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CDC finds stark regional disparities in teen-pregnancy rates

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CDC finds stark regional disparities in teen-pregnancy rates - The Hill's Healthwatch

Although national teen-pregnancy rates are on the decline, the disparities between states are often dramatic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Wednesday.

...

Whatever the reason, the regional disparities are stark. In Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, for instance, 2008 birth rates were less than 25 per 1,000 teens aged 15 to 19, CDC found. In the same year, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas all had rates topping 60 per 1,000 teens.

...

Leslie Kantor, national education director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the report "makes it crystal clear that the teen birthrate is lower in states that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education."

Now there is a shocker! Teach teens the whole truth about sex and birth control, and they are less likely to get pregnant. Who'd a thunk it...
 

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Very interesting - there was a study like this released a while back but the source wasn't quite as solid, it's was swiss-ey.
 

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I do believe the term applied in this situation is "****ing DUH!"
 

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It doesn't matter how much rational data is put forward. Those in favour of restricting sex education will continue on with their agenda.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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This information has been available, in one form or another, for several years. Clear, comprehensive sex education, both including birth control and abstinence is the most effective way to reduce unwanted teen pregnancy and STD's. Yes, it's common sense, but it's common sense backed with data.

I propose a solution to this issue, however... similar to my solution to the health care issue. Comprehensive sex education is instituted into every public school. It is NOT, however, mandatory. If a parent does not want their child to take the comprehensive sex education class, they can have them exempt from it. All students are issued a "sex ed. card"... either denoting that they received comprehensive sex ed., or that they did not. If a child who did not receive comprehensive sex ed. gets pregnant, if they choose to have the child, because they did not opt for the type of program that research shows offers the best outcome, they and their child may NOT receive any government assistance FOR THE LIFE OF THE CHILD. Also, if the "non-card carrying" child gets an STD, no insurance company, private or government will reimburse for the treatment of that STD. Folks who are against comprehensive sex ed. usually fall into one of two categories: 1) those who do not want the government telling them how to teach their children about sex, or 2) those who believe that teaching sex ed. to children encourages them to have sex. To the first group... if that is what you believe, do not be a hypocrite and take full responsibility for your actions. If you child gets pregnant, take care of your child and grandchild. The government will NOT pay for a dime. To the second group, attempting to prevent a teenager from having sex is about as effective as trying to stop a waterfall, since comprehensive sex ed. has been shown to reduce the consequences of sexual behaviour, take responsibility for your choices. You made the choice, it is not the government's responsibility... or your insurance company's, to repair a situation that you opted out of.

If people won't believe information that is clear as day, then they need to take responsibility for the consequences of that refusal.
 
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This information has been available, in one form or another, for several years. Clear, comprehensive sex education, both including birth control and abstinence is the most effective way to reduce unwanted teen pregnancy and STD's. Yes, it's common sense, but it's common sense backed with data.

I propose a solution to this issue, however... similar to my solution to the health care issue. Comprehensive sex education is instituted into every public school. It is NOT, however, mandatory. If a parent does not want their child to take the comprehensive sex education class, they can have them exempt from it. All students are issued a "sex ed. card"... either denoting that they received comprehensive sex ed., or that they did not. If a child who did not receive comprehensive sex ed. gets pregnant, if they choose to have the child, because they did not opt for the type of program that research shows offers the best outcome, they and their child may NOT receive any government assistance FOR THE LIFE OF THE CHILD. Also, if the "non-card carrying" child gets an STD, no insurance company, private or government will reimburse for the treatment of that STD. Folks who are against comprehensive sex ed. usually fall into one of two categories: 1) those who do not want the government telling them how to teach their children about sex, or 2) those who believe that teaching sex ed. to children encourages them to have sex. To the first group... if that is what you believe, do not be a hypocrite and take full responsibility for your actions. If you child gets pregnant, take care of your child and grandchild. The government will NOT pay for a dime. To the second group, attempting to prevent a teenager from having sex is about as effective as trying to stop a waterfall, since comprehensive sex ed. has been shown to reduce the consequences of sexual behaviour, take responsibility for your choices. You made the choice, it is not the government's responsibility... or your insurance company's, to repair a situation that you opted out of.

If people won't believe information that is clear as day, then they need to take responsibility for the consequences of that refusal.

While I agree with the "gist", you are in a sense punishing the child, for life, for the ignorance of his/her parents and grandparents.
 

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While I agree with the "gist", you are in a sense punishing the child, for life, for the ignorance of his/her parents and grandparents.

I know. It's similar to my extreme approach to health care. It's a reaction to the importance that many folks who are against comprehensive sex education on a personal responsibility basis and on family taking care of family members basis... and less government intervention. My plan is more of an "anti-hypocrite" plan. If one wants the responsibility, they can't shirk the responsibility just because things didn't turn out the way they wanted. You can't get a little bit pregnant.
 

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I just had to say something about this. After looking at the data, I can honestly say this study is absolute garbage.

Lets first look at the relative populations as a whole...

Connecticut:3,518,288

Massachusetts:6,593,587

*New Hampshire:1,324,575

Vermont:621,760



Arkansas:2,889,450

*Mississippi:2,951,996

New Mexico:2,009,671

Oklahoma:3,687,050

Texas:24,782,302

Interesting how the article fails to mention the state with the highest percentage per capita also has more than twice the population of New Hampshire, the lowest.

It also fails to mention the huge Hispanic and Black populations in the higher per capita states. Minority's are reproducing at much higher rates than whites, and have been for the last few decades. Logically this would make for larger populations of teens in high minority states like Mississippi as opposed to Vermont.

Here is an example....

500px-New_2000_hispanic_percent.gif

Hispanic population

500px-New_2000_black_percent.gif

Black population.

All this article and study proves is it is easy to fudge numbers to say exactly what you want.
 

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CDC finds stark regional disparities in teen-pregnancy rates - The Hill's Healthwatch



Now there is a shocker! Teach teens the whole truth about sex and birth control, and they are less likely to get pregnant. Who'd a thunk it...

This has little to do with education and much to do with differing cultures. In arkansas, for instance, it is quite common for girls from the lower socio-economic groups to have children out of wedlock for a variety of reasons, increased standing in their cultural grouping, government checks, and the lack of intact family structures just three of the more common reasons.
 
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OscarB63

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Leslie Kantor, national education director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the report "makes it crystal clear that the teen birthrate is lower in states that provide students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education."

teen birth rate is also lower in states with a lower % of illegal immigrants as well. I hardly think that "sex ed" is the primary reason for the difference in pregnancy rates.
 

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Clearly, there's a political and ideological divide illustrated in the report. The geographical split suggests that the more liberal states take a more proactive approach on sex education and go beyond teaching "abstinence only", whereas the more conservative states don't. I'm not so sure I buy that argument as a whole. I think cultural upbringing and economics also play a role.

"The report demonstrates that the surest way to reduce teenage pregnancy is to provide young people with comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, and doing so is especially urgent for African-Americans and Latino teens, who are getting pregnant more frequently than other young people,"

I believe it could be argued that ideology, culture and information access (an accute educational awareness) all play a part in teen pregnancy statistics. You can't focus on any one or two areas, ignore the other(s) and wonder why the problem isn't showing positive results across the board. Abstinence alone doesn't work, nor does espousing a more cavalier attitude towards the risks of pre-marital sex. Using my household as an example...

I have four young adult children between the ages of 18-24. Three have confessed to being sexually active. One had her first child out of wedlock, but has since married and has gone on to have more children (four in all). My two remaining sexually active young adult off-springs all "claim" to use birth control regularly. (So far, so good.) The last of my young adult children has professed to saving himself for that one special young lady when married. (Even as a man that swells my heart with pride.) What's the difference between all four who had the same access to the same education system throughout their teenage years, as well as access to the same parental advice?

Attitude, pride, self-respect!

As we all know, typically girls are pressured more to have sex at an early age than boys. But sometimes a guy can run into that one pushy PYT; it's the exception not the norm, however. Still, it all depends on the attitude of the child.

My home is also a blended domesile, Blacks and Whites. There is a cultural divide here, but when it comes down to it individual attitudes toward sex and the importance thereof as far as one's "social status" also plays into it. As a parent, it's my job to help my children understand the social pressures and interpersonal dynamics involved with sex and social behavior. It's complex for sure, but I'm proud to say I have no grandchildren at this time who exist w/o his or her father AND their mother under the same roof. Moreover, my children do take responsibility for their actions. And because I work in the health care environment, my children all know they can come to me for real answers to some of their basic health care questions. But more than that, I think they all know they can come to dad (or mom) to get "straight-talk" concerning sex. That's the most important thing here. We parents need to remember that and leave the door open so that our children feel unafraid and unashamed to come talk to us about sex. Otherwise, the word they'll get will come from...

...Any and everywhere!, ie., foolish friends, selfish boy- or girl-friend, sexually explicit teen shows, movies that glorify/exploit sex and (female) sexuality.

Leave the door open and talk to your kids. (Oh, it also helps that your teen children know that their parents still enjoy a healthy "married" sex life. They my cry "Eeeewwww! Gross!!!", but truth is deep down they see it as "how to have a healthy, long-lasting, intimate relationship". There's no better "teachable moment" than that...knowing your child just cringed when they had to knock on your bedroom door and the realization hits them that mom and dad were just about to get their groove on.)

"God Bless the young at heart and the parent who trains up a child in the way they must go."

As I've often said to mine, "You'll get there!"

Sidenote: I know...TMI...but sometimes you gotta get alittle personal to illustrate an important point. This was one of those moments. I'm sure the Mrs. will understand when she reads this (...I hope).
 
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OscarB63

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Clearly, there's a political and ideological divide illustrated in the report. The geographical split suggests that the more liberal states take a more proactive approach on sex education and go beyond teaching "abstinence only", whereas the more conservative states don't. I'm not so sure I buy that argument as a whole. I think cultural upbringing and economics also play a role.



I believe it could be argued that ideology, culture and information access (an accute educational awareness) all play a part in teen pregnancy statistics. You can't focus on any one or two areas, ignore the other(s) and wonder why the problem isn't showing positive results across the board. Abstinence alone doesn't work, nor does espousing a more cavalier attitude towards the risks of pre-marital sex. Using my household as an example...

I have found young adult children between the ages of 18-24. Three have confessed to being sexually active. One had her first child out of wedlock, but has since married and has gone on to have more children (four in all). My two remaining sexually active young adult off-springs all "claim" to use birth control regularly. (So far, so good.) The last of my young adult children has professed to saving himself for that one special young lady when married. (Even as a man that swells my heart with pride.) What's the difference between all four who had the same access to the same education system throughout their teenage years, as well as access to the same parental advice?

Attitude, pride, self-respect!

As we all know, typically girls are pressured more to have sex at an early age than boys. But sometimes a guy can run into that one pushy PYT; it's the exception not the norm, however. Still, it all depends on the attitude of the child.

My home is also a blended domisile, Blacks and Whites. There is a cultural divide here, but when it comes down to it individual attitudes toward sex and the importance thereof as far as one's "social status" also plays into it. As a parent, it's my job to help my children understand the social pressures and interpersonal dynamics involved with sex and social behavior. It's complex for sure, but I'm proud to say I have no grandchildren at this time who exist w/o his or her father AND their mother under the same roof. Moreover, my children do take responsibility for their actions. And because I work in the health care environment, my children all know they can come to me for real answers to some of their basic health care questions. But more than that, I think they all know they can come to dad (or mom) to get "straight-talk" concerning sex. That's the most important thing here. We parents need to remember that and leave the door open so that our children feel unafraid and unashamed to come talk to us about sex. Otherwise, the word they'll get will come from...

Any and everywhere...foolish friends, selfish boy- or girl-friend, sexually explicit teen shows, movies that glorify/exploit sex and (female) sexuality.

Leave the door open and talk to your kids. (Oh, it also helps that your teen children know that their parents still enjoy a healthy "married" sex life. They my cry "Eeeewwww! Gross!!!", but truth is deep down they see it as "how to have a healthy, long-lasting, intimate relationship". There's no better "teachable moment" than that...knowing your child just cringed when they had to knock on your bedroom door and the realization hits them that mom and dad were just about to get their groove on.

"God Bless the young at heart and the parent who trains up a child in the way they must go."

As I've often said to mine, "You'll get there!"

Sidenote: I know...TMI...but sometimes you gotta get alittle personal to illustrate an important point. This was one of those moments. I'm sure the Mrs. will understand when she reads this (...I hope).


that study is total crap. all it proves is that you can manipulate data to show whatever it is you want to show. It could just as easily be shown that the teen birth rate is lower in the NE states because there is a lower concentration of minorities or that states with a lower average temperature have lower teen pregnancy rates. this "study" falls prey to the old "correlation = causation" fallacy.
 

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that study is total crap. all it proves is that you can manipulate data to show whatever it is you want to show. It could just as easily be shown that the teen birth rate is lower in the NE states because there is a lower concentration of minorities or that states with a lower average temperature have lower teen pregnancy rates. this "study" falls prey to the old "correlation = causation" fallacy.

I don't think the data is that far off base, though. There's still a cultural divide between north and south, east and west, rich and poor, whites and blacks, rural versus urban. I don't think we'll ever truly get away from that...'least not in my lifetime. But when you break it all down that biggest factor remains "how involved are you in your child's life?" How often do you sit him or her down and tell them the truth concerning peer pressure, the development of their bodies, the visual/audibal "stimuli" they will be exposed to? Do they have your trust that they can come to you when they feel the time is ready for them to have sex? I firmly believe that our job as parents in this regard isn't to just berate and belittle them nor is it to shelter them from sex. Ours is to teach, to explain the pros and the cons, to give them voice but to provide them w/the much needed information, to do our best to pursued them against having sex before marrige, but to also arm them with knowledge to protect themselves should they surcome to peer pressure and/or those natural urges all youth go through.

Sex is natural and can be a beautiful thing if done in the right time with the right person under the right circumstances. For the young it's a delicate biological and social balancing act. Sometimes, the only person in a child's life who can help them to think clearly through it are their parents. So, moms and dads, get involved! Don't leave this awesome responsibility to our education system only. You are the key to guiding their path. Teach the children well.
 

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I don't think the data is that far off base, though. There's still a cultural divide between north and south, east and west, rich and poor, whites and blacks, rural versus urban. I don't think we'll ever truly get away from that...'least not in my lifetime. But when you break it all down that biggest factor remains "how involved are you in your child's life?" How often do you sit him or her down and tell them the truth concerning peer pressure, the development of their bodies, the visual/audibal "stimuli" they will be exposed to? Do they have your trust that they can come to you when they feel the time is ready for them to have sex? I firmly believe that our job as parents in this regard isn't to just berate and belittle them nor is it to shelter them from sex. Ours is to teach, to explain the pros and the cons, to give them voice but to provide them w/the much needed information, to do our best to pursued them against having sex before marrige, but to also arm them with knowledge to protect themselves should they surcome to peer pressure and/or those natural urges all youth go through.

Sex is natural and can be a beautiful thing if done in the right time with the right person under the right circumstances. For the young it's a delicate biological and social balancing act. Sometimes, the only person in a child's life who can help them to think clearly through it are their parents. So, moms and dads, get involved! Don't leave this awesome responsibility to our education system only. You are the key to guiding their path. Teach the children well.

I just think that to give the credit to "sex ed" is being misleading and disingenuous.

dude, I just realized that we have the same number of posts.
 

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I just had to say something about this. After looking at the data, I can honestly say this study is absolute garbage.

Lets first look at the relative populations as a whole...

Connecticut:3,518,288

Massachusetts:6,593,587

*New Hampshire:1,324,575

Vermont:621,760



Arkansas:2,889,450

*Mississippi:2,951,996

New Mexico:2,009,671

Oklahoma:3,687,050

Texas:24,782,302

Interesting how the article fails to mention the state with the highest percentage per capita also has more than twice the population of New Hampshire, the lowest.

It also fails to mention the huge Hispanic and Black populations in the higher per capita states. Minority's are reproducing at much higher rates than whites, and have been for the last few decades. Logically this would make for larger populations of teens in high minority states like Mississippi as opposed to Vermont.

Here is an example....

500px-New_2000_hispanic_percent.gif

Hispanic population

500px-New_2000_black_percent.gif

Black population.

All this article and study proves is it is easy to fudge numbers to say exactly what you want.

Actually, the article does not talk on these issues, but the study does, and finds that those reasons alone do not explain the disparity. For example, the highest rate of black teen pregnancy is in the northwest.

Good to see you BD!
 

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that study is total crap. all it proves is that you can manipulate data to show whatever it is you want to show. It could just as easily be shown that the teen birth rate is lower in the NE states because there is a lower concentration of minorities or that states with a lower average temperature have lower teen pregnancy rates. this "study" falls prey to the old "correlation = causation" fallacy.

Read the actual study and you will learn that you are wrong. Throwing out data that does not fit with your world view is not an effective way to debate.
 

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Read the actual study and you will learn that you are wrong. Throwing out data that does not fit with your world view is not an effective way to debate.

I read the study and other than Leslie Kantor, national education director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, saying so, I found nothing that "makes it crystal clear" that the teen birth rate is lower in those states due primarliy to providing students with comprehensive, evidence-based sex education.

I happen to agree with providing such sex ed. so there goes your "doesn't fit my world view" arguement out the window.

I just don't like it when supposed "experts" come out and tell me that a study proves something when it really doesn't.

as to

For example, the highest rate of black teen pregnancy is in the northwest.

and because the number of black teens in the NW is so low, it plays very little role in the overall numbers of teen pregnancy

in the south, even though the "rate" may not be as high, the raw numbers of black teens is so much higher that even with a lower "rate" there are still many more pregnant black teens in the south than in the NW.





edit: oh and FYI, assuming that someone has not read a study simply because they disagree with your world view is not an effective way to debate either :shrug:
 
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Interesting how the article fails to mention the state with the highest percentage per capita also has more than twice the population of New Hampshire, the lowest.

Do you understand what "per capita" means? Why should the relative population of the states matter at all?

Blackdog said:
It also fails to mention the huge Hispanic and Black populations in the higher per capita states. Minority's are reproducing at much higher rates than whites, and have been for the last few decades. Logically this would make for larger populations of teens in high minority states like Mississippi as opposed to Vermont.

So what? This country does not have Bantustans. Minorities are just as deserving of comprehensive sex education as whites are.
 

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So, if you read it, how did you miss this:

Birth rates in 2007 for non-Hispanic white teenagers tended to be highest in the Southeast, but were relatively high across the southern United States, similar to the pattern observed for all races combined (Figure 2)
The racial argument is discussed and proven to not fully account for the differences in teen birth rates.
 

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and because the number of black teens in the NW is so low, it plays very little role in the overall numbers of teen pregnancy

in the south, even though the "rate" may not be as high, the raw numbers of black teens is so much higher that even with a lower "rate" there are still many more pregnant black teens in the south than in the NW.

I really don't understand your point about minorities. Are you saying that blacks have some natural predisposition toward teen pregnancies and unsafe sex? If not, how is it relevant? The point is that people in the south don't have as much access to comprehensive sex education as people in New England. The fact that they are minorities is completely irrelevant. If anything, it just highlights the education disparity between whites and minorities, but that's a subject for a different thread.
 

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Do you understand what "per capita" means? Why should the relative population of the states matter at all?

Thanks god someone payed attention in 5th grade.
 

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I really don't understand your point about minorities. Are you saying that blacks have some natural predisposition toward teen pregnancies and unsafe sex? If not, how is it relevant? The point is that people in the south don't have as much access to comprehensive sex education as people in New England. The fact that they are minorities is completely irrelevant.

the study itself noted that black and hispanic teens get pregnant at a higher rate than whites. every freaking set of demographic statistics shows this. don't get mad a me, get mad at the study. that "fact" is very relevent

is it just coincidence that the areas that have the lowest density of blacks and hispanics also have lower rates of teen pregnancy?

but nooooooo, the writer of this article ignores that and gives all the credit to "sex ed".

i am sure that sex ed play a role, but it is not the primary factor and nothing in this study proves otherwise.

If anything, it just highlights the education disparity between whites and minorities, but that's a subject for a different thread.

this isn't the 50s dude, minorities have the same access to education as whites. sorry, but that dog won't hunt.
 
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OscarB63

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Do you understand what "per capita" means? Why should the relative population of the states matter at all?

the fact that you ask this question idicates that you don't understand population dynamics nearly as well as you think you do.
 

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the study itself noted that black and hispanic teens get pregnant at a higher rate than whites. every freaking set of demographic statistics shows this. don't get mad a me, get mad at the study. that "fact" is very relevent

is it just coincidence that the areas that have the lowest density of blacks and hispanics also have lower rates of teen pregnancy?

but nooooooo, the writer of this article ignores that and gives all the credit to "sex ed".

i am sure that sex ed play a role, but it is not the primary factor and nothing in this study proves otherwise.



this isn't the 50s dude, minorities have the same access to education as whites. sorry, but that dog won't hunt.

Sex ed was the most controllable factor. Race was a factor, but does not account for the entire disparity. Why race was a factor I am not going to speculate on.
 

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the study itself noted that black and hispanic teens get pregnant at a higher rate than whites. every freaking set of demographic statistics shows this. don't get mad a me, get mad at the study. that "fact" is very relevent

is it just coincidence that the areas that have the lowest density of blacks and hispanics also have lower rates of teen pregnancy?

So what? Just pointing out that there are more minorities is not a sufficient explanation. WHY do minorities have higher rates of teen pregnancy? In part because they have less access to comprehensive sex education.

OscarB63 said:
but nooooooo, the writer of this article ignores that and gives all the credit to "sex ed".

i am sure that sex ed play a role, but it is not the primary factor and nothing in this study proves otherwise.

It is the primary factor. Unless your argument is that being a minority makes a person naturally more likely to have unprotected sex (which is racist as hell), all it's doing is pointing out a demographic difference and completely ignoring the CAUSE of that demographic difference.

OscarB63 said:
this isn't the 50s dude, minorities have the same access to education as whites. sorry, but that dog won't hunt.

Are you ****ing kidding me? Have you ever set foot inside an inner-city school?
 
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