Black Friday

by Amy Issadore Bloom

If you search Black Friday, Walmart on YouTube, you find some really scary and sad videos. (I’m not even going to post one, because it’s just too dark for me to see all the time.)

They look like footage of countries at war, of people running for their lives. Like people trying to escape gunshots or bombs. Like people fighting for their ration of food.

In one particular video that’s popular, the riots are over phones. Phones.

The people acting this way likely have no means to pay for the expensive plan most smart phones require anyway. They probably can’t afford most of the things they buy, even on sale.

I understand wanting to have nice things, to see your children unwrap decadent and special gifts on the holidays, to pretend for just a day that you can splurge on things.

This just isn’t the way. It can’t be.

And shame on Walmart for continuing this tradition. The 2008 death of an employee by a stampede of  “people” entering the store should have signaled the end of the famous sale. It should not have been a call to simply improve security.

Since then, the violence continues – stampedes, pepper spraying, fights, injuries.

It’s ironic that this day occurs just one day after Thanksgiving. When folks sit down to that big family meal, they certainly aren’t saying grace over an iphone or an Xbox.

We should teach our children the true meaning of the holidays, or just don’t celebrate them at all.




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