An American-Indian tribe in South Dakota has sued some of the world’s biggest beer firms over severe alcohol-related issues in the community. The lawsuit also names the nearby town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, which has four beer shops that sold nearly five million beer cans in 2010 despite having only about a dozen residents.
Alcohol is outlawed on the reservation … Nebraska State Senator LeRoy Louden has said that after struggling with the problem for years, the state has introduced legislation that would impose restrictions – on the types of alcohol that can be sold and business hours.
This is a case were you can guarantee the lawyers are the only ones who will gain, the alcohol is as stated banned on the reservation; closing the shops will simply mean they will travel further to obtain it.
Anyone who has been to Australia can see a very similar scenario, however badly treated in the past, as they undoubtedly have been, the Aboriginal people are sadly in the same state. You see it everywhere, bus stations, town squares, on the street. When I was there, the most striking example was whilst visiting Port Adelaide to see the regeneration of the dock area (like a small docklands in London).
At ten o’clock in the morning, a group of Aboriginal children came running round the corner towards us, a group of a dozen aged roughly between ten and fifteen; as they ran past you could smell the alcohol on them. Even knowing the problem there, I could not believe what I saw and smelt.
It is a very sad sight but solving it? The answers you get from Australians vary from the extreme racist solutions ! to the left wing liberal ones that are no answer at all to the problem, but involve throwing more money at it, money that invariably in large chunks goes to Aboriginal lawyers. Those few who have made it out of the ghettos who endlessly go round claiming ever more rights for their people – even coastal areas are sacred to the people who are achieving nothing of substance other than Range Rovers for themselves to go round in.
One of the strange truths that are spoken of in Australia that I heard quite a lot was that for whatever reason the Aboriginal just can’t adapt to 21st century life, unlike the Maoris just across the way in NZ. Their lot is not a pretty one and maybe Angry Exile can enlighten me to changes, if any, in their situation. According to my long established friends out there – it hasn’t.
The situation to a remarkable degree mirrors the one in South Dakota; both peoples have suffered grave injustice but that was a long time ago and the younger generations are just following the same sad route.