A leaked video recording at an event hosted by the Maine Democratic Party shows a Democrat official joking about rising suicide rates among white males.
Former Maine senatorial candidate Richard Fochtmann was filmed telling Democrats at a “Values and Vision” meeting about how the party needs more young females.
“Today, you know, I saw a [inaudible] that said a lot of men, white men are committing suicide,” he said. “I almost thought yeah, great!”
“Then I thought about it little more,” he added as the crowd roared with laugher. “And I thought maybe I shouldn’t say that out in public.”
Undercover Porcupine reports:
The recording shows a speaker make light of the suicide rate among white people. While this is certainly alarming, the fact the crowd is laughing about the rise in people taking their own lives is also disturbing.
— Maine First Media (@MaineFirstMedia) April 13, 2017
In the video, Fochtmann can be seen discussing the rise in suicides among white men and encouraging it.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among Americans, with 44,193 Americans taking their own lives every year.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the age-adjusted suicide rate has increased 24% from 1999 to 2014, with the pace of increase greater after 2006. Suicide rates have increased among males and females over this period among all age groups from 10-74.
The suicide rate among females is highest among ages 10-14 and 45-64 among males.
Also from the CDC report:
Suicide is an important public health issue involving psychological, biological, and societal factors.
After a period of nearly consistent decline in suicide rates in the United States from 1986 through 1999, suicide rates have increased almost steadily from 1999 through 2014.
While suicide among adolescents and young adults is increasing and among the leading causes of death for those demographic groups, suicide among middle-aged adults is also rising .
The Maine Democratic Party has yet to respond to this issue in the twenty-four hours since Maine First Media released the recording. Despite the seriousness of the issue, they also have not publicly disavowed the statements made about rising suicide rates.