Then there’s the media, which tends to portray white youths who shoot up schools and drive drunk or use drugs as being clean-cut kids who went awry, while casting black youths who get into fights at school, or curse or smoke as hopelessly incorrigible.

What turns logic on its head here is that privilege ought to help parents raise decent kids without the pressures of poverty. If anything, it would make more sense for a poor struggling kid with no options, no access to therapy or to the Betty Ford Center, to succumb to drinking or drugs to deal with the despair he or she sees every day.

And why in the hell is Ethan the victim of his parents not reprimanding him? It’s not as if they are too consumed with survival issues to not take the time to raise him.

But I guess they don’t have to worry about that. A judge has already bought into a psychologist’s asinine diagnosis of privilege being an illness and not an asset.

Eric Boyles, the man who lost his wife and daughter to Ethan’s drunkenness, said that the teenager never apologized or showed remorse for what he did. And why should he? He’s been told that he’s not rude. Just sick.

And so is the system that let him get away with murder.

Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her @tonyaajw. Or like her on Facebook at

“Affluenza”: An Illness Concocted By the Virus of White Privilege  was originally published on

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