Black Friday robs holiday season of meaning

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Eleanor Bogart-Stuart staff writer

Lauren Hannani staff writer

It all starts with a few commercials. Then, you make plans with your friend to hit up the store with the best deals. And suddenly, it’s the eve of the holiday that’s ruining America: Black Friday.

Black Friday itself is the child of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 1924, there was no name of “Black Friday”. All it was was a random, unnamed day  which marked the beginning of holiday shopping season. It was during the 1960s that the term “Black Friday” first entered the mainstream, referring to the fact that back when accounting records were kept by hand, black ink was used when noting that a profit had been made.

The problem with Black Friday is not the fact that it offers ridiculous markdowns used to entice and trick the gullible mass America into spending huge amounts of money, but that all of this occurs literally the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day when you’re supposed to take some time to appreciate all that you have in life and be grateful for your family and friends. However, this grotesque shopping “holiday” has changed the meaning of what Thanksgiving is all about.

Although the original Thanksgiving used to actually have substance and legitimate meaning,  the substance has been sucked out, stuffed into a box and tied with a ribbon. Believe it or not, the consumerist corruption began all the way back in 1933. American consumers started complaining to President Franklin Roosevelt that they didn’t have enough time between the day after Thanksgiving deals and Christmas to do their shopping, so in order to appease these consumers,  Congress passed a law in 1941 that permanently made Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of every November.

Obviously, the modern day Black Friday exceeded all consumerist dreams. Consumers get advertisements shoved into their faces from the beginning of November until the day itself. As it turns out, one day simply wasn’t enough for mass America. Black Friday got a baby brother in Cyber Monday, which began in 2005.

Let’s not forget the past tragedies that Black Friday has caused. So far, 98 people have been injured due to Black Friday related incidents, and seven people have died. In 2008, a Walmart employee was killed due to a violent mob of customers. In 2011, Black Friday shoppers ignored and stepped over the collapsed body of a man named Walter Vance.

Thanks to the “holiday” of Black Friday and the consumerism that has run rampant in the past 70 years, Thanksgiving has lost all the meaning that it should have. Instead of being grateful for what  you already have, Black Friday has taught Americans to lust after all the things they could have the very next day.

 

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