The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

May 16, 2013

Wake up, black community

DANVILLE — The Rev. Paul Scott, 31, founder of Inspiring Men to Act Against Negative Influence (IMANI) in Durham, N.C., said, “We are having a major education campaign informing the community about the new 40-ounce malt liquor.

“It shows a blatant disrespect for African culture,” Scott said. “Since malt liquor is mostly marketed to the black community; it’s really a slap in the face.”

The fact of malt liquor’s inviting prices also help increase the problem. In most stores, a 40-ounce can of beer is cheaper than a 16-ounce soda, surveys show. CSPI has petitioned the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to place a maximum of 5 percent alcohol content-by-volume restriction on the beverage.

Statistics show that malt liquors now have up to 15 percent alcohol content-by-volume, while Budweiser and other popular beer brands have a mere 4.5 percent.

Beer is marketed as a drink of moderation so when companies promote malt liquor under the perception that it is “only a beer … It won’t hurt you,” they are being deceitful, activists say.

“Coors actually makes the beer, and Strohs sells the product through a newly formed front company, U.S. Beverage. What makes the partnership so interesting is that Strohs also markets other infamous malt liquors such as Old English and St. Ides, whom we’ve fought against in the past. And Coors has for years claimed it had no interest in selling malt beverages,” Scott said.

Furthermore, it was Coors president William Coors, who made the racist remark in 1990, that “Blacks should be grateful that they were brought into slavery … for if not they would still be in the jungles of Africa acting like animals.”

Since then the company has been trying to make amends to the black community.

It is exploitative of heavy drinkers in the black community because consumption increases with age.

Unlike white drinkers whose alcohol intake decrease once they reach the age of 30, studies show that black males 30 and older start drinking more.

White parents were quite vocal when it came to issue such as Joe Camel cigarettes targeting their youth.

“Certain black groups have been quite vocal on related issues like billboards promoting alcohol and cigarettes in the past,” Scott said.

“Many people have organized to reduce the images that encourage their young people to drink, but a lot more needs to be done.”

In Danville no one is addressing this legal drug issue, which is just as deadly as the illegal drugs.

Where is the NAACP, the black pastors, the Human Relation Commission and all other civic and social groups and sycophant leaders?

You can buy this poison at stores in black neighborhoods, but not on the north side. Let us protest against these pirates of death.

The struggle continues …

Eugene Thompson

Danville

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