Blood on Their Hands
By FRANK LaMERE / THE NEW YORK TIMES / May 16, 2012
Frank LaMere is an activist and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
Any action short of shutting down Whiteclay and crippling the enterprise that peddles alcohol among the Lakota people is unacceptable. The death toll exacted on the Lakota people by Anheuser-Busch and its partners continues to rise, and the sooner the Sheridan County hell-hole can be leveled the better off Nebraska will be.
County, state and liquor industry officials have long known of the lawlessness and illegal activities that go on there, but they have been allowed to run from their responsibilities as public trustees by reducing the sad reality to a discussion about personal responsibility and market demand.
Lakota children are orphaned and struggle through life with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Their fathers, their mothers and their nation slowly bleed to death while officials wring their hands, proclaim that there are no easy answers, and mutter something about legal businesses and capitalism.
This free enterprise mumbo jumbo spewed by public officials serves no purpose other than to reassure good ol’ boys and the liquor industry that all is O.K. as long as the victims of murder, rape and exploitation at Whiteclay are not white.
Nebraska has blood on its hands. The offended will want to debate that claim. They would rather assert their morality than address the fact that, under their watch, people are freezing to death in the streets, violence against women is epidemic, sexual abuse continues, and murders go unsolved. Nebraskans used to have nerve. It has now been purchased by Anheuser-Busch, which further asks: What price their souls?
To change things at Pine Ridge, have Anheuser-Busch allocate to the Lakota what it allocates to its Clydesdales! The local economy would be built in a year. The company could treat people at least as well as it treats its horses.