Stop shaming people who participate in Black Friday. Just stop.
Stop making jokes about the fights, the carnage, the people camped in the parking lots. Stop making comments about how you beat out “a woman with a bowl cut AND a rat tail” on your race to the boots. For the love of Cat, stop posting that fucking Onion article about how millions of people died this Black Friday – hahahahaha, yes, so amusing, except that people ARE ACTUALLY DEAD. Specifically, poor people.
Jokes like “Brawl Mart” and “It’s like the running of the bulls, but with badly dressed people” and “Witnessed a fight at walmart over a $29 tablet…..” are classist, ignorant, and short-sighted. As if this whole embarrassing Black Friday spectacle would just disappear if those crass mullet-ed stuff-grubbers would just stop making such a big deal out of it, AMIRIGHT?
Look. Black Friday might be the one day of the year when people can afford to buy something like a TV, or an appliance, or a fucking winter coat. It might be the only chance they have to be able to afford Christmas for their children.
So many of the people abandoning sleep and human decency are doing so because they’ve been told they have no other choice. Maybe they actually have no choice, because they were forced to work by their monolithic billionaire employers for an unlivable wage. Or maybe they feel they have no choice because it’s the only way to get the items that can keep them warm and help them navigate a society that measures you by whether you own enough middle-class status symbols. Because they’re being paid unlivable wages by their monolithic billionaire employers.
The Black-Friday-as-Hunger-Games analogy is disturbingly on-point. Lots of people on the socials media seem to have noticed it – but not everyone is interpreting it in the same way. Someone on my Facebook feed actually posted, “I think we should film Black Friday like the Hunger Games and just watch the carnage unfold.” As in, let’s actually replicate the dystopian story where poor people kill each other for the entertainment of a callously oblivious upper class. What. The. Actual. Everloving. Fuck.
Yes, a holiday season that should be about gratitude and family has become a frantic orgy of violent consumption. Yes, humanity seems to be eroding and collapsing in on itself. People regularly get stabbed, shot, pepper sprayed, and trampled on Black Friday, and yes, the carnage is especially bad at Wal-Marts. But it’s time to stop pretending that “poor people” are the problem.
Remember who the real enemy is.