On October 20, groups around the country are told to wear purple for Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, and Billy Lucas. All six were teenagers, all six were boys, all six were gay, and all six committed suicide. Following the recent news of their suicides, college LGBT groups started prayer meetings and candle light vigils, and Ellen DeGeneres did a PSA on her popular daytime television show. Another celebrity PSA hit the airways, this one entitled, “We Give a Damn” with Oscar and Grammy Winners Anna Paquin and Elton John, as well as washed up singers like Cyndi Lauper and Clay Aiken.
While the tragedy of suicide is nothing to make light of, there were also other suicides no one cared to mention. White, middle-class men have increased in suicide rates over the last year at a startling numbers. Often thought of as the least likely to commit suicide, they have jumped by 15 percent amongst the ages of forty to forty-nine. Suicide rate amongst men between the ages of fifty and fifty-nine are at a forty year high.
While the causes of the suicides can’t be determined, many can, no doubt, be blamed on drug abuse and others on the bad economy. No one has been holding prayer rallies, public blame fests, vigils, or celebrity PSA’s. The banner of victimhood, which is priceless in American society today, will not grace the grieving widows, parents, and children of middle-aged Caucasian men. It is well established that White men don’t have an identity group to blame, they don’t have income they can expect to receive by redistribution of someone else’s wealth, and they can’t be assured that their children won’t be accepted at the top schools based on their skin color.
Instead White, middle-class men like Frank Ricci can look forward to working hard and being denied equal treatment because of only one reason; he is a white, middle class male. They will have the opportunity to be fired more easily than those of their female and minority counterparts. And if they decide to stand up and take notice of their short end of the stick, they will have the opportunity to be marginalized and called “racist” by people like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, and many others who seek to remain relevant in the age of Obama.
So as the worst economic depression in nearly a century has also lead to a sweeping increase in suicides amongst white, middle class males, as was the case in the Great Depression, the forgotten man once again weeps alone. What else can be expected from a post-racial America?