Recent reports on a dramatic spike in middle-aged white male suicides has thrown a spotlight on a trend that has been years in the making but long remained in the shadows as a taboo subject.
For a whole host of reasons, white men my age have real brand problems. There just is not the societal concern over a demographic cohort whose skin color alone is one that historically conferred privilege. To be honest, as a collective brand, older white guys overplayed our hand. Don’t expect a telethon or a White House Conference on our predicament. Certainly, centuries of treating people as chattel, targeting Native Americans for genocide, denying women political autonomy — the list goes on and on — has narrowed our fan base.
This die-off may serve as a kind of anthropological warning about the pernicious nature of global capitalism and how it treats those its marketplace judges surplus. As the twenty-somethings are finding out with their low post-college wages and their debt-burdened balance sheets, no matter what your demographic niche, this is a rigged game, kind of like trying to walk up the down escalator.