Archive for May, 2012

Poverty’s Poster Child

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

By  / May 9, 2012 / THE NEW YORK TIMES

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – This sprawling Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a Connecticut-sized zone of prairie and poverty, where the have-nots are defined less by the money they lack than by suffocating hopelessness.

In the national number line of inequality, people here represent the “other 1 percent,” the bottom of the national heap. (more…)

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…)

Beer companies want tribe lawsuit dismissed

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012


LINCOLN (AP) — Beer vendors in a tiny Nebraska town would be forced to discriminate against residents of a neighboring South Dakota American Indian reservation if a judge agrees with a lawsuit accusing the retailers and others of knowingly contributing to the reservation’s alcohol-related problems, attorneys said in asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed. (more…)