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-   -   Your thoughts on - "Tribe suing beer companies for alcohol problems" (http://forums.powwows.com/f26/your-thoughts-tribe-suing-beer-companies-alcohol-problems-62404/)

Paul G 02-10-2012 09:38 AM

Your thoughts on - "Tribe suing beer companies for alcohol problems"
 
An American Indian tribe sued some of the world’s largest beer makers Thursday, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Read more here:
http://www.powwows.com/2012/02/tribe...ohol-problems/


What are you thoughts on the issue?

Cinkala 02-10-2012 10:45 AM

I don't like the look of this...

This could possibly cause more problems for Pine Ridge... What if they lose? Let's face it, white people haven't been very fair to Natives in the past and it isn't any better today... I'm just playing devils advocate here but what if the judge (who I assume will be white) has an incredibly anti-NDN stance?

But at the same time... I am all for Pine Ridge to stand up for themselves. If there has been a wrong done against them (and I blieve there has) then I think something should be done...

soopashinaab 02-10-2012 10:59 AM

In my humble opinion...

This is why our society is so screwed up in the first place, because of bogus law suits like this. Where does it stop? Why not sue McDonalds or Burger King for making us fat, or filing a law suit against any other company that might tick us off for "making" us buy their product? Alcohol is a big problem in NDN country, but it's up to us to deal with it. We need to stand up and say no, I did.

Cinkala 02-10-2012 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soopashinaab (Post 1514136)
In my humble opinion...

This is why our society is so screwed up in the first place, because of bogus law suits like this. Where does it stop? Why not sue McDonalds or Burger King for making us fat, or filing a law suit against any other company that might tick us off for "making" us buy their product? Alcohol is a big problem in NDN country, but it's up to us to deal with it. We need to stand up and say no, I did.

Didn't think about that... good point.

yaahl 02-10-2012 11:35 AM

I think in my humble opinion that if smokers can sue tobacco companies for smoking related diseases then why not those folks affected by booze companies that are supplying the chain of alcohol sales near a reserve.

I also think that because the alcohol sales are primarily within an area that was once a buffer zone to prevent sales then those companies that are selling their product to those stores should be warned off...and if it takes a lawsuit, then so be it. I don't think in this particular case it is a bogus claim. The rez made itself dry, there once was a buffer zone between the rez and the state to prevent alcohol sales and transportation.

I think that the tax revenue from such sales never really finds its way to goods and services on the rez...at least in an urban centre if a drunk want to clean up, the services are partially funded by state tax revenues...smokes/booze etc. Don't see that even being close to being provided for by alcohol tax revenues in this case.

AmigoKumeyaay 02-10-2012 11:51 AM

My friends here...don't want to step on toes...but in many cases the addiction is overwhelming, this situation is way beyond each individual alcoholic DECIDING to clean themselves up.

Many cities have passed laws that LIMIT the number of liquor licenses / sales permits in poor neighborhoods, and it is making a difference.

These greedy corporations would pimp their own mothers to turn a buck, screw 'em!

RDNKJ 02-10-2012 11:52 AM

Question -

When did the buffer zone stop being a buffer zone, and how/why did that happen?

yaahl 02-10-2012 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RDNKJ (Post 1514156)
Question -

When did the buffer zone stop being a buffer zone, and how/why did that happen?

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/art...cc4c03286.html

RDNKJ 02-10-2012 12:14 PM

Thanks, @yaahl! :teeth_smi

LISA IRONMAKER 02-10-2012 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by soopashinaab (Post 1514136)
In my humble opinion...

This is why our society is so screwed up in the first place, because of bogus law suits like this. Where does it stop? Why not sue McDonalds or Burger King for making us fat, or filing a law suit against any other company that might tick us off for "making" us buy their product? Alcohol is a big problem in NDN country, but it's up to us to deal with it. We need to stand up and say no, I did.

:thumbs_up well said soopashinaab.

Zeke 02-10-2012 01:13 PM

If I have sex with an unattractive woman, I should now blame Johnny Walker? :tongue:

I am always the bad guy here but reality is that the reason there is an alcohol issue on Pine Ridge can be found there (i.e., people abusing alcohol).

Simplistic? Maybe. But folks in the ghetto who commit murder are still held accountable for it whether they had an effective choice or not.

Bottom line? If the environment is the issue, leave the environment. If behavior is the issue, address it via personal accountability.

Either way, it's time to cease blaming the Great White Father for our problems.

Buffer zones? Taxation? Limited purchase?

All you're doing is growing a black market industry and/or drunk driving arrests because folks have to go farther to get booze.

The problem isn't the distributor(s) of Natural Light or MD 20/20, it's the consumer.

Cinkala 02-10-2012 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeke (Post 1514175)
If I have sex with an unattractive woman, I should now blame Johnny Walker? :tongue:

I am always the bad guy here but reality is that the reason there is an alcohol issue on Pine Ridge can be found there (i.e., people abusing alcohol).

Simplistic? Maybe. But folks in the ghetto who commit murder are still held accountable for it whether they had an effective choice or not.

Bottom line? If the environment is the issue, leave the environment. If behavior is the issue, address it via personal accountability.

Either way, it's time to cease blaming the Great White Father for our problems.

Buffer zones? Taxation? Limited purchase?

All you're doing is growing a black market industry and/or drunk driving arrests because folks have to go farther to get booze.

The problem isn't the distributor(s) of Natural Light or MD 20/20, it's the consumer.

This actually raises a point I've been thinking about for a while. How can we change the enviornment (the rez) for the better?

yaahl 02-10-2012 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeke (Post 1514175)
If I have sex with an unattractive woman, I should now blame Johnny Walker? :tongue:

I am always the bad guy here but reality is that the reason there is an alcohol issue on Pine Ridge can be found there (i.e., people abusing alcohol).

Simplistic? Maybe. But folks in the ghetto who commit murder are still held accountable for it whether they had an effective choice or not.

Bottom line? If the environment is the issue, leave the environment. If behavior is the issue, address it via personal accountability.

Either way, it's time to cease blaming the Great White Father for our problems.

Buffer zones? Taxation? Limited purchase?

All you're doing is growing a black market industry and/or drunk driving arrests because folks have to go farther to get booze.

The problem isn't the distributor(s) of Natural Light or MD 20/20, it's the consumer.

You know Zeke, ordinarily I would agree with you on the stance that each person is ultimately responsible for what they do to themselves via vices... however, having lived in a dry community where it is not only dry but an isolated community (fly in only)as well - those that continue to attempt to get booze sales into the community know full well that they are contributing to a disease and against the wishes of the community.

It's bottom feeding at its worse and no different from the dope dealer, the child molester or the elder abuser.. they are feeding on the vulnerable.

I don't think it's a cut a dry answer to say that if the consumer stops so will the sales and life becomes wonderful on the rez... if it were that easy then the isolated, no drugs and alcohol communities would have no reason to maintain their no booze policies... most of their citizens are drug and alcohol free - but even that isn't going to stop bottom feeders trying to make a buck...

Zeke 02-10-2012 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cinkala (Post 1514182)
This actually raises a point I've been thinking about for a while. How can we change the enviornment (the rez) for the better?

Step One is to not romanticize it in ANY way.

For example, Sherman Alexie should write books about folks on the reservation getting their car(s) fixed, not driving around in reverse as if it were normal.

I do find it interesting that, in his youth, he made a conscious decision to leave the reservation but now, in his writing, he romanticizes it for the masses?

1. I don't know the guy.
2. I'm not judging.
3. I just don't think it helps.

Quote:

Originally Posted by yaahl
I don't think it's a cut a dry answer to say that if the consumer stops so will the sales and life becomes wonderful on the rez... if it were that easy then the isolated, no drugs and alcohol communities would have no reason to maintain their no booze policies..

If the consumer stops, who buys?

Personally, I believe the reason such policies are maintained is because it truly is that simple, folks are just ingenious enough to get around it.

Whether that is the fault of supply or demand is the question...

AmigoKumeyaay 02-10-2012 02:25 PM

Who is going to raise the babies affected by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Not Anheiser-Busch...not Great White Father...



Need I mention all the criminal violent acts being committed while people are intoxicated?

Generational abuse, and suicides all tied-in to the White Clay alcohol...

The huge toxicity of this situation demands massive action. These Lakota are being herded into a mass-extinction.

muskrat_skull 02-10-2012 04:36 PM

Absolutely tobacco companies should incur all costs associated with tobacco abuse and alcohol companies should incur all costs associated with alcohol abuse. These are addictive substances, though legally sold. Some people have decided to use these substances to kill themselves slowly and expect others to pay the bills along the way. The companies encourage this level of hopeless addiction. Anyone can say no for a day, an hour, and that is how quitting starts. Sure you may relapse, but eventually, you get through it. I think these companies should be paying all rehab costs as well.

It is very hard with people with blood sugar problems to control drinking, as it is sugar in essence. My ex-mother-in-law said the predisposition to diabetes was caused by generations of "feast and famine" living. I wonder who's responsible for that?

Zeke 02-10-2012 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by muskrat_skull (Post 1514207)
Absolutely tobacco companies should incur all costs associated with tobacco abuse and alcohol companies should incur all costs associated with alcohol abuse.

Absolutely, automobile manufacturers should incur all costs associated with poor driving and...oh...nevermind...

Do you see the problem?

The product(s) are legal, taxed, carry a mandated health warning, require age consent...

Precisely, when IS the end user responsible for their own actions?

Chevy_truckin_NDN 02-10-2012 06:45 PM

I don't think its mass extinction, I personally think it's genocide. Or matricide, they are doing this to themselves. I understand that alcohol is a disease, that you have to work on it day to day, but you have to understand that the way we see normal, is not "normal" for an alcoholic. Maybe there should be other things to do on the rez besides drinking. Do they have that? Do they community events, productive lives, sports and other activities? I don't really know, you hear one thing about that place and that's it. What else is there to do there?

muskrat_skull 02-10-2012 06:47 PM

Quote:

Absolutely, automobile manufacturers should incur all costs associated with poor driving and...oh...nevermind...
Driving an automobile is not physically addicting. You have a choice whether you drive or not. Whoppers from Burger King are not physically addicting, eating healthy food will satiate hunger.

Alcohol is a mind altering addictive substance and the mind altering aspect of alcohol causes poor judgment and a lack of self-control in an already addicted person. Laws already recognize intoxication as a special factor for consideration in drafting legal documents and commission of crimes, even though judges may be more hardline about their application.

Don't get me wrong. I think anyone can quit and addiction to any substance is a sign of weakness and not a choice I personally opt for. And I believe anyone can be as strong as I am. But once a person is addicted, it takes a period of sobriety for a person to get their wits about them to change, and getting sober can actually be life-threatening to some, it is a medical condition.

You can't say that about Lays Potato chips or someone who loves chocolate.

I believe that tobacco companies should be liable for tobacco related health problems because I am old enough to remember when tobacco was touted as not harmful, some even thought it was good for you. Children brought up in smoking households and people with certain health problems may have unique addictive problems. I also believe the tobacco industry has formulated its products to be especially addictive and toxic. And most of all, it is physically very addicting and difficult to quit. The very nature of smoke makes it easier for a smoker trying to quit to unwillingly ingest the addictive substance merely by being in the proximity of another addict, without partaking himself.

I can't think of other physically addicting substances that are legal besides prescription drugs, which are regulated and dispensing doctors are liable for patient addiction. Why should the liquor and tobacco companies be any different? And, we have non-addicting mild intoxicants with significant medical benefit criminalized, which is stupid.

I'm sick of paying for this stuff, and I'm sick of it going on. But its not gonna stop till you go at the source. I applaud it and wish the rest of the country would follow suit.

AmigoKumeyaay 02-11-2012 01:02 AM

4.9 Million Cans of Beer Sold in 2010
 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...uit/53041392/1

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is suing some of the world's largest beer brewers, saying they knowingly have contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court of Nebraska, seeks $500 million in damages for the costs the tribe has incurred in dealing with crime and providing social services and health care as a result of rampant alcoholism among the 20,000 tribal members.

The suit is on behalf of the tribe, however, and no individual tribal members are plaintiffs and eligible for money.


It also targets four beer stores in Whiteclay, Neb., a tiny town in northwest Nebraska at the South Dakota border near the reservation. Despite only about dozen residents in town, the stores sold almost 5 million cans of beer in 2010 -- almost 250 cans per Pine Ridge tribal member. Alcohol is not legal on the reservation.


Tribal leaders and activists blame Whiteclay businesses for chronic alcohol abuse and bootlegging on the reservation. They say most of the stores' customers come from Pine Ridge.
"In a town of 11 people selling 4.9 million 12-ounce servings of beer, there is no way that alcohol could be legally consumed. It's just impossible," said Thomas White, a former Nebraska legislator and Omaha, Neb., lawyer who is representing the tribe.

Equally as important as the damage award the tribe wants is that the lawsuit seeks a ruling on how much beer Whiteclay retailers can sell, White said. This is the key to stopping beer trafficking at Pine Ridge.

"We are not saying you can't sell beer," White said. But he points to the large amount of beer sold in Whiteclay in 2010 and says, "you cannot sell in volumes you know will be illegally transported and sold. You have to reduce sales to a responsible level."

The lawsuit alleges that beer makers and stores sold to Pine Ridge residents knowing they would smuggle the alcohol into the reservation to drink or resell. Beer makers supplied the stores with "volumes of beer far in excess of an amount that could be sold in compliance with the laws of the state of Nebraska," tribal officials allege in the lawsuit.

Most of Whiteclay's beer store customers have no legal place to drink alcohol because it's banned on the reservation, state law prohibits drinking outside the stores and the nearest town that allows alcohol is 20 miles south, said Mark Vasina, president of the group Nebraskans for Peace.


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