Banking on Racism

by A’Jamal-Rashad Byndon
NFP Board Member 

We recently received a phone call from an official of our bank (Great Western Bank) at our home. He talked with my wife about a recent cashier’s check that we’d purchased at the bank for payment for replacing the roof on our home. The roof was replaced in October 2016. The contractor had asked that I pay him with a cashier’s check.

The conversation with my wife and the banker was about whether we knew the contractor who had a Spanish first and last name. She told this banker that she knew the contractor and that she was not home when I paid him for replacing the roof. She directed him to talk with me about it. When initially talking with this banker about the transaction, I thought there was something wrong with the cashier check. He assured me that was not the problem. He said the Spanish-named contactor had a common name and asked if I knew him. I told him that he had replaced our roof about five years ago, and this was my second time doing business with him.

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Call for Sheridan County Residents to Voice Dissent Over Whiteclay Practices

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (NLCC) voted 3 - 0 to require all four beer stores in Whiteclay to re-apply for their licenses via the “long form.” Their decision requires the stores to apply as if they are applying for new licenses. This requirement opens the avenue to letters of protest to the NLCC by Sheridan County residents against the issuance of the licenses. In order for letters of protest to be heard, a total of at least three individuals must write them. We Whiteclay Activists are looking for three Sheridan County residents who would be willing to write letters of protest.

The Sheridan County Board is the first approval step in the “long-form” process. Each board member has the option to recommend approval, rejection, or to remain neutral. We Whiteclay activists are hoping for either rejection or neutrality in the board’s decision. After the applications are in, the County Board has 45 days to forward their decision to the NLCC. The NLCC is not required to follow their decision. Even if the County Board recommends denial of the licenses, it is still imperative to file the three letters of protest. We are looking for Sheridan County residents to voice their opposition. If you know people that live in Sheridan County, please pass this request on to them!

Again, are any of you or do any of you know a resident of Sheridan County? Please inform the State Office of Nebraskans for Peace or Bill Laird at williamalaird@me.com

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Message from John Maisch and Frank LaMere about Whiteclay

The following message is from our friends Frank LaMere and John Maisch. We hope you will attend one or more of the events listed to help bring justice to the victims in Whiteclay and the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

It is a pretty big step to have the Lincoln Journal Star's Editorial Board call on the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission to revoke Whiteclay's four beer store licenses rather than the half-measures proposed by Whiteclay's beer store owners and others:

http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-death-another-reason-to-tackle-whiteclay-issue/article_a5b980b3-347c-5ec4-8868-93004c9c077f.html

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Help Us Keep the Death Penalty Out of Nebraska

We are excited that the Journey of Hope…From Violence to Healing will be spending 10 days in Nebraska supporting the effort to RETAIN the end of the death penalty! From July 15 – July 23, murder victims family members, death row exonorees, and the family members of death row inmates will crisscross the state sharing their stories and why they support alternatives to the death penalty. Click HERE to check out the schedule to see who will be visiting your city!

During the 1990s, when the state of Nebraska last executed people, the executions were treated by some as a party. Senator Colby Coash, now a leading anti-death penalty advocate in Nebraska, recalls going to the Nebraska Penitentiary prior to an execution to find people “banging pots and pans and chanting ‘fry him, fry him.’” Recognizing the irony in celebrating the state-ordered murder of a convicted murderer, Coash first began to realize the death penalty may not be an upstanding institution. Motivated by a realization that the death penalty in Nebraska was an irreparably flawed institution, Coash and 29 other state senators—Republicans, Democrats and one Independent—came together in May, 2015 to replace the death penalty in Nebraska with life in prison without parole.

Unfortunately, some in Nebraska are trying to bring the death penalty back, making it important for Nebraskans for Peace to team up with the anti-death penalty movement to retain the state legislature’s decision to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole.

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Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks Visits Whiteclay, NE

The following article was sent out in a June newsletter by State Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks.  

One of the six Interim Studies that I introduced will examine and review the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay, Nebraska and the effects that these sales have on the surrounding Native American population and the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As you know, there has been enormous controversy surrounding Whiteclay. Whiteclay is a non-incorporated town with 14 residents which has four beer stores located 200 yards south of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Each year, nearly 4 million cans of high alcohol content beer are sold at Whiteclay. Malt liquors are the most popular products. A 25 ounce can of these products contains 8-10% alcohol and has the alcohol equivalent of 2-3 regular beers. These products are sold for just $1.75 a can. Public drunkenness, violence, and human trafficking are rampant problems. The goal of the Interim Study is to develop recommendations for what should be done to address the many issues arising from alcohol sales in Whiteclay and to seek the input of the State-Tribal Relations Committee in finding a way to solve these issues.

This month, in conjunction with my Interim Study, I took a trip to Whiteclay, Nebraska with my new Legislative Aide, Chris Triebsch. I was invited to attend a conference on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which has become a public health crisis in the area due to the prevalence of alcohol abuse. In fact, 1 in 4 babies on the Pine Ridge Reservation is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a birth defect caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Its developmental and neurological effects are irreversible.

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