Monday, May 21, 2012



Whiteclay is an unincorporated village of 14 people in northwest Nebraska bordering the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota (also known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe). The Pine Ridge lies almost entirely in South Dakota.  Whiteclay lies on disputed land, merely 200 feet from the official reservation border, and less than 2 miles from the center of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the largest town on the reservation.

The white people there have decided a good way to make some cash is to poison the nearby Indians with alcohol.

Am I being harsh?  I don't think so.

Sale and possession of alcohol is prohibited on the reservation under tribal laws.  This has been the case with one short exception since the reservation has existed.

Whiteclay has four off-sale beer stores licensed by the State of Nebraska which sell the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (12,500 cans per day), mostly to the Oglalas living on the Pine Ridge.

Frank LaMere,  an activist and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska wrote last week in the NY times,
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. 

Nicholas Kristof, writes in the same paper,

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.

So Anheuser-Busch and other brewers pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol into the liquor stores of Whiteclay, knowing that it ends up consumed illicitly by Pine Ridge residents and fuels alcoholism, crime and misery there. In short, a giant corporation’s business model here is based on violating tribal rules and destroying the Indians’ way of living.

The tribe says that more than 90 percent of arrests by the tribal police are alcohol-related, along with 90 percent of arrests of juveniles. Children often begin drinking in their early teens.

Alcohol also fuels stunning rates of domestic violence, suicide and crime on the reservation. I 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.

Since March, I have repeatedly tried to get a comment from Anheuser-Busch or, more recently, its lawyers. The company has had nothing to say, not a peep in its defense.

For now, Pine Ridge’s alcohol problem is matched only by Anheuser-Busch’s greed problem. Brewers market beers with bucolic country scenes, but the image I now associate with Budweiser is of a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.

That’s why I’ll pass on a Bud, and I hope you’ll join me.

The following is from from Deep Green Resistance.

In Solidarity with Pine Ridge – DGR Great Plains Announces Action at White Clay, NE

The film Battle for White Clay, a documentary about the ongoing genocide in White Clay, Nebraska
March for Justice 2012: Always in Memory of Wally Black Elk and Ron Hard Heart
Date: June 9th, 2012 at 12 pm
Location: Billy Mills Hall, Pine Ridge, SD
A Day of Action against White Clay, NE

Help make this action a success! Donate to the White Clay Action Fundraiser

White Clay, Nebraska is an unincorporated village with a population of 14 people in northwest Nebraska. The town sits on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota (also known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe), only 200 feet from the official reservation border and less than 3 miles from the center of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the largest town on the reservation. On June 9th, the fight against White Clay continues.

Sale and possession of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge is prohibited under tribal law. Except for a brief experiment with on-reservation liquor sales in the early 1970s, this prohibition has been in effect since the reservation lands were created. White Clay has four off-sale beer stores licensed by the State of Nebraska which sell the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (12,500 cans per day), mostly to the Oglalas living on Pine Ridge. These retailers routinely violate Nebraska liquor law by selling beer to minors and intoxicated persons, knowingly selling to bootleggers who resell the beer on the reservation, permitting on-premise consumption of beer in violation of restrictions placed on off-sale-only licenses, and exchanging beer for sexual favors.

Many people have died in the streets due to exposure, as the state of Nebraska fails to address the breaches of state law and countless deaths as a result of dealers in White Clay. As long as the liquor stores in White Clay remain in business, the genocide of the Oglala Lakota people will continue.

Deep Green Resistance Great Plains and other Deep Green Resistances organizers across the country are coordinating support for the Oglala Lakota activists organizing the action against the liquor peddlers in White Clay. We stand with the people of Pine Ridge and the organizers of this action against the continuation of genocide. Stand with us as we send the message: “No more liquor in White Clay!”

On June 9th 1999 two Lakota men, Wally Black Elk and Ron Hard Heart, were brutally murdered in White Clay. It is in their memory that we will march for justice. We are seeking material support, in the form of food and donations for caravans and for the action itself. Additionally, we will be collecting donated fans and air conditioners to bring to elders on Pine Ridge.

If you’re interested in attending this day of action, please contact TR Mckenzie, coordinator of DGR Great Plains at trmckenzie[at]riseup[dot]net or one of the regional organizers:

Eastern Iowa – Nate Adeyemi:
(815) 632-7243
Wisconsin – Ben Cutbank:
(262) 208-5347
Omaha/Lincoln, NE – Christie Schoening:
Colorado – Alex Budd:
(720) 425-4955
Western IA/Eastern SD – T.R. McKenzie:
(605) 868-8111
West Coast – Xander Knox:
(253) 906-4740

1 comment:

Russ said...

I am a mixed blood and I have seen what alcohol does,My father was a weekend Alcoholic and was meaner than rat shit,my mother was French Canadian and Huron and she dreaded him coming home after he was out drinking which was every weekend and he died at the age of 63,I believe that all Alcohol should be illegal,its a poison not a good thing for anyone for any reason,This is just another way the whites control people by selling something that is no good for anyone but people want it and the big scum bag companies want the money and they do not care who they harm,I don't think it should be legel for any reason except an antiseptic to kill germs not for killing people and distroying lives.I think it should be remove from every day sales and the rest burned or dumped Peace to all my brothers and sisters Russ