[Text by Celia Farber]
They aren’t trendy, purple haired, tattooed and pierced, gay or transgender, officially oppressed, or getting triggered on a college campus somewhere; They have no functioning anger to deploy, and if they did, nobody would fake-love them for it. They don’t have that kind of middle or upper middle class political energy.
Even if they did, they would not have the money to take the bus to the anti-Trump rally in the nearest big city.
It”s never been safe to be a young black male in the United States, but it is no longer safe to be a young white male either. And if you even say “white,” you sound a little suspect in today’s America. It’s a trigger word.
These are the kids who couldn’t go to college because student loan debt loomed like a crushing mushroom cloud, from which it may never have been possible to emerge. They don’t even try to form families, or come anywhere near what was once called The American Dream, now referenced mostly sarcastically. Instead it’s temporary odd jobs, opioids, and a relatively painless (compared to some) way to suicide by accident, from an opiate overdose. These kids didn’t die because they “were addicts.” They died because a decades long conspiracy at the heart of American financial culture abandoned them, crushed their “American Dream,” like a cheap soda can.
In 2015, there were 78.2 million Americans over 16 working at the minimum wage.
Where are the charts for those who were not even doing that? Could not even get those jobs?
From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million Americans died from drug overdoses. Opioid overdose deaths, including both opioid pain relievers and heroin, hit record levels in 2014, with an alarming 14 percent increase in just one year, according to new data published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The most commonly prescribed opioid pain relievers, those classified as natural or semi-synthetic opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other opioid type. These deaths increased by 9 percent (813 more deaths in 2014 than 2013).
Increases in prescription opioid pain reliever and heroin deaths are the biggest driver of the drug overdose epidemic. Deaths from heroin increased in 2014, continuing a sharp rise that has seen heroin overdoses triple since 2010. Deaths involving illicitly made fentanyl, a potent opioid often added to or sold as heroin, also are on the upswing.
“The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The opioid epidemic is devastating American families and communities. To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders. This report also shows how important it is that law enforcement intensify efforts to reduce the availability of heroin, illegal fentanyl, and other illegal opioids.”
[CDC Press Release, Dec 18, 2015]
I disagree with Frieden’s emphasis on preventing “addiction.” Prevent, rather, financial hopelessness, and cultural segregation. Stop killing our kids by obliterating both their sovereignty and future. Stop, allowing the pharmaceutical mega-beast to finish them off with easy access to pills they are “addicted” to. If they survive, there’s another money mill: Addiction recovery centers. Rehab. Revolving door re-hab, since “re-hab,” doesn’t work, since this is not “addiction.” That’s a very convenient and lucrative way to blame the victims.
I meet and talk to young kids like this, sometimes. They drop out of college or never start because of student loan debt anxiety. Then they try to “get work,” and find that there simply isn’t a functioning world out there that wants them, no energy of “young man, you can do anything you set your mind to.” It’s not there anymore. Norman Vincent Peale, I know you believe me, wherever you are. It’s a different “America.”
You know what happens to the females in this social class by the way? They’re sold into sex trafficking.
Predatory college loans should be the first thing to go in this supposedly new America. How long does that take?
Also, how can you have “loved” Mr. Obama, when he said and did apparently nothing or next to nothing about this, and instead fostered trendy national dialogues about race, gender, bathrooms, and what have you. Not a way more difficult and way less trendy conversation about hopeless white kids dying in dirty gas station bathrooms in Eerie P.A. with no right-on sign on the bathroom door, just another life snuffed out, in the cold heartless shadows of Politically Correct America.
Here is the article that started me writing this text: