...they weren't doing anything wrong?
In a nutshell: in Whiteclay, Nebraska, the owners of four beer stores and their wholesalers representing five national beer companies, whose names you know, have been selling more than 200,000 cases of beer annually.
Wowee. That's almost 5 million cans of beer. That's one case of beer every two-and-a-half minutes, every hour, every day, every week, all year. These guys are all-American beer sellers.
Trouble is, only 12 people live in Whiteclay. There's no tavern in Whiteclay. It's illegal to drink beer in public in Whiteclay. The nearest town that permits drinking is 20 miles away.
The American Indian reservation that's nearest to Whiteclay is Pine Ridge, just down the road, home to about 20,000 members of the Oglala Sioux tribe.
You know where this is going. The Whiteclay beer bust
Alcohol has been banned on the Pine Ridge reservation since 1832. About one Oglala child in four is born with some fetal alcohol disorder. There is heavy drinking on the reservation. Average lifespan on the reservation is about 50 years, the shortest in North America.
It's wrong to drink heavily, and endanger your life and that of your unborn child.
The tribe has filed a $500 million lawsuit against the four beer store owners and Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors LLC and Pabst Brewing Company. The tribe wants them to stop selling the trainloads of beer that is ending up, illegally, on the reservation. HuffPost on the lawsuit
The beer drinkers on the reservation know where the beer is coming from. The owners of the Whiteclay beer stores know where the beer is going when it leaves their establishments. The wholesalers and ultimately the brewers know they've got a nice little thing going in Whiteclay.
Obviously, they don't think they're doing anything wrong.