Black Friday is a shameful “holiday”

Opinion+writer+CJ+Haberbush+feels+that.+Credit%3A+Jessie+Snyder%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Opinion writer CJ Haberbush feels that. Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press

Christopher Haberbush

Black Friday is a shameful “holiday.” It is almost as if Americans feel guilty for partaking in the holiday of Thanksgiving just hours earlier. To atone for their love and gratefulness, they must go out and join the chaotic masses stampeding through the aisles of Walmart searching for a good deal.

Opinion writer CJ Haberbush feels that. Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press
Opinion writer CJ Haberbush feels that Black Friday “has become a demonstration of human fickleness and lack of judgement.” Credit: Jessie Snyder/The Foothill Dragon Press

Black Friday is a shameful “holiday.”

It is almost as if Americans feel guilty for partaking in the holiday of Thanksgiving just hours earlier. To atone for their love and gratefulness, they must go out and join the chaotic masses stampeding through the aisles of Walmart searching for a good deal.

The first usage of the term is largely clouded with myth and hearsay. The most common story of its origins is the collapse of the U.S. gold market in 1869. The day took on a “black” connotation for seemingly obvious reasons.

By the early 1960’s the date began to take on a much more consumeristic feel. Large companies seeking to make money pushed hard to change the connotation of Black Friday.

Urban myth maintains, that in an attempt to change the connotation of the day’s name, companies told the public that Black Friday was the day that their profits changed from a loss to a gain. In accounting, a loss of profit is marked with red ink, and a gain of profit is marked with black ink. Retailers claimed that the “black”  portion of the name refers to the change from red to black ink.

Despite being a spectacle of consumerism and excess, Black Friday instead has become a demonstration of human fickleness and lack of judgement.

Each year companies offer the public tempting deals, and every year we hear about the countless violent crimes that are committed in the Black Friday madness. Is a person’s life is really worth a discount?

On Nov 23, 2013 in Tallahassee Florida, two people were shot in a dispute over a parking spot in a Walmart lot. Again in 2013, a man in Las Vegas, Nevada was shot in the leg by two assailants attempting to steal his recently purchased television.

Black Friday produces a spree of fights, tramplings, stabbings and shootings each year. Tempers flare and give rise to increase in violent crime. All of this could be avoided should more stores decline to open, rather than fanning the flame of violence during Black Friday in a purely greed driven desire to draw in more customers.

People do not need more reasons to be in conflict with one another, let alone ridiculous ones such as Black Friday.

This year Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) has taken the lead in setting the example for how companies should respond to the Black Friday madness. REI remained closed this year, and instead of offering enticing deals has pledged to encourage its customers to get outdoors this Thanksgiving weekend.

It is about time that someone stepped up and decried the nonsensical “holiday.”

More companies need to follow in the suit of REI. This pseudo holiday is simply a ploy to get massive amounts of people to shop, and purchase goods that they would not need nor want otherwise. It is very admirable that REI values morals above a quick profit.

If companies can mark down goods up to 75 percent and still boast a net gain, consumers should question how large of a profit is being made on regularly priced products.

Without doubt, some low income families may be saving all year in order to purchase holiday gifts on Black Friday, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the majority of consumers are fiscally capable of purchasing goods on any other day. The search for a good deal goes too far when being rude and harming others becomes acceptable.

Don’t buy into the consumerism of the “holiday.” There is no reason to put ourselves into unnecessary conflict for something as insignificant as a good deal.

Black Friday is simply an excuse to buy things we don’t need, and is a disgusting holiday to be held the day after Thanksgiving. If you are thankful for what you have, don’t buy into the Black Friday madness.

What do you think?