work hard. DiCara says that hard work is not the same as leadership.

1:13:44: Lydon introduces a report on Mel King (candidate for mayor of Boston) and his early career as a social worker. V: Footage of King, John O'Bryant (Boston School Committee), Paul Parks (architect) and Joyce King (wife of Mel King) talking about the diversity of the South End neighborhood where they grew up. Lydon reports from Seneca Street, where King grew up. A train passes by on the elevated tracks behind Lydon. Lydon reports that the "New York streets" neighborhood where King grew up was razed in the 1950s; that King learned to appreciate diversity and to share with the less fortunate while growing up in the neighborhood. V: Footage of King saying that he learned from his family the importance of sharing with the less fortunate. King says that it is important to feel good about oneself in order to feel good about others; that he likes to teach people to solve problems for themselves. Lydon reports that King's first job out of college was at a Settlement House in the South End; that King was helping teenagers as a street corner social worker in the 1950s. V: Footage of Ed McClure (US Justice Department) and Lydon walking in the South End. McClure talks about being King's partner in social work in the 1950s. McClure says that King was on a mission to reach out to those who needed help; that King's humility allowed him to make the initial contact with people. Lydon reports from a basketball gym at the Blackstone School in the South End. Men are playing a basketball game behind him. Lydon says that King is a regular at weekly games at the gym; that King has known many of the players since childhood. V: Footage of the basketball game. Footage of Robert Shagoury (computer manufacturer) talking about his early memories of King trying to put together a Little League baseball team in his neighborhood. Footage of Edward Domit (social worker) saying that King had great confidence in people; that King was trying to reach out to the young kids who needed help. Footage of Thomas Shea (retailer) talking about the support and guidance given to him by King when Shea was younger. Footage of King saying that he tries to empower people to solve their own problems. Footage of Shea saying that he went to visit King after graduating from college; that King was genuinely happy for him. Footage of McClure saying that King is dedicated to helping people. Lydon reports from 48 Rutland Street, the site of the Settlement House where King lived and worked. Lydon describes the conflict between King and the board of the United South End Settlements (USES). Lydon says that USES accused King of neglecting paperwork; that King accused the USES of forcing him to choose between his community and their bureacracy. V: Footage of Herbert Gleason (former Chairman of USES) saying that King is passionate and compassionate. Gleason talks about the importance of efficient administration of social programs. Footage of Shagoury saying that King was an effective administrator of social programs. Footage of McClure saying that the goal of social work is to help people to adjust to their conditions; that another goal is to help people change their conditions. Footage of Chuck Turner (teacher) saying that King's vision is to help people to live positive lives.

1:22:58: V: Footage of Lawrence DiCara (former member of the Boston City Council) saying that Flynn is a complex person; that he could never be sure which way Flynn would vote on the issues. Lydon reports from outside of the State House. Lydon reports that Flynn has changed position of the death penalty, Proposition 2 1/2, the payroll tax, and other issues; that Flynn explains his changing views as a result of "personal growth." Lydon comments that Flynn seems to be moving away from his constituents in South Boston; that Flynn is moving toward a city-wide base. Lydon comments on Flynn's "bingo bills" in the state legislature, his proposal to abolish compulsory education and his drive to abolish welfare abortions. Lydon reports that Flynn had a central role in the busing crisis during school desegregation in Boston. V: Footage of Flynn talking about his role in the anti-busing movement. Flynn says that he believed the court order to be counter-productive; that many African American and white parents did not believe that the court order would improve education. Flynn says that his constituents did not believe that the government was acting in the best interests of children. Shots of black and white photos of Flynn as a leader of the anti-busing movement; of Flynn at anti-busing rallies; of Flynn with Louise Day Hicks (leader of the anti-busing movement). Footage of Lydon interviewing Jerome Wynegar (Headmaster, South Boston High School to talk to students and encourage them to go to school. Wynegar says that Flynn was a positive influence during the busing crisis; that Flynn was harassed by South Boston residents for his actions. Wynegar says that one of Flynn's political opponents used racial slurs against Flynn to criticize him during a campaign; that critics saw Flynn's actions as a betrayal of the anti-busing movement. Footage of James Kelly (South Boston Information Center) saying that he does not remember if Flynn's car was burned in South Boston; that the burning of cars was not unusual in South Boston. Footage of Edward McCormack (attorney) saying that Flynn will act in the best interests of the city as mayor; that Flynn will alienate South Boston voters if necessary. Shot of a black and white photo of Flynn sitting in front of a sign reading, "Save our neighborhood schools." Lydon reports that Flynn never stood up against his South Boston constituents on the busing issue; that many critics feel that his role in the anti-busing movement disqualifies him as a potential mayor. V: Footage of Ruth Batson (civil rights activist) saying that she is glad that Flynn has changed his views; that he did not prove himself to be a true leader during the busing crisis. Lydon reports from Government Center in Boston. Lydon says that Flynn moved from the Massachusetts State Legislature to the Boston City Council; that Flynn's positions on issues began to change while serving as a Councillor; that critics have called him a "waffler" and a "chameleon"; that these changes in positions may reveal Flynn's fundamental values. V: Footage of Kathy Flynn talking about Ray Flynn's generosity to those in need. Footage of DiCara saying that Flynn has changed positions frequently on the issues; that Flynn has a core set of values to which he stays true; that Flynn is genuinely committed to helping the poor. Footage of Lydon interviewing Domenic Bozzotto (labor leader). Bozotto talks about Flynn's great commitment to and support for the union during a strike of the city's hotel workers. Lydon reports that liberals have questions about Flynn's ideology. V: Footage of Peter Dreier (professor, Tufts University) saying that Flynn's politics are progressive, but that Flynn is not a "man of the left." Footage of Bozotto says that Flynn's politics are in the center of the political spectrum. Footage of Flynn saying that he is a "Ray Flynn democrat."

1:31:34: V: Footage of Paul Parks (architect) talking about the positive way in which people respond to King when he walks through the South End. Footage of King walking through the South End, surrounded by supporters. Children carry King campaign signs. King greets passersby and stops to talk to drivers in cars. Lydon reports that whites in Boston have never been entirely comfortable with King; that King is seen by whites as a protest leader. V: Shots of black and white photographs of King's political campaigns in the 1960s; of King meeting with white leaders; of King being arrested by police. Lydon reports that King's wardrobe changed throughout his career; that he spearheaded economic boycotts and school stay-outs; that King once dumped garbage on the Chamber of Commerce dinner table; that King was arrested at Tent City. Lydon reads a quote from King's book "Chain of Change" in which King talks about the ingrained racism of the Boston business community. V: Footage of Parks saying that King wants the Boston business community to recognize people of color as equal partners instead of as subordinates. Footage of Andrew Natsios (State Representative) saying that King attached racial significance to every issue as a state legislator. Natsios says that King attached racial significance to issues which had none. Footage of Herbert Gleason (former Chairman of USES) saying that King is self-righteous; that King does not have patience for details; that King's lack of respect for due process could be destructive. Footage of Ruth Batson (civil rights activist) saying that King does not argue with people; that he will defend his opinion and then refuse to discuss the matter further. Footage of King saying that he expresses his anger through action; that he is often silent when he is engaged in thought. Footage of Parks saying that King is committed to his goals; that he will not engage in negotiation if it compromises his ultimate goals. Lydon reports that King was one of the few champions of Massachusetts agriculture in the State Legislature; that King is a creative thinker; that King created the Community Development Finance Corporation; that King was a persistent fighter in the losing battle over Tent City in the South End. V: Footage of Tunney Lee (professor, MIT) saying that King is persistent and patient; that those characteristics are necessary for success in Boston politics. Footage of Natsios saying that he and other conservative Republicans voted with King on several bills in the State Legislature. Natsios says that he agrees with King on issues like neighborhood control. Natsios refers to King as a "radical" Democrat. Lydon reports that King often voted with white conservatives on government reform bills; that King is famous for saying that he likes Fidel Castro (leader of Cuba) better than he likes Ronald Reagan (President of the US). V: Footage of Chuck Turner (teacher) saying that King's politics are in the center of the political spectrum; that King wants a good government which will help people realize their potential. Footage of King saying that his politics are realistic. King says that his politics have tried to address the realities of his life as an African American man living in Boston. Footage of Turner saying that King has shown people of color in Boston that they can realize their potential; that King has worked hard to fulfill his dreams. Footage of King saying that love and change are the two fundamentals of life.

1:40:06: V: Footage of Kenneth Hudson (Boston Neighborhood Basketball League) saying that external appearance is the greatest difference between King and Flynn. Footage of Flynn says that both he and King were state legislators who were held accountable by their constituents; that both he and King were attentive to the needs of the poor, elderly, and powerless; that they served in districts which were very different. Footage of King saying that Flynn has adopted a "me, too" approach to politics which leads people to see similarities between them. King says that he has a greater level of awareness than Flynn. Lydon says that Flynn emphasizes the similarities between him and King; that Flynn uses the resemblance to draw attention away from his troubled past on the issue of race; that Flynn uses the resemblance to point up important economic and class issues. Lydon says that King emphasizes the differences between him and Flynn; that King emphasizes the racial difference and promises to ease the city's racial tensions. Lydon says that King talks about the issue of oppression, which includes race and class. V: Footage of Domenic Bozzotto (labor leader) saying that many politicians are afraid of "working people"; that Flynn is comfortable with "working people." Footage of Andrew Natsios (State Representative) saying that King sometimes voted against municipal unions as a state legislator; that the unions have allied themselves with Flynn; that King would be less endebted to the unions as mayor of the city. Footage of Flynn talking about his parents. Flynn says that his mother was a housecleaner and that his father was a dockworker. Flynn says that he tries to pass good values on to his children. Footage of King saying that he and Flynn have different approaches to politics and different levels of awareness. King says that his politics have been informed by the issue of oppression. Footage of Bozotto saying that King has a hard time accepting the fact that Flynn is "genuine." Bozotto says that King wants to see Flynn as Flynn was ten years ago. Footage of Herbert Gleason (former Chairman of USES) saying that King has reproached Flynn for changing his position on issues. Gleason says that Flynn has a set of values to which he adheres; that both candidates have fought against legislation and public policy with which they disagree. Gleason says that it is important to examine the shortcomings of court orders, legislation and public policy. Shots of black and white photographs of Flynn leading an anti-busing march; of King being arrested by police at Tent City; of Flynn walking arm in arm with a young African American man. Footage of Ruth Batson (civil rights activist) saying that King will do what is right in a crisis; that King will not follow the opinions of his constituents if it is not the right thing to do. Lydon stands in front of Boston City Hall. Lydon comments that both candidates will need to adapt to the changing needs of the city. V: Footage of Jerome Wynegar (headmaster, South Boston High School) saying that the city needs a mayor who can help to heal its wounds; that Flynn has been on the "other side" of the race issue; that Flynn has changed his thinking and learned a lot; that Flynn is the best candidate for mayor. Footage of Flynn greeting people in the street and shaking hands with a white man and an African American man and woman. Footage of Chuck Turner (teacher) saying that he does not think that Flynn has changed his thinking enough on the question of race; that Flynn is not committed to equal access for all residents in the way that King is. Footage of King surrounded by supporters as he campaigns in the South End.