Description: Carmen Fields reports that Dr. James Williams, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will fast each Wednesday in April outside of the office of the president of MIT. Williams is protesting the lack of diversity among the faculty at MIT. There are fourteen African Americans in a faculty of 900 professors. Interview with Williams, who talks about the role of professors as role models and the need for a diverse faculty. He says that he is trying to encourage minority students to fight for change. Interview with MIT spokesperson Ken Campbell, who talks about the university administration's efforts to hire more minority faculty. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following item: Meg Vaillancourt reports on the annual Black/Jewish Seder supper
0:59:01: Visual: Footage of Dr. James Williams (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) being interviewed. Williams says that his mother inspired his current protest actions. Williams talks about his mother as a sensitive and caring person. Carmen Fields reports that Williams will fast and work outside of the office of the president of MIT. V: Shots of the door of the president's office; of Williams working at a table near the door. Footage of Williams being interviewed. Williams says that minority students must act; that minority students must not be discouraged by institutional intransigence. Williams says that minority students must act decisively to effect change. Shot of Williams working at the table outside of the president's office. Fields reports that Williams is an MIT graduate; that Williams is dissatisfied with the lack of African American faculty at the school. Fields notes that there are fourteen African American faculty members in a faculty of 900 professors. V: Shot of a building on the MIT campus. Shot of Williams speaking to a group of students of color. Fields reports that Williams believes that African American students and all students need African American role models. V: Footage of Williams being interviewed. Williams says that he is trying to be a role model for minority students through his protest. Williams says that professors are role models even if they do not want to be. Williams says that professor can choose what kinds of role models to be. Fields reports that MIT believes that Williams has reason to protest. V: Footage of Ken Campbell (MIT spokesperson) being interviewed. Campbell says that the university agrees with Williams; that there are too few minority faculty members. Campbell says that two more African American faculty members have been hired since Dr. Charles Vest (president, MIT) became president of the university. Campbell says that the school needs to make more progress. Fields reports that Williams believes that protest is still necessary. V: Footage of Williams being interviewed. Williams says that people must still act in the face of slow-moving institutions. Williams says that people must not give up in defeat.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 04/03/1991
Description: Meg Vaillancourt opens report with person on the street interviews on quotas, affirmative action, and civil rights. Vaillancourt interviews Avi Nelson (radio talk show host) and Dianne Wilkerson (attorney) about the debate concerning minority hiring quotas as a part of civil rights policy. Vaillancourt notes that George Bush vetoed a Civil Rights Bill last year because he said the bill would encourage the use of quotas by employers. Nelson opposes affirmative action programs and quotas. Nelson says that the Civil Rights Bill compromises the rights of some in order to benefit others. Wilkerson says that quotas were never a part of the Civil Rights Bill as it was written. Wilkerson says that the Civil Rights Bill would allow women and people of color to file lawsuits in cases of discrimination. Wilkerson accuses the Republican Party of bringing up quotas in order to undermine the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. Vaillancourt reports that the future of the bill remains uncertain. Vaillancourt's report includes footage of George Bush speaking in October of 1990 and footage of construction workers at a construction site. Vaillancourt's report also features footage from interviews with people on the street about minority hiring quotas. This tape includes additional footage from From Montgomery to Memphis. This edition of the Ten O'Clock News also included the following items: Controversy surrounds David Duke's visit to Boston and Carmen Fields reports on the history and present activities of the Ku Klux Klan
1:00:06: Visual: Footage of a white man being interviewed on the street. The man says that African Americans claim to have been discriminated against for many years. The man says that now it is "every man for himself." Footage of a white woman being interviewed at Downtown Crossing. The woman says that businesses should not be required to hire a certain number of minorities; that equal rights are important. Footage of an African American woman being interviewed on the street. The woman says that there is a assumption that people of color and women cannot compete with white men; that this assumption gives quotas a bad name. Shots of people walking through Downtown Crossing. Meg Vaillancourt reports that the majority of people interviewed today at Downtown Crossing opposed job quotas. Vaillancourt asks if job quotas are the issue when it comes to civil rights. V: Footage of Avi Nelson (radio talk show host) being interviewed. Nelson says that quotas are not part of civil rights. Nelson says that people who get jobs because of quotas keep out other people who are more qualified to do the job. Footage of Dianne Wilkerson (attorney) being interviewed by Vaillancourt. Wilkerson says that she does not understand all of the controversy surrounding job quotas. Wilkerson that no one has publicly admitted being forced to hire people of color or women. Vaillancourt reports that Wilkerson believes that Republicans use the term quotas because they know that the word has a negative connotation. Vaillancourt reports that Wilkerson prefers the term "remedy." V: Footage of Wilkerson being interviewed by Vaillancourt. Wilkerson says that there is no "quota bill." Wilkerson says that there is a bill to restore the civil rights of women and people of color. Wilkerson says that Supreme Court decisions of the late 1980s had a devastating impact on the ability of women and people of colors to file lawsuits in cases of discrimination. Vaillancourt reports that Nelson is a republican; that Nelson opposes the ideas of affirmative action. V: Footage of Nelson being interviewed. Nelson says that the grievances of history can never be fully redressed; that it is impossible to achieve a state of equality for all people. Nelson says that the government should commit itself to granting equal opportunity for all in the structure of the laws from this day forward. Nelson says that the government cannot remedy the disadvantaged backgrounds of certain individuals. Footage of George Bush (US President) speaking on October 22, 1990. Bush says that he has long been committed to affirmative action. Vaillancourt reports that Bush vetoed a Civil Rights Bill last year. Vaillancourt notes that Bush said that the bill would encourage the use of quotas by employers. Vaillancourt reports that the word "quota" never appeared in the Civil Rights Bill vetoed by Bush. Vaillancourt notes that the bill shifted the burden of proof onto employers; that employers would need to show that they did not discriminate. Vaillancourt adds that an Congressional effort to override Bush's veto failed by a handful of votes. V: Footage of workers at a construction site. Shot of a worker moving dirt in a wheelbarrow. The worker dumps the dirt outside of a building. Shots of workers digging holes at a construction site. The workers are of diverse races. Footage of Wilkerson being interviewed by Vaillancourt. Wilkerson says that supporters of the Civil Rights Bill were not advocating quotas; that quotas were never mentioned in the legislation. Vaillancourt remarks that some people call job quotas the "Willie Horton" of civil rights. Wilkerson agrees with Vaillancourt's remark. Wilkerson says that Bush and David Duke (Louisiana state representative) are in agreement. Wilkerson says that the Republican Party is trying to distance itself from Duke; that the Republican Party and Duke are in agreement on this issue. Footage of Nelson being interviewed by Vaillancourt. Nelson says that the Republican Party has a problem with Duke; that the Democratic Party has a problem with Louis Farrakhan (leader, Nation of Islam). Nelson says that he occasionally agrees with Duke; that he does not embrace Duke as fellow traveler. Nelson says that opponents of the bill do not want to deny civil rights of US citizens. Nelson says that the bill would compromise the civil rights of some in order to give benefits to others. Vaillancourt reports that Democrats in the US House of Representatives have tried to rename the bill this year in order to change the tone of debate; that House Democrats are emphasizing its benefits for white women. Vaillancourt reports that Democrats fear that they will again be accused of promoting quotas. Vaillancourt reports that Senate Democrats have not yet proposed a new bill; that Senate Democrats fear a repeat of last year's debate and Republican victory.
Collection: Ten O'Clock News
Date Created: 03/28/1991