Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Alcohol and the Reservation: Anheuser-Busch’s View

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Letter to the Editor of THE NEW YORK TIMES / May 8, 2012

Re “A Battle With the Brewers,” by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, May 6):

We care about the tragic problems of tribal members on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and are greatly concerned about alcohol abuse there and anywhere. When our products become associated with a problem, it is damaging to all of us as parents and members of communities, and to us as a company; it’s the last thing we want for our consumers or our products. (more…)

Banning Beer on the Reservation? How Prohibition Harms the Alcohol-Addicted Oglala Sioux

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By TONY NEWMAN / AlterNet / May 8, 2012

For the second time in a year, the New York Times has covered the devastation of alcohol abuse on the Native American tribe of Oglala Sioux, as well as their efforts to prohibit alcohol consumption.  On Sunday, Times columnist Nicolas Kristof painted a heartbreaking picture of the harms of alcohol in the Oglala Sioux community:

“Alcohol fuels stunning rates of domestic violence, suicide and crime on the reservation. I [Kristof] spoke to one family that first lost a father to cirrhosis, then a son, killed in a knife fight with his own cousin over a bottle of beer. A few weeks later, the dead man’s younger sister killed herself at age 16.”John Yellow Bird Steele, the tribe president is quoted in the piece, “Every person on this reservation has personally seen the negative effects of alcohol, with loved ones or themselves.”

While alcohol is illegal on the reservation, Whiteclay, a small town close to the reservation, sells incredible amounts of alcohol to the Oglala Sioux who visit the town for the sole purpose of buying the legal alcohol. Kristof rails against Anheuser-Busch for exploiting the Pine Ridge alcohol ban by selling beer to Whiteclay, and calls for a boycott on the company. (more…)

Can a Bud boycott help the Pine Ridge Reservation?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By  MICHAEL YUDELL (associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health)/ May 8, 2012 / THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

In Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof called for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch (maker of beers like Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and, for the fancier among you, Stella Artois) for its role in selling alcohol in the tiny Nebraska town of Whiteclay. According to Kristof, the stores in Whiteclay (population: about 10) sell more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually, most of it by Anheuser-Busch. (more…)

The Height of Corporate Irresponsibility — Anheuser Busch

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF / “On the Ground” / May 5, 2012 / THE NEW YORK TIMES

My Sunday column looks at a particularly egregious example of a company putting greed above conscience. I’m speaking of Anheuser Busch selling hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol on the edge of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, knowing that almost all of it will go to illicit drinking on the reservation and feed a devastating alcohol problem there. Incidentally, if you want to learn more about the issue, you can read this Times article or watch the documentary “Battle for Whiteclay.” (The Times reporter and photographer were roughed up in Whiteclay during their reporting, but I ran into no problems.)

A lawsuit was filed against Anheuser Busch in February, but the company isn’t even willing to engage critics and discuss the issue. That’s why I’m undertaking my own personal boycott of Busch products, such as Budweiser: If a company cares only about dollars, a boycott might get its attention. Read the column and tell me what you think. Anyone going to join me?

A Battle With the Brewers

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

By  / May 5, 2012 / NEW YORK TIMES

WHITECLAY, Neb. – AFTER seeing Anheuser-Busch’s devastating exploitation of American Indians, I’m done with its beer.

The human toll is evident here in Whiteclay: men and women staggering on the street, or passed out, whispers of girls traded for alcohol. The town has a population of about 10 people, but it sells more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually — because it is the main channel through which alcohol illegally enters the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation a few steps away. (more…)

OPINION: Journalism loves Whiteclay

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012


Journalism loves Whiteclay.

Not Whiteclay, the border city in Nebraska, but “Whiteclay” the metaphor — the serial melodrama about modern-day snake oil peddlers who sell an ocean of firewater to innocent Indians. (more…)

The Bugle: Booze News (White Clay Nebraska)

Monday, March 12th, 2012

THE BUGLE PODCAST / March 12, 2012

Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver discuss the alcohol issues that plague the town of White Clay, Nebraska.


11,000 Cans of Beer Daily. 14 Townspeople. You Do the Math.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

By Yan Hankin / Legal As She Is Spoke (New York Law School)

Today’s New York Times features a front page article,  “At Tribe’s Door, a Story of Beer and Heartache”, about an Indian tribe suing those believed to be directly contributing to its extraordinarily high rate of alcoholism. (more…)

The $500 million Whiteclay lawsuit and a wide spot on the road called Swett

Monday, March 5th, 2012

By Stew Magnuson / BUFFALO’S FIRE

I won’t presume to know what the true intentions of the Oglala Nation’s tribal leaders were when they filed the $500 million lawsuit seeking damages from the beer sellers in Whiteclay, Nebr., along with the distributors and brewers.

If they wanted to bring attention to the problem of chronic alcoholism on Pine Ridge where alcohol is prohibited, and the lack of resources being put toward the problem, then kudos!

In that respect, the lawsuit has already been a resounding success. I opened up the print edition of the Washington Post last week, and found the AP lawsuit story on page 2. USA Today, and other media outlets have picked up on the story. More importantly, eastern Nebraska newspapers have Whiteclay on their front pages again. (more…)

Oglala Sioux Tribe should sell alcohol for the revenue

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

By Taz A. Duysak Jr. (President, Organization for Native American Unity, Rosebud Sioux Tribe) / RAPID CITY JOURNAL

I am Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. I serve as the president of the Organization for Native American Unity. Our headquarters are located on the Rosebud Reservation in Rosebud. The purpose of this letter is to voice my support for the sale of alcohol on the Oglala Sioux Tribe Reservation, regulated by the OST. (more…)