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“Nah, I’m just a White guy”: “Sky King” and White Male Suicide
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“Nah, I’m just a White guy”: “Sky King” and White Male Suicide


“It is this which makes suicide easier: for the physical pain associated with it loses all significance in the eyes of one afflicted by excessive spiritual suffering.” 

Arthur Schopenhauer, Über den Selbstmord

A few days ago, Rich Russell, a 29-year-old baggage handler at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, took a a twin-turboprop Bombardier Q400 that had been parked for the night, and flew it 25 miles before deliberately ending his life by crashing it on the sparsely populated Ketron Island. Rich appears to have made a point of avoiding injuring or harming others in his pursuit of a cinematic, and, one assumes, adrenaline-fueled exit from this life. Among the particularly poignant aspects of the moments before his death was Rich’s determination to execute a barrel roll before making his way to Ketron Island. There was also his interaction with an air traffic controller, during which a nervous, distracted, emotional, and clearly troubled Rich attempted to make humorous small-talk. At one point the following exchange took place:

Rich: Hey do you think if I land this successfully, Alaska will give me a job as a pilot? 

Air traffic control: You know, I think they would give you a job doing anything if you could pull this off.  

Rich: Yeah right! Nah, I’m a White guy

We will never know what combination of reasons led this young man to take his own life, but this particular exchange certainly resonates strongly with a growing problem: White men, specifically, are taking their lives at terrifying rates, and these rates are getting worse. Another sign that there was something deeper in the nature of Rich Russell’s death was the response from the Alt-Right community on social media. Rich was quickly given the admiring and sympathetic hashtag #SkyKing, and whereas the mainstream media and all aspects of the political Left appeared to ignore the story altogether, Alt-Right accounts were notable for changing their usernames to include plane emojis, producing tribute videos, and expressing sincere condolences for the loss of a young man everyone would be proud to call a son or brother. Even setting aside the epic nature, if that’s even an appropriate terminology, of Rich’s death, this suicide clearly touched a nerve. Why?

One reason is that the Alt-Right, more than any other Western cultural or political group, is already keenly aware that White men are being forced into existential crisis by contemporary social and political developments. This crisis is quite literally killing us. In 2015, two Princeton economists found that the death rate among white, middle-aged men, rather than falling, like with most other groups, was rising. According to suicide prevention expert, Dr. Christine Moutier, middle-aged White men account for 70% of deaths from suicide each year. Nine-tenths of them are from a lower socioeconomic class. The crisis has engulfed the West as a whole. Britain is in the grip of a male suicide crisis. Men in the UK, aged 20 to 49, are more likely to die from suicide than any other cause of death. Two months ago it was announced that “male suicide rates in Australia are an epidemic.” In France, a person commits suicide every hour, and among young people aged 15 to 24 suicide is the second cause of death after road accidents. Meanwhile, in Bavaria, a state that enjoys low unemployment and high average income, suicide takes more than double the lives of road traffic accidents.

Read Andrew Joyce’s entire essay at The Occidental Observer.


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