Forced To Drink Beer
It seems that not only is Native American history boring, but they suffer from the same one of the same ill’s that every other group has.
They have idiots that think nothing is their fault. A tribe in South Dakota is suing some breweries and a few stores that sell alcohol, claiming that these retailers and manufacturers have some liability for the tribes alcohol problems. You couldn’t even make this stuff up if you tried.
I have heard a lot of dumb things, but this takes the cake. My first thought was that this is somewhat similar to the big lawsuits against the tobacco industry years ago, but I realized it’s not even close. In the case of big tobacco the claim was they had either withheld evidence about the dangers of smoking or that they had targeted kids, I can’t remember and it isn’t important enough to bother looking up, but it should suffice to say that with tobacco there was some conspiracy or fraud involved. Not that I think the tobacco companies were innocent of misconduct, but really it has been known for centuries now that tobacco is bad for you, they discovered that fact not long after it was introduced to Europeans. So yes, they deserved some blame, I’m not sure how much, I don’t remember enough to have a solid opinion at the moment.
But I digress.
Far from being similar to the tobacco suits, this is more like the round of suits a few years ago against firearm manufacturers. Somehow, someone decided that the people that make guns and sell them, were responsible for how people used them, clearly a position that requires some brain damage to hold. Motor vehicles kill people at a rate several orders of magnitude greater than guns, but no one would think to sue Ford or GM because some people speed, or drive with little or no rest. No one has ever proposed suing baseball bat manufactures or cutlery makers for people misusing their products, but somehow it’s different with gun makers and now brewers, entities several links down from the supply chain.
Is there no personal responsibility anymore? None at all?
I can’t shake off the feeling that if the stores now being sued had refused to sell alcohol to these Indians, there would still be a lawsuit, but it would be about discrimination instead. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Frankly, as I see it anyway, unless a brewery worker held these people down and forced beer into their system, this lawsuit is purely an attempted money grab. It’s not even a issue with the suppliers, it’s a cultural issue plain and simple. I know that Indians typically are more at risk for alcoholism, more so than black people, white people, and most every other demographic. At least that is my understanding.
I’ve heard in the past that part of the problem may stem from the relative lack of employed Indians, many unemployed by choice, rather than circumstances. I don’t recall if I had heard that in a study, or where, but I also recall hearing at along with the Indian part, that it’s the same in every other demographic without fail, the unemployed are more likely to be alcoholics.
If that idea has some validity, and I have to imagine it does, you combine unemployment (by choice or otherwise) with a genetic component and relatively high social acceptance of alcoholism, and it’s not hard to see why it remains a problem on these reservations. If you are an Indian and also have an alcohol problem, than it is really partly your fault, partly the tribal governments fault, and partly the tribal societies fault. Especially when the reservation is officially dry and people have to leave to buy their booze. This tribe seems to have lost sight of the fact that these retailers and manufactures are breaking no laws, it’s the tribal members who are breaking the law, and it is they who should be held accountable. It isn’t gun manufactures, it isn’t Ford or GM and it isn’t McDonald’s fault, if you suck down 75,000 calories an hour and end up with Captain Ahab on your tail manning the harpoon, than you may not have been taught that actions always have consequences. I hope these brewers end up with grounds to counter-sue the pants off this malevolent tribal government.