Category Archives: Fiona Higgins

Black Friday Undermines Meaning Behind Holidays

blackfriday blackfriday2

by Fiona Higgins – Staff Reporter

Whether you love Thanksgiving or hate it, one thing cannot be denied: Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of family, not commercialism and shopping. There is the rush to shop for food and sure, maybe some disagreements, but the sentiment is still there. Love, family, friendship, togetherness and being thankful for what you have in life… that’s what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about.
That is why Black Friday could not come at a worse time.
Obviously, the crazy 50% deals at almost every store like Macy’s and Kohl’s are a steal, and when every single little item the entire store is advertised as a “perfect gift for the whole family”, it seems like it could be the best day ever. But, take a step back and reconsider.
The day after Thanksgiving, the holiday of caring and being thankful, we immediately go out and fight tooth and nail for a 40%-off Xbox or flat screen TV at Sears. In essence, we disregard all of our lovely moral standings we held so dear the day before.
To go along with this negativity, Black Friday is dangerous. This year alone, two people have died and four more were injured in stores on their Black Friday shopping spree. Throughout the years, various organizations like BBC, CBS and NBC news have reported on this atrocities, which include but are not exclusive to, a worker dying in a Long Island Walmart after getting trampled by a stampede of shoppers in 2008 (NY Daily News), an 11-year-old girl being sent to the hospital after being hurt in a Black Friday crowd in 2013 (Norwalk Reflector), and a shirtless man using a belt as a whip outside a Vancouver Black Friday sale just this year (CTV News). Countless videos on multiple streaming sites show people wrestling with each other, pepper-spraying each other, and participating in other violent acts during the Black Friday mania.
While a lot of Black Friday has transitioned online, there are still a lot of people who choose to do their shopping in-store. Even with Cyber Monday happening just a few days later, the citizens of the United States and abroad will still take the risk of getting trampled to death to get a new set of bath towels.
Even stranger is the fact that many stores, including Macy’s, Walmart, Apple, and Nordstrom started doing Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. That’s right, they could not wait 12 hours to get those deals out. Starting sales this early could cause people to rush or even miss Thanksgiving, choosing cheap furniture and kitchen appliances over family and thankfulness.
There’s nothing wrong with having a giant nationwide sale in the holiday season. Honestly, it makes sense that we would; Christmas and other winter celebrations often involve exchanging gifts, and it is nice to get them for a huge discount. However, given the catastrophes and frankly disrespectful day that we have chosen to place it on, it would be much better if we as a society chose not to support this strangely disturbing tradition, at least not on the day it is currently on.