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Black Friday: Yes or No?

posted Nov 13, 2013, 9:15 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 14, 2014, 10:31 AM by Unknown user ]
Matthew Bado

Black Friday is, arguably, a cornerstone of the American holiday tradition. Taking place the Friday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is extremely popular and controversial. Since its beginning in the 1960s, Black Friday has attracted a variety of opinions. “It's dangerous, yet effective [for stores] to do a Black Friday sale,” says Jared Smith, a Van Buren junior. “I don't really participate in it, I tend to do my shopping online. Some of the things people do on Black Friday are too extreme for me.”

An extreme example of Black Friday gone wrong is the 2008 trampling death of Walmart worker Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year-old temporary maintenance worker from Jamaica. In Damour's death, over 200 shoppers were involved in the trampling, and four other shoppers were injured, including a pregnant woman.

“They pushed him down and walked all over him,”  Damour's sister said when interviewed by CNN. “How could these people do that?”

Witnesses described the crowd as acting like “savages” and state that workers had to force their way through the crowd to help Damour. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they to had to force their way through the crowd. When asked to leave, shoppers refused and continued their Black Friday shopping. It took police arriving to convince some shoppers to leave and, when the store reopened later in the day, it was packed within an hour. “I look at these people's faces and keep thinking that one of them could have stepped on him,” said one of Damour's coworkers. “How could you take a man's life to save $20 on a TV?”

Though extreme, this is an example of what limits people will go to on Black Friday. “If this happens too much, new methods should be pursued. To let people run about crazy like this is ridiculous,” says Mr. Rader, Van Buren Math Teacher. “If the problem can't be fixed, then it (Black Friday) should be stopped. One death is too much.”

With events like this happening, it's easy to understand why people are opposed to Black Friday. However, many support Black Friday due to the extraordinary savings it offers.

“I support Black Friday because it’s a great way to begin the Christmas season,” says Jen Irving, Van Buren Junior, “I don’t normally buy much, though, I just go out and enjoy the atmosphere.”

But, even among her family, some are still opposed to Black Friday. “My Nana doesn’t agree with Black Friday because she thinks it is dangerous and she prefers to do her Christmas shopping all year!”

A similar topic regarding Black Friday is that of stores staying open during Thanksgiving, which all interviewees were opposed to.

“They shouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving. It’s a major holiday, and they need to let their workers have family time,” says Mr. Rader.

    So, what do you think? With all the varying opinions on Black Friday, we at the VB Knight Writer would like to know your opinion, and would appreciate it if you could complete the survey in this article. (Survey removed 5/14/2014)