August 17, 2010

Selling beer with Chief Oshkosh

We heard about this controversy recently in Chief Oshkosh Saloon Renamed. Now the story continues:

Use of Chief Oshkosh's image in bar stirs debate

Tavern owned by Oshkosh mayor

By Cameron Clark
Esslinger still hopes to include the historic Indian chief. He is planning a mug-club type promotion called "The Founders Club," where patrons can earn t-shirts by purchasing a set number of mugs of beer. The promotion is set to feature the image of Chief Oshkosh along with two other "founders" of the city, William Wright and Webster Stanley, who are both white.

That is meeting opposition as well.

"Perpetuating that again, stereotypical images used by non-native people to make money," said Plass.

The Menominee Tribal Legislature recently passed a resolution opposing the use of Chief Oshkosh's name or image in the promotion of alcohol.
And:"For so many years and for so many generations, alcohol has been an issue among Indian people," said Richie Plass, a Menominee member. "I don't see JFK's image used in any alcohol or liquor situations. I don't see Dr. Martin Luther King's image used. It just doesn't happen."Comment:  Plass has a point. I wouldn't want to see a picture of my grandfather hanging in bar selling beer. Especially if he suffered or died from alcoholism.

I could see having a tasteful display of Chief Oshkosh memorabilia. But using his photo on prizes or giveaways? The possible benefit isn't worth the possible harm it could cause.

For more on Natives and alcohol, see Suing Beer Sellers for Treaty Violation and Wine Holders Still for Sale.

Below:  Chief Oshkosh.

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