I’m not one to accuse someone of being a racist…I think people are much to sensitive about these things nowadays.

Anywho, I simply find it funny that the party that supposedly so buddy-buddy with the African-American (is that the PC term?) population has one of its own making such a comment.

When asked was he would do about inner city kids partaking in violence, John Edwards said:

“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.”

Now, at first glance, even I (a southern white gal) would say that Edwards was overstating here. My reaction was further justified when I read the following statistic:

In 2005, there were 864,000 black men in college while there were 802,000 in Federal and state prisons and jails (that’s including the old guys who’ve been in prison for a while). Among 18-24 year-olds, “black men in college outnumber those incarcerated by 4:1” (source: Washington Post article).

I’ll admit, before reading that statistic, I would have guessed that there were more black men in jail than in college. Having graduated from college less than 2 years ago, I can tell you from recent experience that the black population was, shall we say, lacking. Granted, I picked a major (philosophy) which boasts very few women or minorities, but even in my core classes there were far more non-minorities than minorities.

Back to John Edwards. You would think that he would want to avoid offending a major democratic base – the African-American population. Edwards, quite the contrary, decides to insult the whole of young, black America by implying that they’re all in, or heading to, prison. I guess, if he really believes that, though, it doesn’t matter that he says it, because they can’t vote anyway.

Presidential candidates aren’t too bright sometimes. Next thing you know Guiliani will start taking phone calls while making speeches. 😉