Asked about what he could do about “inner-city kids partaking in violence” at the MTV/MySpace Forum yesterday, Democratic candidate John Edwards offered an apocalyptic prediction for young black males:
“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”
What a deplorably racist comment from a leading presidential candidate. Does John Edwards believe that African-American fathers and mothers are incapable of imparting moral standards to their children?
According to Justice Deapartment figures, there are 193,000 black men age 18 to 24 in prison. At the same time, there are 532,000 black men enrolled in college.
The Edwards campaign released a statement saying: “John Edwards was making the point that this president refuses to accept: The odds of young African-American males either dying or being incarcerated is terribly high. Studies show that one in three black men can expect to go to jail in their lifetimes. Unlike George Bush, who just wants to stick his head in the sand, as president, John Edwards will address the issue head-on so that all Americans — whether African-American or not — can live a better life and the American dream.”
Granted there is highly disproportionate number of young blacks in prison, but don’t be stupid about it and don’t release generic campaign statements that could apply to anything from beautiful hair salon secrets to young black male incarceration to a chicken in every pot. “As president, John Edwards will address the issue head-on so that all Americans…can live a better life and the American dream.” Duh…