I Hate Black Friday

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I f***ing hate Black Friday.

*breath* Okay now that that’s out of the way, I can talk about this a bit more rationally. Hopefully. I can’t promise that I won’t turn into a giant squid of anger by the end of this though, so be forewarned. It could happen. It most likely will happen. I can almost guarantee it.

So just a quick summary in case you’ve been living under a rock or you’re one of my lovely international readers who don’t have any idea what the hell I’m talking about. Black Friday is an American “holiday” the day after Thanksgiving when all of the stores have massive discounts so people stand in lines all night and then trample each other to death to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not, and that’s the problem.

I’ve always disliked the idea of Black Friday. As a kid it was simply the confusion of why people would stand around all night in the cold just to get a few cheap toys, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become more than that.

To break it down simply: The very day after we are all so thankful for the things we have, we beat each other to death trying to get more.

Does that seem like hypocrisy to anyone else, or is it just me?

And the biggest problem, sadly, isn’t just the blatant hypocrisy. It’s the fact that I’ve been using terms like ‘trample’ and ‘beat’ and I’m not just being overly-dramatic. People genuinely do fight to the death over these Christmas gifts. When the doors open, there are shoppers and store workers who get trampled by a crush of eager bargain hunters. It has become something of an accepted norm. People just shrug and say, “It happens.”

That’s disgusting.

It’s disgusting that we can keep condoning something that causes people to turn into stampeding wildebeest, crushing everything and everyone in their path. It’s disgusting that we can turn a blind eye when a woman pepper sprays a crowd that included children just to get her hands on an Xbox. It’s disgusting that there are people shooting each other over parking spaces. And it’s absolutely revolting that people don’t stop to help, that when emergency services show up the shoppers continue to fight for their presents and impede these people trying to save lives.

Did you know that one Black Friday rush back in 2008, in one Wal-Mart in Long Island, that not only was one worker trampled to death and several more injured when customers broke down the doors early to get in, but they also jostled one eight-month pregnant woman so badly that they caused a miscarriage?

How do we continue to allow these things to happen? Are we that greedy that we feel the few dollars saved on a present are worth people’s lives? Has human kind really sunk so low?

I am feeling particularly anti-Black Friday this year because of a new thing that’s becoming widespread and common. A majority of stores are opening, not at midnight on Friday morning like usual, but on Thursday evening. That’s right, they are actually opening up Thanksgiving night.

While we’re supposed to be home, visiting with family, indulging in turkey and wine, and enjoying all the wonderful things we have been given, there will be millions of Americans this year out fighting in the cold to save a few bucks on toys and clothes. Not only that, but this means that stores will be staying open, forcing millions of employees to work among these deadly crowds while they should be home with their families.

So much for the spirit of the season, huh?

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