Snapshots

Gold Mines in Hell | 100 Reporters

*Mexikaresistance.com note: This is truly disgusting. An entire town exists for the sole purpose of exploiting addiction and preying upon Nikan Titlakah. These people are scum.
In Nebraska, some liquor stores sell booze to minors and manage to hang onto their licenses, according to Nebraska Liquor Control Commission data. That’s as long as the stores are doing business in Whiteclay, Nebraska, located about 250 feet south of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The reservation, almost all of which lies just over the border in South Dakota, is officially dry, with consumption, possession and sales of alcohol banned. Meanwhile, tribal members, including youngsters caught in a recent police sting, make up almost the entire customer base of Whiteclay’s four liquor stores, which sell the equivalent of 4.9 million cans of beer annually out of ramshackle buildings lining a two-lane prairie road. With no white settlements for miles around, and a population of 14, not counting the drunks passed out in the streets, the town appears to exist primarily to get liquor onto the dry reservation.

Business is brisk in Whiteclay. But some nights are special. “Every year on prom night, you can watch reservation high-school kids in tuxedos and prom dresses pulling up and buying cases of beer,” said a tribal member, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “They’re obviously under 21. I did it myself when I was in high school.” He bought his first beer in Whiteclay at 14, he said.

Whiteclay’s beer stores also trade alcohol for sex and sell to bootleggers, intoxicated customers and people who have no legal place, such as a licensed bar or café, in which to consume their purchases. That’s according to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which has filed a federal lawsuit against the stores and the breweries and distributors that supply them, for knowingly contributing to the epidemic of alcoholism on their impoverished reservation.

While plying their trade, the beer stores create wealth locally and throughout the state, taking in millions of dollars in revenue and generating income, business and sales taxes. In 2010, just the federal and state excise taxes (included in liquor’s sale price) amounted to $413,932, according to the state liquor commission.

More alcohol-derived dollars flow into and around the state, thanks to campaign contributions from local liquor distributors and trade groups and international manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser and other brands: they gave candidates for in-state offices $135,000 in 2010, according to the Institute on Money in State Politics.

The beer storeowners in Whiteclay declined to comment for this article, but Vic Clark, manager of the Arrowhead Foods grocery and a town resident since 1993, called all of its businesses “gold mines in hell.”

FULL ARTICLE: Gold Mines in Hell | 100 Reporters.

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