Indian Country 52 #34 – Firewater
“Whiteclay, Nebraska, sells more beer per capita than any town in America. In 2009, the most recent year for which we have statistics, the four liquor stores in the town of about a dozen full-time residents sold 4.6 million cans of beer. Or roughly 383,333 cans per person. Or 1,009 cans of beer per resident, per day. But the beer isn’t being consumed by the residents of Whiteclay. The town’s economy is built on the flow of booze two miles across the South Dakota border into the Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge reservation, where the sale and possession of alcohol has been illegal for more than a century. On Tuesday, the residents of Pine Ridge will hold a referendum on whether to put Whiteclay out of business.”
– Mother Jones, Is America’s Biggest Liquor Racket About to Go Out of Business?
“Whiteclay is not a recent phenomenon. The Nebraska town of some 6 or so permanent residents is a successor to the so-called whiskey ranches set up in the 1880s to move alcohol onto what was then called Pine Ridge Agency. The bootleggers who first supplied the liquor were replaced during the second half of the 20th century by bars and later by retail stores that were — and still are — licensed to operate by the state of Nebraska. The bootlegging hasn’t disappeared entirely, though, as liquor is not just consumed in Whiteclay but also moved illegally by various routes onto the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.”
– Huffington Post, Liquor and Ethnic Cleansing: Whiteclay, Nebraska.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #34 – Firewater.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of graphic design by creating posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country.
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This work by David Bernie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may download, share, and post the images under the condition that the works are attributed to the artist.