Roving Camera


Why do you think America has a problem with violent incidents such as mass shootings?

I wouldn’t say it’s more violent than other countries. There’s more gun deaths than in other countries because there’s a ridiculous amount of guns.

What do you think it would take to overcome the divisiveness in U.S. society?

Everything is so messed up. It would be a process. It couldn’t happen overnight.

Why do you think there’s so much gun violence in America?

People are going through pain they can’t cope with. They resort to guns and drugs. Both are easy to get to, but the government is more concerned about stopping drugs than guns.

To what extent do you think U.S. banks are trustworthy?

Not at all. I’ve had experiences where I put money in a bank and it disappeared. I never got compensated.

Is Boston changing for the better?

I like that there are corporations coming in, but I hate gentrification. They’re pushing low income people out of the neighborhoods.

What issues do you think the City Council should prioritize this year?

Rent control, definitely. We’re being moved out farther and farther. People are moving to Brockton and New Bedford, but all the jobs and resources are here.

What do you think ordinary people can do to make the United States better?

I think that people should take more active roles in their communities. People are spending time working to make ends meet and can’t take part in social and political movements.

Do you think Oprah Winfrey should run for president?

She’d be good. She might bring some changes to Washington.

What issue do you think the city should focus on in the new year?

Housing is an enormous issue in Boston. There should be more control of landlords.

What would you like to see happen in 2018?

I would like to see the Dudley area built up the way it was when I was a child. My grandmother and grandfather used to shop here for everything.

Do you think Boston is a racist city?

Of course. I’ve been in multiple situations in different areas of town. On top of the overt racism, there’s all this gentrification going on, forcing people out of the city.

How do you celebrate the Christmas holiday?

Basically, spend it with family. Family is most important.

What effect do you think the first year of the Trump administration has had on the United States?

It’s been a double-edged sword. Nationally, it’s a mess. His policies have been horrible. But people are coming together at the local level. There’s been a surge in arts and community projects run by people of color.

What do you think of the U.S. war in Afghanistan?

It has to do with oil. It’s a coverup. The U.S. always has a way of getting in other people’s business.

What in your life are you thankful for?

I’m grateful to be alive. The president might be the biggest jerk in the world, but I’m alive. — Ron Simpkins, Retired, Framingham