There are few things more embarrassing to We The People than the American spectacle of Black Friday consumerism.
Sure, capitalism is fantastic, and the free market has been one of the most incredible boons to the modern world that we’ve ever witnessed, but the disregard for humanity that occurs on the morning after Thanksgiving, (or sometimes even earlier), is more than a little disheartening. In 2016 things were fairly rough around the edges, but 2017 seems to be taking things to a whole new level.
“One person was shot outside a Missouri mall as swarms of shoppers looking for Black Friday deals saw chaos pop up throughout the country.
“An unidentified 19-year-old received life-threatening injuries after being shot in the parking lot of a center in the college town of Columbia late Thursday night, according to KMIZ.
“Another shopping center in Alabama saw an outbreak of violence Thursday, with brawls shutting down a late-night session early.
“Police in Hoover, outside Birmingham, broke up fights at the Riverchase Galleria outside Birmingham, with Al.com reporting that one person was treated for injuries by paramedics.”
What seems to be even worse about these abhorrent acts of violence is that they are often spurred on by “deals” on goods made abroad. You don’t see fist fights breaking out at Ford dealerships or your local farmer’s market. These incidents occur when heavily discounted Chinese-made televisions go on sale, or when a company purposefully shorts the market for foreign-assembled toys, enticing parents to score cool points with their kids by being aggressive in their procurement.
And all of this occurs after a restful day with family and friends in which we are expected to reflect on all of the joy and wonderment of our lives. The dichotomy is a brutal one to digest at times.
More reports, such as the ones from Missouri and Alabama, will continue to be spread around today as more malls and shops begin to piece themselves back together after the chaos. This whirlwind of selfishness and bodega brutality has, unfortunately, set the tone for the holiday season in America by injecting an inordinate amount of stress into the atmosphere.
Today, I’m thankful to be at home with my dog and a coffee, and not braving the hordes of holiday hooligans at the local mall.