Black Friday fever becomes epidemic

Black Friday fever becomes epidemic

November 21
16:59 2012

Asphyxiations. Stampedes. Paralysis. Miscarriages. Shootings. These are the result of frenzied Black Friday shoppers pummeling others to save a few bucks on non-necessities.

This year, retailers will extend these antics of holiday cheer by opening on Thanksgiving Day, some as early as 8 p.m.

Thanksgiving was intended to express thankfulness for what people already possess, not about abandoning family to grab or sell a $10 special.

More than 150 million people shopped on Black Friday last year and spent more than $14 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

While opening early on Thanksgiving Day can create more revenue, forcing thousands of workers to neglect their families to sell oversized TVs and soon-to-be-outdated game systems isn’t worth it.

A few Wal-Mart workers are already planning a walkout after learning that the mega retailer will open at 8 p.m., according to CNN.

Target employee Anthony Hardwick started a petition to delay Target’s opening to 5 a.m. and said, “A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation – all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones.”

But a few retailers aren’t getting the message.

Some K-Mart stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, according to the Denver Post. And big-box chains aren’t the only ones to blame.

Retailers are opening earlier because people will toss “thanks” out of Thanksgiving and camp outside to get the latest and greatest gizmo.

Crazed Wal-Mart customers broke doors and trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death in Long Island during Black Friday. At the same store, a pregnant woman was knocked to the ground by swarms of people and suffered a miscarriage.

Today, it’s amusing to think the pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving by flattening each other to buy the new wood-burning stove model or the platinum-edition cornhusk doll, but the reality of the holiday’s history is a lot more serious.

The pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 after years of difficulty and starvation surviving in North America.

After finally having prosperous crops, they invited Native Americans that helped them to a feast to give thanks for what they had.

This Thanksgiving, try spending some extra time with your family and friends being thankful for what you already have—and skip the retailers opening early. Revel in the cranberry sauce and conversation, rather than bludgeoning your fellow shoppers over a bargain DVD.

Holly Harvey is a journalism and political science senior. She can be reached at holly.h.harvey@gmail.com.

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