[The 90’s Election Specials raw: Aaron Freeman #1]

Raw footage for the The 90's Election Specials. Correspondent Aaron Freeman travels with videomakers Pat Creadon and Tom Weinberg to a barber shop and a beauty salon to talk to people about the upcoming presidential election.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tom Weinberg, Scott Jacobs, and other The 90’s colleagues prepare the equipment for the upcoming shoot.

02:47Copy video clip URL Cut to footage from inside of a car. Weinberg, Pat Creadon, and Aaron Freeman are on their way to a barber shop on the west side of Chicago. Freeman recalls some of his memories of growing up in the area and talks about how the neighborhood has declined in recent years. Creadon captures footage of numerous run-down, graffiti-laden buildings in the area.

11:43Copy video clip URL The three arrive at the barber shop. The camera light levels have drastically lowered. Inside the barber shop, Freeman makes conversation with a few of the patrons.

13:00Copy video clip URL The sound levels return to normal. Freeman approaches a woman named Cynthia Ferguson, who sits comfortably with her baby in her lap while getting her hair done, and asks her questions about the 1992 presidential election. Freeman asks Ferguson if she votes on a consistent basis. Ferguson states that she does and that she votes for the person who seems most sincere about what they are going to do for the American people. She goes on to talk about deception in politics, and the negative effect of cutting off general assistance, namely that crime rates will rise. “People are expecting that little bit of money they’re going to get and once you cut that out, there’s going to be a lot of crime.” She goes on to say that President George H.W. Bush is a “man of his words” and that he keeps all his promises. When asked if she is better off now than four years ago, the woman replies by shaking her head back and forth. She then talks about her losing her job and losing her apartment in the past four years. She then states that she “loved Reagan” and says that he was “straight up.” Freeman continues to ask her about some of the issues of this election. Ferguson emphasizes the need for the government to aid African-Americans in finding more jobs. She goes on to emphasize her belief in voting for someone who seems sincere. She has never heard of black senatorial candidate Carol Mosley Braun.

21:31Copy video clip URL Freeman then asks a man about his voting tendencies. The man, Grady Whim, remains fairly uncommunicative about the election and asks for Freeman’s opinion on certain issues, specifically Bill Clinton’s infidelity. Ferguson chimes in to say that Clinton’s affairs have nothing to do with his administrative capabilities. Freeman brings up the accusation that Clinton avoided the draft during the Vietnam War. Ferguson continues to voice her opinion on the matter while Freeman attempts to interview Whim while he gets his hair cut. He remains reticent but admits he’s a Democrat.

27:10Copy video clip URL Freeman asks the barber about some of the issues he’ll be voting on in the elections. He states that he doesn’t trust Bush because he’s “deceitful.” He also says that the “jury is still out” on Clinton and that he doesn’t know enough about him to judge him. The man talks about some of his past voting habits. The barber goes on to say that homelessness and jobs should be the key issues addressed in the election.

31:00Copy video clip URL Freeman speaks with L.T. McGee about the ways to solve social problems affecting the African-American community. McGee states that he isn’t better off than he was four years ago. His girlfriend, Joselyn Davis, begins to talk about the need for rent control. Freeman and the couple debate the issues of the election, focusing on the lack of opportunity for African-Americans.

38:32Copy video clip URL Freeman speaks with an older man about his voting habits and his opinions on social and economic problems. He talks about the fact that many Americans prefer buying foreign cars rather than domestic, and thinks that this is hurting the country. The man states that he’s a Democrat and says that he isn’t a fan of George Bush. The man goes on to say that the most important issue during the election is opportunity for jobs. He talks about his background in construction and the untrue notion that Americans are lazy. He think things are getting worse in the country, particularly with respect to the job market. The man then states that he’s much better off financially than he was four years ago, but that things are getting far too expensive. He and Freeman begin to talk about health care in the U.S. Freeman, Weinberg, and Creadon leave shortly afterward.

46:53Copy video clip URL Inside the car, Freeman, Weinberg, and Creadon talk about the absence of Carol Moseley Braun campaign advertisements in the area. The three then make their way around the city streets gathering opinions on the election.

48:13Copy video clip URL Freeman approaches a woman who is reluctant to talk about the election. “For me to say what I have to say–I don’t think it would help too much.” She then begins to talk about her apprehensiveness about George Bush and the other candidates. Once inside, the woman states that she knows who she is going to vote for. Freeman and Weinberg continue to ask the woman about the most important issues surrounding the election. She goes on to say that many people are unaware of who is running in the election. She does not think that Clinton’s affair should be an issue. She and Freeman continue to talk about the election for several minutes, including subjects such as national health care and the need to be informed. Commenting on the candidates, the woman says, “They don’t speak to you enough. They don’t come in and talk to you enough… When these issues comes up they aren’t out in the community enough to talk to us so we will know exactly what we are voting for… We know what we want for our community or for America… but then those people that promise us these things, we don’t know anything about them so that we can come together as a group of people and talk to each other about it.”

54:36Copy video clip URL If she had the chance to talk to George Bush, the woman would ask him to create more jobs “because we don’t have enough work, families especially.” She then talks about the benefits of the welfare system and says that most people don’t like to be on general assistance. She and Freeman also talk about the idea that African-Americans aren’t given the same opportunities as others. They also talk about the use of campaign commercials during elections.

59:38Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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