Racism or Fatherlessness? Black Youth Suicide Rate On Rise



In America, the suicide rate for black youths went up by 71% from 2006 to 2016. Where 86 young black Americans took their lives in 2006, 146 did so in 2016.

The left wing media are swarming the families of the victims and are looking to racism for blame. Let’s take a look at one family willing to speak to media about their son before delving into the number and the possible causes ignored by the left.

Nataya Chambers, above, has been speaking with media to bring attention to the rise of suicide among black youths. Her son Ryan was 11 when he hung himself in the small bedroom he shared with his mother. She admits that Rylan had parents with a “turbulent relationship” to each other and both of them were dealing with recovering from criminal records. Nataya worked as an exotic dancer when she plead guilty to sexual solicitation, and they were living in a subsidized unit after moving from a shelter. It was in that subsidized unit that Rylan took his own life. His mother called the unit a “starter kit” to help them. His father was in his son’s life but he had spent ten years in prison for selling drugs and wanted his son to have a better life.

Like any distraught mother, she has been pouring over the history of her son’s life to try to find a single cause. She cited that he had followed rapper XXXTentacion who had posted a simulated suicide on social media. Her son also liked violent video games, and had threatened to kill himself before when asked to do chores. His grandmother had suffered from depression.

Was it really just one cause? Or was Rylan set up for failure?

Psychology Prof: It’s Racism

One professor at the University of Houston, Rheeda Walker told media that there are possible links between “perceived racism and suicide among black youths.” As well:

“…there is a bleief that black children do not kill themselves [so there is] no reason to use tools to talk about suicide prevention.”

Left wing papers say that it is unclear as to why young blacks are committing suicide. But let’s take a sober look at the numbers and facts before trying to assign blame for these unnecessary deaths.

Trend of Youth Suicide Apparent in 2016

Between 2006 and 2014, the suicide rate for Americans under the age of 19 went from 2.18 to 2.75 deaths per 100,000 people. The rate was led by Utah, which saw an increase from 2.87 to 6.83.

States have been trying to handle the issue on their own, most notably with legislation on cyber bullying. While it’s good that the issue of youth suicide is on the rise, I don’t think bullying is the right cause. Bullying has been an essential part of growing up for all of modern human history. You have to learn how to deal with bullying because it teaches a child about the limits of acceptable behavior, and behavior that isn’t tolerated by others in your group.

Publicizing Suicides Influence Copycats

A report published in the American Behavioral Scientist journal suggested that there is “stronger” evidence that real life news reports have a bigger impact in pushing youth to suicide compared to seeing suicide in fictional television shows or in video games.

According to Pew research, blacks are more likely than whites to follow up on online news. Usually this means that a black American reading the news online will talk to someone in the real world about what they’ve read, and they’re more likely to remember the story and look into it later as a follow-up.

Black online news consumers, on average, spoke with someone about the news they got 38% of the time, compared with 29% of the time for whites.

Could this habit of being more active in following up on news be part of the influence that causes more suicides?

What Suicide Stories Make It To Media?

In the last year or so, we’ve covered a few stories dealing with suicide. One was about a state representative in Kentucky whose suicide note blamed media allegations that he had engaged in the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl. The note said that he loved his God and his wife and that left-wing media reports from the NPR are false. We later announced that his widow would be seeking his seat.

Then, there was the 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after she said she was tired of being bullied and was scared she would be stabbed at her high school.

In the celebrity world, there was the NFL’s Aaron Hernandez who killed himself while in jail for the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd.

Generally, suicide stories seem to make it to the media when it’s a notable person like a celebrity or politician, or if it is a young person whose death might be connected to the use of social media.

Factors To Consider

It’s considered by research firms to be “complicated” to estimate the number of atheists in America, but a recent survey picked up the following results:

Of the 3.1% of Americans who consider themselves atheists, atheists in general are more likely to be male and younger than the average population. But, we are talking about black youths — atheists in America are more likely to be white.

At the start of the year, a report was released on the role of fathers with these results:

About 1-in-4 fathers do not live with their children, but almost half of black fathers do not live with their children.

Now What?

Even when it happens in your own family, you can feel helpless to change a situation.

We as conservatives can help by talking about the issues out loud, and by not letting the left take over another talking point. Learn about the plight of these young black children and their families, and don’t let anyone blame it all on bullying and racism. You are a part of the silent majority. Pray at home, but speak up when you hear someone try to blame the the wrong person or the wrong cause. More young people will die if all of the energy continues to be poured into cyberbullying research when the real problem is not just one thing.

Sources: Pew Research; Media Contagion and Suicide Among the Young, Gould, Jamieson, Domer, American Behavioral Scientist; Chicago Tribune

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