"more young black men in prison than in college" -- False

What Obama Got Wrong
Friday, December 14, 2007; Page A14

WHAT HE GOT WRONG: "I don't want to wake up four years from now and discover that we still have more young black men in prison than in college."

-- Barack Obama, rally in Harlem, Nov. 29

Obama has repeated this false claim to predominantly African American audiences, even after The Washington Post pointed out the mistake to his campaign. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 106,000 African American men ages 18 to 24 were in federal or state prisons at the end of 2005. An additional 87,000 were temporarily held in local jails in mid-2006. According to 2005 census data, 530,000 African American men in this age group were in college.

Black male college students outnumber black male prisoners even if the age group is expanded to 30 or 35. The Obama campaign has not responded to several requests for statistical data to support the senator's remarks, and it has not explained a similar claim that he made to an NAACP audience on July 12.

-- Michael Dobbs

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey... one can't let the facts get in the way of the victimhood narrative.

1/01/2008 3:15 PM  
Blogger CR said...

Actually, he was right.

From the BBC:

There are more black men in jail in the United States than there are in higher education, a new study has found.

The report, by the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute, says the number of black men behind bars has grown by more than five times in the past 20 years.

According to the study, there were 791,600 black men imprisoned in America in the year 2000, compared to 603,032 enrolled in college or university.

Here's the link

1/04/2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear CR:

Possibly you should check these numbers yourself before your rely on some third party, such as the Justice Policy Institute. I did when I put this post up and the Washington Post is correct on this one. The Soros funded JPI just doesn't seem to be very accurate. It is too bad that the BBC accepted this without double checking.

1/05/2008 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Numbers and stats are great but reality is even better. These numbers do not include how many black men are involved with the courts or prison system. Just because you are not currently in jail doesnt mean you won't be there soon. Give me numbers on black men that are on probation, are out on bail awaiting trial, or have warrants for which they have not yet been picked up. The point OBmaa is making is that the narrative for black males is one dominated by the criminal justice system. That being said. I am not sympathetic to people that realize the deck is stacked against them yet continue to place their necks in the noose and step into the trap. OBama has called for black men to grow up and stop behaving like boys. This is the kind of straight talk we need. Not numbers and stats that try and disprove what we see with our own damn eyes.

6/29/2008 7:22 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

just because you are not currently in college, does not mean you won't be there soon.

7/26/2008 6:41 PM  

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