Salon's mythical white American death wish

Joining the writers at National Review in their hatred of the white working class is Andrew O'Hehir at, who writes the following as part of a raving anti-Trump rant:

I have argued on multiple occasions that white Americans, considered in the aggregate, exhibit signs of an unconscious or semi-conscious death wish. I mean that both in the Freudian sense of a longing for release that is both erotic and self-destructive -- the intermingling of Eros and Thanatos -- and in a more straightforward sense. Consider the prevalence of guns in American society, the epidemic rates of suicide and obesity (which might be called slow-motion suicide) among low-income whites, the widespread willingness to ignore or deny climate science and the deeply rooted tendency of the white working class to vote against its own interests and empower those who have impoverished it. What other term can encompass all that?

The erroneous stereotypes that the leftists at Salon peddle about the white working class are breathtaking.

Consider O'Hehrir's comment about the "slow-motion suicide" of epidemic obesity rates among low-income whites.  It might come as a shock to those at Salon, but we actually have good data on obesity rates by race and income class – and it certainly doesn't support some unique white working-class death wish.

First off, white men have substantially lower obesity rates than either blacks or Latinos, and the differences are only getting larger over time.  Add to that the fact that very poor white men have the lowest obesity rates among all white male income classes from very poor to high-income.  And there is no significant difference in obesity rates by race among the very poor.

Don't forget the high-income black and Latino dude death wishes: they actually have the two highest obesity rates among all race-income combinations for men, while the very poor white males are tied for the lowest rates.  Fancy that.

For women, low-income whites have much lower obesity rates than low-income blacks and Latinos.  There is also no difference in the obesity rates between low- and middle-income white women.  Furthermore, low-income whites have less obesity prevalence than all of the black income classes, from the near broke to the filthy rich.  Overall, white women have massively lower obesity rates than Latinos or blacks.

So if there is a white trash obesity-related death wish, then there is an even worse black trash death wish and Latino trash death wish, coupled with a rich white person death wish and middle-class Latino death wish get the idea.  It's a death wish that knows no boundaries.

It would be convenient for O'Hehrir if the data supported his selective disdain for the white working class – which is best termed racism – but alas, it does not.