Whiteclay protestors challenge Anheuser-Busch to “distribute responsibly”

Published August 30, 2007
KNEB Radio, Scottsbluff, Neb.

Native American activist Frank LaMere challenged Anheuser-Busch to “distribute responsibly” during a protest Thursday in Scottsbluff concerning the corporation’s sale of beer to liquor outlets in the border town of Whiteclay south of the Pine Ridge reservation. LaMere, one of seven people including members of Nebraskans For Peace who stood across the street from the High Plains Budweiser distributorship, said Anheuser-Busch is not living up to its own advertising slogan by allowing sale of its products in Whiteclay.

An estimated 4.5 million cans of beer, 80% of it Anheuser Busch products, are sold annually at four liquor outlets in Whiteclay. Most of the sales are to Indians on the reservation, where there is a high level of alcoholism

LaMere said he asked for an audience with the distributor’s owner Jeff Scheinost, but “the Bud man blinked” and refused to meet with him. LaMere called Scheinost, Anheuser-Busch, lobbyists, legislators and the governor “cowards” for “patronizing” them but not agreeing to truly discuss the sale of beer in Whiteclay.

In a prepared statement, Scheinost reiterated his agreement with Anheuser-Busch requires him to sell product to the licensed dealers in Whiteclay. He also indicated while “the aim of Nebraskans for Peace may be to draw attention to the need for comprehensive effective approaches” to deal with Whiteclay and the reservations alcohol issues, “we do not believe their protest is the way to address the situation.”

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