Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Open Letter to Governor Bev Perdue Regarding Blast

April 5, 2011

Dear Governor Perdue,

Last year, you took a very courageous stand by asking the makers of Four Loko to, voluntarily, stop producing their product. However, a new malt liquor is entering North Carolina that is just as dangerous. On April 5, Pabst Brewing Company released "Blast By Colt 45," a high octane malt liquor that contains 12% alcohol. The drink also comes in fruity flavors such as raspberry watermelon.

Although, the liquor does not contain caffeine, what makes it more dangerous than Four Loko is Pabst's marketing campaign. While Four Loko was mostly popular with college kids, Blast is using Hip Hop music to target a younger "urban" audience. It is well known that the terms "Hip Hop" and "urban" are used mostly when referring to "inner city" African American and Latino youth. The company has hired popular Hip Hop artist, Snoop Dogg along with video models such as Rosa Acosta to pitch the fruity beverage. It must be noted that recently Snoop Dogg has appeared on two programs that are extremely popular with preteens and teenagers, Black Entertainment Television's "106 and Park" and Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.

What is sad, is that while many people spoke out against Four Loko, the silence has been deafening in response to Blast. Unfortunately, we still live in a society where the lives of African American and Latino children are valued less than the lives of others. So, Governor Perdue, we are asking that you speak out against Pabst Brewing Company's "Blast" with the same passion in which you addressed the makers of Four Loko.

While the drink should be a major concern for African American and Latino parents, in reality, the issue should concern all of the citizens of this state. To borrow from a popular saying, "first they came for the Black children and I said nothing. Then they came for the Latino children and again I said nothing. Then they came for my children and there was no one left to say anything."

Thank you,

Minister Paul Scott
Durham, NC
(919) 451-8283