Protesting Black Friday

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

The title kind of says it all, would you protest Black Friday?
Let me illustrate with a story….
I was standing in line with hundreds of women. No this was not a dream or even a fantasy, it was a reality. It was cold, dark, and raining. We were all huddled together outside of Kohl’s department store waiting for the door to open so we could buy jeans for 4 bucks. We waited for about 15 minutes and then the doors opened. You would have thought that all of us were dying because we were running out of oxygen and the best way to save your life was to get into the store and breathe the fresh air. People were pushing, shoving, yelling, and biting to get to the front. The culmination of the struggle to get inside came when an elderly lady fell down and no one stopped to help her up. I have never seen so many people just start grabbing clothes. They didn’t care what size, style or color they were, they just grabbed because it was marked down to %80 off. At that moment I was ashamed. I was ashamed to be in that building, I was ashamed to even be apart of the madness. For the next 3 hours I watched and observed. I wondered what this would look like to aliens? You know, the other people in the world who do not live in the United States. The ones that work 18 to 20 hours a day for $1.89? You probably have been in this situation before, ashamed to be apart of a system of consumerism and greed. And yet I was quickly snapped out of it when I found 1 gig memory sticks for 5 bucks.

Black Friday is the worst day of the year.

What is Black Friday? It is the day after Thanksgiving where millions of people line up to buy a discounted TV or $2 DVDs. It is a celebrated day around the United States. But the stats about this day are sobering.

“The NRF said it appeared to pay off with 172 million shoppers visiting stores and Web sites Friday compared to about 147 million on Black Friday last year. The amount spent was pegged at $372.57 per shopper, up 7.2 percent from $347.55 last year.”

The sobering stat of all: Consumers spent $10.3 billion dollars on Black Friday.

Call me crazy, but that is a lot of money. Considering that millions are dying a day because of basic needs, this amount of money spent seems very frivolous and downright wrong. I am just as guilty as any one else. No, I haven’t spent 300 dollars on this day (I would if I had the money) but I have waited in line at 5am in the morning on Black Friday. Usually just to watch the madness, but also to pick up cheap stuff.
Now, I do not want to be a protester of abortion clinics, but by your votes below, would you be interested in protesting black Friday?

Is this a good idea?
Would Jesus do this?
Am I out of Line?

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • lightenupgear

    I find that for my own sanity, I stay away from Black Friday. I already have a difficult time as it is with people cutting in line and forgetting their manners. Multiply that times 1000 and you have Black Friday. I like to think of myself as a fairly patient guy, but I will end up losing my cool and probably not being the salt and light that I am called to be in my community. I'm with you…I'm staying home, reading the paper, and shopping online. ;)

    My wife will also have just returned from a 2-week missions trip to Uganda so I have a feeling our Christmas will look a little more like this…


    • Kyle Reed

      Thanks for the response. Love me some advent conspiracy. good link

  • Brad_Parler

    Thanks for putting it in perspective – I heard on the news this morning – will try to dig up the source and link it here, and 78% of Americans are still paying the debt that they incurred for Christmas and the holidays!!!

    I agree this is sick, and it's not what I want for my kids. The bad thing is we typical do pick up our kids gifts on that day of darkness… I wonder how many people are seriously injured in shopping related events on Black Friday (and not slip&falls for the sake of suing — so you can afford the gifts you're about to buy!)

    • klreed189

      good points and the stats would be great to have. And ya, injuries are big, especially in the fact that someone died last year.

  • Brad_Parler

    What's really interesting is that you bring this up today – (the 80th anniversary of Black Tuesday the day that our nation started in to the the Great Depression).

    • KL Reed

      I would like to say that I meant to do that, so ya I meant to do that.

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