Making Excuses For Social Problems: Why Does Alcoholism Plagues Black, Indian And Other Minorities

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Google map screen shot of drugged/drunk young Indians from Pine Ridge Reservation:  The Nebraska town with only 11 residents but which sells more than FOUR MILLION cans of beer every year.


I lived on the Tohono O’odham Indian reservation off and on when I was a child and when my father was building the Kitt Peak Observatory complex in Arizona.  I got to know the people there very well during that time, 60 years ago.  My great grandfather came to Tucson as a calvary officer in the mid-19th century and one of his jobs was to hunt down the Apache tribe.  Which the O’odham feared and hated greatly and he worked with them to do this job.  My great grandmother was a Woman’s Christian Temperance Union member and would go about Old Tucson assailing men for getting drunk.  Indians were not allowed to buy booze back then and even when I was a child it was illegal to sell booze on the reservation but one could leave and buy booze and I grew up seeing broken bottles all over the ground surrounding some of the adobe houses the natives built.


For many years, tribal leaders and the government tried to prevent the sale of alcohol to Indian tribes.  The O’odham tribes used corn mash fermented in big hanging clay pots then filtered through a cloth to make drinks in the past and even in my childhood I remember seeing the older tribal members doing this.  This predated the European invasion of the New World.  The alcohol content from corn mash was fairly low and it was mainly used for religious visions just like the Catholic Church has ceremonial wine in the mass for priests.


Today, illegal drugs, legal drugs and drinking is harming a wide variety of cultural/race/tribal groups and the standard cure which liberals and radicals want for this is more ‘cultural identity politics’ and complaints about the past.  Instead of focusing on the future and deciding what is good for the community, the present dogma is for people to run back into a ‘past paradise’ which is often totally made up nostalgia.  Up until 1967, there were great efforts made to move black or native people out of poverty and difficulties via being proud of ethnic pasts and to disown, destroy or hate modern social systems and in particular, the educational process.  This runs alongside the ‘kill culture’ game of Europeans who were tired of standard culture and wanted ‘Modern Art’ (sic) and atonal ‘music’ and slashing and wrecking ‘bourgeoisie culture’.


This push to destroy modern culture and civilization has harmed many people but the black and Indian communities have been very badly ravaged by all this.  Instead of aiming to join the modern middle and upper class, children are taught that this is stupid and ‘white’ and they should cover themselves with tattoos, run around destroying property since ‘we don’t do property’ and in general, do all the things that makes life either difficult or dangerous all in the name of cultural identity politics.


Scottish clans are a fine European example of this.  The Celtic tribes of Scotland were, once upon a time, three thousand years ago, just as culturally ‘advanced’ as the Romans who were savages back then.  Actually, the Scots were probably less ‘savage’  The bronze age Celts had cities and towns and agriculture and art that was State of the Art back in 1,000 BC.  The Romans never conquered them but already they were more involved in living an Apache loot and raid and run lifestyle that was fairly unstable.  By 1,100 AD, they were conquered finally by the Normans.


The culture of raiding/running was very pronounced back then and gave the Normans, who were once Norse raider/runners themselves, a good deal of trouble.  To this day, the Scots celebrate this colorful past but the downside is, they have the exact same woes that blacks and native Indians in the US have:  Alcohol Abuse in Scotland – Alcohol Rehab


These are some of the most common explanations for why such a strong drinking culture persists in Scotland:


* During the industrialization of the 19th Century, a great deal of poverty struck Scotland’s urban areas, particularly Glasgow. Housing conditions for the poor were sometimes brutal. Many people turned to alcohol as a means of dealing with their situation.
* It is suggested that during the long cold winter nights there was not much to do in the past. Going to a bar provided an opportunity to socialize and ignore the bad weather. This could be a time of year when a great many people became depressed, so going to the pub might be a way to alleviate this.
* Alcohol in Scotland is relatively cheap, so most people can afford to drink. Some have described the situation as selling alcohol at pocket money prices. A recent ban on multi-buy deals is aimed at stopping sellers in Scotland from using price reductions to encourage people to buy more alcohol.
* In centuries past, it was sometimes safer to drink alcohol than water. This was because the fermenting process involved boiling, which killed bacteria. Much of the water then would have been polluted, and people took more of a risk by drinking it.


All the afflictions of alcoholism hammer the nobility who have very little to do, work-wise, day or night and who are bored to tears and they don’t have the excuse ‘my house is crappy’ while living in palaces.  The Scots have been in this ’embrace our past’ mania for the last 200 years.  The more they do this, the worse their problems become.  Why is that?  To see how the tribes of Scotland are motivated just like other totally different tribes, is interesting and I suppose people will be angry with me for doing this but then, people are angry whenever I suggest another approach to problems.


Alcohol: It’s Different for Native Americans is a great place to start.  This web page is sponsored by an American Indian organization.


…In addition, Dr. David Patterson (Cherokee) has found that cultural disconnection plays a large part in alcoholism for Native Americans, as it did in his case. The shame and abuse from historical trauma suffered by Native peoples, and the forced disconnection from culture and heritage, is a perfect setup that can lead to alcohol abuse to ease the pain. The lack of genetic disposure to the substance only adds to this vulnerability.


Scots have been drinking alcoholic beverages for thousands of years.  Yet they are heavily assailed by over drinking problems and have been for generations now.  The only way one can be ‘genetically protected’ from drinking too much would be for many people to die BEFORE REPRODUCING that is, by age 18 or earlier.  Then, natural selection would create people who are not vulnerable to alcoholism.


Yet, hope is not lost. In addition to self-disclosure as formerly alcohol-addicted, Dr. Patterson is an avid researcher at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, who understands the unique approach to combating alcoholism in Indian country. He, along with many treatment providers and healers, believes that successful intervention and treatment for alcohol dependency among Native Americans must blend modern counseling techniques with traditional culture and spirituality.


Tribes that got drunk 200 years ago did the same exact thing: they did all sorts of ceremonies, beat the drums, did the dances, painted the artwork and so forth and it didn’t work.  Doing this today won’t work, either.  The question remains, why do people do these things in the first place?  I remember, once upon a time, when most black people dressed and pretty much acted like anyone else.  Racism meant that they were savagely discriminated against but if you painted all the white people black, the appearance of everyone would pretty much match.  This was also true, by 1940, of native tribes in much of the country.


Here is another do-gooder website making the exact same excuses and solutions as the Native American Indian sites:  African-American Drinking Patterns More Deadly


“In fact, such a drinking style has no beneficial health outcomes. We know that African Americans have more binge drinking than whites or Hispanics. In addition, in some subgroups, such as those that are socioeconomically disadvantaged, special kinds of drinks like Malt Liquor that come in large serving sizes prevail.”


Approximately two decades ago, Greenfield explained, the major ethnic groups in the United States consumed alcohol at comparable levels. However, “during the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the country experienced a ‘drying’ trend, there is good evidence that frequent heavy drinking fell among white men and women but not so among African American and Hispanic individuals,” he said.


So, they admit this CHANGED after 1980.  I would suggest it began changing rapidly in the late 1960’s and accelerated greatly during the 1970’s and I saw that up close, too.  And during this time, these same people who are now suffering worse and worse today were told that they were in eternal torment due to the past and had to escape this by reasserting their cultural heritage and to distain ‘white middle class culture’.  And lo and behold, this happened.  And the result was a very pronounced deterioration in social structures and personal health.


When I was a child, I thought that the adobe homes of my friends were the smartest thing ever. These homes were cool during the hot summer days!  In the Plains states, the tribes didn’t build any houses at all, they migrated with the animals they hunted and moved south when the weather turned cold.  Today, everyone lives in ‘modern’ houses even though this doesn’t suit them.  I lived in a tent complex for ten years so I know all about tent living.  Living Conditions – American Indian Relief Council


The pressure to shift from a traditional way of life to a more Western lifestyle has dramatically changed the health status of the Native people, and created a terrible epidemic of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, tuberculosis, and cancer. American Indians are 20% more likely to have heart disease than other Americans and to die from it at a younger age (American Heart Association, per Indian Health Service, 2001). American Indians are 600% more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans, 226% more likely to die from diabetes, and 600% more likely to die from tuberculosis (2006, Indian Health Disparities). Disparities related to rates of cancer and cancer treatment are also higher than for any other Americans (2005, Native People for Cancer Control).


The reason so many Indians are suffering from obesity is…they are not doing all that much manual labor while eating far too much which also describes a lot of other people of all skin colors and social backgrounds.  Many European and Asian women stay slim, for example, by torturing themselves in various ways.  Being highly aware that being fat is ‘ugly’ they move heaven and earth and freak out all the time about eating food.  Preventing food ingestion is a huge topic of conversation in this cohort of women.  When diet problems assail minorities, clinging to a false belief of the past and pretending to be like it was 2,000+ years ago doesn’t do much good if one still also insists on having a government home/food charity system which requires zero physical efforts.


Many of the diseases and problems assailing minority groups can be at least partially fixed by being very careful about sanitation.  We see this with middle class people today, even: filthy homes.  But in the middle class, this is still a small problem, most people pride themselves on clean homes.  But in the minority/tribal communities trying to clean up means actually being attacked by the neighbors.  Vandalism, discarding stuff by tossing it out the windows or doors, never washing things properly leads to insect infestations, diseases and rats, etc.  But persuading people to be cleaner means they have to work much harder doing things.  And this is where the mess begins: this means concentration and effort and hard work.


Much more fun to blame all this on not having a primitive cultural experience!  The modern middle class culture is RECENT.  It is NEW.  It didn’t really exist a mere 300 years ago.  It came after the Black Death.  It barely reached ancient Roman standards of public cleanliness by 1900!  And then, only slightly.  I remember using out houses!  The modern lifestyle was advertised as good for the health starting in around 1850.



Here is a newspaper story about a liberal teacher encouraging her students about these social problems:  O’odham children tackle alcoholism – Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 2 (1993-2009)


 The text was written by a non-Indian, Tucsonan Ann Mitchell, who has worked on the reservation since 1991, first as a counselor for Indian Health Services, and now for Children First, Inc.


”This alcohol is not good for us. It burdens our spirit,” Encinas says during the play. ”It weakens our mind. It tricks our emotions. It destroys our body. Alcohol brings things to our community like sexual and physical abuse to our children.” In the play, the children wear traditional, colorful Tohono O’odham dress, and they begin by standing in a circle and laughing…But the scenes take a turn for the worse after the Europeans arrive. The Native Americans become ”sick at heart.” Their children must go to boarding school, their lives change.


And to overcome their trauma, to forget their sadness, the Indians drink…While the European explorers are the focal point of the change that occurs in the Tohono O’odham community, the play stresses the power of individual choice and does not pin blame on anyone.


The Great 100 Year Drought happened just before the Spanish invasion.  The Tucson Indians are Aztecs who were farmers not hunters and who were made very poor and desperate by the drought, the vast majority died.  The entire culture was in a state of near total collapse.  I remember the Tucson valley nearly covered with broken pottery from when there were many more people living there before the Great Drought.  When the Spaniards came in looking for El Dorado, one of them stayed behind to found the Mission San Xavier del Bac – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


San Xavier Mission was established in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, founder of the Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert chain…


The original church proved vulnerable to Apache attacks, which finally destroyed it in about 1770. From 1775 on the mission community and its Indian converts were protected somewhat from Apache raids by the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, established roughly seven miles downstream.


That is, the Apaches and Comanches attacked it and the O’odham.


In 1822, the Mission fell under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Diocese of Sonora. In 1828, the Mexican government banned all Spanish-born priests, with the last resident Franciscan departing San Xavier for Spain in 1837.
Left vacant, the Mission began to decay. Concerned about their church, local Indians began to preserve what they could. With the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, San Xavier was brought under U.S. rule as part of the Territory of Arizona. The church was re-opened in 1859 when the Santa Fe Diocese added the Mission to its jurisdiction. It ordered repairs paid for with diocesean money, and assigned a priest to serve the community. In 1866 Tucson became an incipient diocese and regular services were held at the church once again.
In 1872 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened a school at the Mission. In 1895 a grant of $1,000 was given to repair the building. More classrooms were added in 1900. The Franciscans returned to the Mission in 1913. In 1947, a new school was built next to the church for the Tohono O’odham children.


So, when Mexico revolted against Spain, the tribes in the northern territory were basically left to shift for themselves.  This is why, with the Gadsden Purchase, they were very happy to have my great grandfather show up.  It is one thing to celebrate one’s cultural past.  It is entirely another to expect to live like in the past and not suffer from the sorts of things that made the past so challenging, that is, most people had rather short, brutish, unpleasant and harsh lives and the vast bulk of humanity rarely lived to see their 40th birthdays.


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18 responses to “Making Excuses For Social Problems: Why Does Alcoholism Plagues Black, Indian And Other Minorities

  1. Jim R

    Part of it is undoubtedly the cultural/spiritual sense of powerlessness that comes from being told all your life:
    “The war is over. Your side lost. They lost 200 years ago. Therefore, you can forget about ever amounting to anything…”
    And those “Indian Schools” were tasked with imparting this knowledge.

    Then, too, there may be some genetic disposition. Not so much among the Scots as the First Nations people. One place this can be seen is in the prevalence of type II diabetes … the natives, particularly in the Southwest, lived on extremely sparse, bland, mostly vegetarian diets in prehistoric times. They ate things like prickly pear pads. Full of green vegan slime, but very very low in calories.

    So when you take a population that has been subsisting on cactus pads, and feed them white bread and corn syrup, …

    There MAY be a genetic tendency, but of course the spiritual sense of defeat is the biggest factor. It’s a major hurdle for every individual of the native cultures to overcome.

  2. Elaine Supkis

    So that is why the Scots are…wait! Defeat didn’t disturb them even slightly, it made them even more determined.

    Many a tribe/nation has seen defeat and not turned into a social human mess. Understanding this is vital, not making excuses. Indeed, history teems with events whereby seemingly defeated people sprang forwards (German tribes come to mind, for example).

    Hell’s bells, the Romans were that once, too. Not to mention the Jewish people…

  3. melponeme_k

    Native Alaskan. Grew up outside the tribe. I have no diabetes, don’t smoke, don’t drink, and around normal weight (I could lose a few).

    The problems on the reservations are almost all due to culture.

    @Jim R. My people did lose. We are going extinct. Simple, horrible facts. They must be faced and we must move on in this lifetime. We can’t change the past nor the far future. And we are just one among many cultures who have been totally annihilated in human history. One of the most famous accounts of this kind of tragedy is poor Troy.

  4. Elaine Supkis

    The Alaskan people are one of a number of ICE AGE tribes who up until the very recent past (less than 100 years) have kept their culture due to few people wanting to even conquer them.

    Yet when it came in the form not of warfare but living nearby, the temptations of modern culture overwhelms. The self-sufficient survival lifestyle of the Alaskan people was DERAILED.

    But then, few today, very very few have any wish to live like in 1900. This is true for many humans no matter what their ethnicity today. I have lived the 1900 lifestyle for ten years, in a tent with no modern services and it is HARD WORK. Very hard work.

    I used to say, ‘I keep warm by chopping firewood and going off to take down more trees’. And running water was a bucket and moving faster than normal or rain coming down.

    The work stuff is killed when ancient survivalist cultures come into contact with the civilized city cultures this is true throughout history from ancient times to today. This is also why, when barbarians take over cities even 4,000 years ago, things always fall apart and everyone falls backwards in culture to primitive living conditions and survival of the fittest resumes.

  5. melponeme_k

    From my readings, I understand my tribe from the interior was extremely paranoid and isolationist. They patrolled their land and killed anyone on sight who weren’t relatives or friends of relatives. The Russians got killed a few times before they started kidnapping women and marrying them. Problem solved.

    The rest were taken care of by modern weapons, disease and assimilation. Even to this day, most of the tribes of Alaska are heavily Russian influenced.

    Of course no one would want to live in a mud hut after seeing modern plumbing. I think the hot and cold running water inspired a lot of “migrants” to overwhelm Rome and it’s satellite cities.

  6. Jim R

    Of course, ancient Rome was a culture like the US of today, based on endless conquest and acquisition. In contrast, ancient Egypt managed to maintain a steady state for several millenia.

    But, in addition to the cultural rot, some analysts have said the Rome suffered from ‘peak wood’. They used wood a fuel for their hot baths and for construction. They never discovered coal. We know of their engineering feats from the stone and brick and concrete they left, but there were wooden vehicles and wood supports for roofs. . . After conquering Europe, and mowing down all the forests for wood, their system faltered and fell, over the course of several centuries.

  7. LOU

    Rome brought in Black slaves. Italian DNA is now 3% ? African.
    They had an empire. No empire is forever.

  8. Elaine Supkis

    It became much colder after 200 AD. This cold era was called the Dark Ages and there was lots of disruptions and tribes everywhere were on the move.

    This hit the Alaskan tribes hard, too. The only people who thought this was great were the Inuit.

  9. Hey did you catch Jeb’s announcement today? If you didn’t watch it all you might have missed something muy importante’ senor. Will American’s need English captions to understand this guy if he is elected president? Just what the fuck did this guy say in Spanish?

  10. Elaine Supkis

    I keep telling everyone that there is no political party for citizens. We get divisions and lies, left or right, irrational lies.

  11. Eric Blood Axe

    Scotland. There are 4 different strands in present Scotland. 1 the oringinal Celts, the Picts, 2. the Celts from ireland, the Highland Scots. 3. the Anglo-Saxons, the Lowland Scots. 4 the Norse. There is much inter-marriage of course, but we are a very mixed bunch.

  12. Christian W

    The Celts, the Irish Celts, the Highland Scots, the Anglo-Saxons, the Lowland Scots and the Norse are all Indo-Europeans of mostly Germanic origin (not sure about the Picts but most likely them too).

    Blacks and Indians are not Indo-European. The Scots, ie the above groups, were not that different at all from the English, even if they were temporary enemies.

    Blacks and Indian natives on the other hand had no such advantage. These peoples were destroyed on a collective unconscious level as much as the collective level, something the Scots never were as the Scottish collective unconscious is Indo-European and the Scots were able to adapt without major problems.

  13. LOU

    Thanks E Sutton but I doubt libs will be able to read that. Cognitive dissonance.

  14. LOU

    Elaine, you might get a kick out of the picture of people sunbathing on ice,

  15. LOU

    I am surprised EMS has not yet written about ‘Fake Black lady ran Spokane NAACP, and reported fake hate crimes’.
    She is international news.

  16. Elaine Supkis

    Yes, she is. She sues everyone, makes up persecution stories and lies about her family. Lovely lady….and not the only public liar, either! Perfect for running for President, no?

  17. LOU

    She could be Faux a hontas VP.

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