Black and Blue Friday is ruining Thanksgiving, causing injuries

Black Friday is known as the day full of discounts and mayhem. People wait all year to claw their way to crazy markdowns. They wait hours until early Thanksgiving to get the discounts and now stores are opening up their Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving Day. 

Some stores like REI, an outdoor sports store, are forgoing the day of craziness. They want people to spend time with their family on the holiday that often gets overlooked. Black Friday and “Gray Thursday” need to end, and we need to celebrate what is important.

Black Friday has overshadowed and ruined the holiday of Thanksgiving for both deal hunters and retail workers. Retail employees are now being expected work on Thanksgiving instead of spending time with their families. Stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart, open at 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and stay open until Black Friday. 

At some point, Thanksgiving stopped being a legitimate holiday for society and became the day before Black Friday. Why would anyone want to spend quality time with their family when they can wait hours in line at Best Buy to fist fight over the newest gaming console?

The discount day started in the early 2000s and has been a phenomenon in countries all over the world including Canada, Mexico, India, France and Panama. Each year, stores compete with each other by lowering their prices and opening earlier. Thus “Gray Thursday” was born. The new term describes what Thanksgiving has become, a day where people are thankful for the ability to trample people for a $300 flat screen television.

Black Friday also gives a platform to those with a propensity for violence. It causes a fatal mob mentality. A Wal-Mart employee was killed in 2008, after he was trampled by a mob a ravenous holiday shoppers broke down the doors to start their shopping early. Two people were shot and killed outside a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, California, that same day. In 2010, a Target employee in Buffalo, New York, was trampled by a crowd of eager Black Friday shoppers. People are being injured and dying for lower prices on holiday gifts. At what point did we begin to value discounts over human lives?

Instead of forcing people to work on Thanksgiving and fighting for discounts on Black Friday, we should move toward celebrating an actual holiday of Thanksgiving. I don’t want to be “preachy” or cliché, but I urge potential shoppers to stay home with the people they love and just be thankful for the things that they do have, instead of buying into the mass hysteria of consumerism.

Related Links:

Eye Candy: Alternative Black Friday

Black Friday goes too far


Reach the columnist at larober3@asu.edu or follow @lindsayaroberts on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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