"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."--John Edwards, MTV political forum, September 27, 2007
"We have more work to do when more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America." --Barrack Obama, NAACP forum, July 12, 2007.
Just one problem -- neither is accurate.
Fact is, five times as many young black men are in college as in prison. Still a pretty sad percentage -- but not as bad as the politicians would want you to believe.
And there is a disproportionate number of black prisoners among the prison population serving time for drug crimes. From Reason:
Of the 250,900 state prison inmates serving time for drug offenses in 2004, 133,100 (53.05%) were black, 50,100 (19.97%) were Hispanic, and 64,800 (25.83%) were white.