Sen Edwards answered a question about what he would do as president "to eliminate inner city kids' partaking in violence." Here is his brilliant, unbiased, unabashed, learned response:
"We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we're just gonna 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.”First off, the question did not ask about the fate of black males who commit crime. The question from a young black female high schooler was what he would do to help stop any kid from getting involved in violence. He turned the question into a problem of the judicial system just throwing blacks in to prison without any regard. First, our judicial system does not operate that way. For the vast majority of cases, our justice system is blind. For many of those cases that are not, our system is set up so that those who are aggrieved can get justice.
As for Edward's position that black males are just thrown in jail because they have no hope or opportunity is also flat wrong. But then, he was pandering to the ignorant young audience and specifically to that young black female. National Review Online's Campaign Spot had this to say regarding Edward's statistics:
Despite popular misperception and those who find it a convenient talking point to illustrate inescapable racism, there are more young African-American men in college than in prison. In 2005, according to the Census Bureau, there were 864,000 black men in college. According to Justice Department statistics, there were 802,000 in federal and state prisons and jails; between the ages of 18 and 24, however, black men in college outnumber those incarcerated by 4 to 1.But then again, Sen Edwards was not intent on answering the question. He was only interested in pandering and pushing a viewpoint that is not truly his (i.e., green living). If he was the least bit intellectual, he would have answered the question with statements to the effect that the problem with inner city violence is a matter of the lack of law enforcement, drugs, gangs, and illegal immigration. Those kids who want to succeed do. And then he could cite some numbers like the ones above. He could cite how he has worked long and hard to provide inner city kids with jobs on his ranch and cleaning his mansion. Or how he delivered prepackaged food to inner city kids who were living on the streets.
UPDATE: Some readers are finding the numbers above confusing. The first set of numbers (comparing 864,000 to 802,000) refers to all black men of all ages. The 4 to 1 ratio is among black men between the ages of 18 to 24. In other words, a large percentage of that 802,000 are black men above the age of 24.
Either way, to blame the judicial system for actually incarcerating criminals is bone-headed. He actually proposed that putting criminals in jail is not the right thing to do. He also announced that he was not in favor of building more jails so that these criminals could be released back onto those inner city streets. Which brings up another aspect of this video. The question was about inner city KIDS. He responded that the answer was not putting black males in jail. Seems to me the question dealt with how to reach kids before they become old enough to be thrown in jail.
Blogs are really hammering Sen Edwards over the statement about how blacks have only 2 options: 1) to be in jail or 2) to be dead. However, Sen Edwards actually gave a total of 3 options for black males: 1) jail, 2) death, 3) or live off the government handouts as they are not capable enough of lifting themselves out of the inner city. One of Edwards' suggestions about how to keep black males out of prison or the hands of the Angel of Death was to And yet, when you look at the numbers above, it would seem that those causing problems in our inner cities are there by choice living the life that they chose.
Sen Edwards also mentioned that those incarcerated for non-violent crimes for 6 months to 2 years will just go back to committing crimes when they get out. Thus, it is the fault of the judicial system that keeps the black man down. He advised the creation of a structure to change their lives around. Things that he suggested was drug councelling (amazing, someone should have thought of that. we could even do it in the jails too. oooo ), a new probation system where the prob officers actually pay attention to their charges (but wouldn't that mean then that they just got out of those jails he was against sending the black males to?), to give them more education and job training (didn't he just say that the inner city education system is a failure? and isn't there already a re-education system in our jails? also, how hard is it to cook fries and burgers or mop floors? ), and then give these guys jobs when employers refuse to hire ex-cons.
And once again, he spouted the same old rhetoric about how there are two systems. This time it was inner city schools vs rich suburban schools. Thus his implication is that schools built for whites are better than schools built for blacks. He also stated that those living in inner cities receive disproportionate punishments for their crimes. The implication there was that black people are punished harsher than white people.
And, what was with him standing on an image of the Japanese Battle Flag?!?!
Watch the whole video.