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Letter to the Editor – Black Friday

Dear Editor:

Thanksgiving is upon us, the day when everyone stuffs their belly and spends their money on blowout deals. We have experienced the paragon of consumerism, and it only gets worse every year.  Sixty years ago, the term “Black Friday” did not even exist, and even as recent as 2011 it was a distinctly separate affair from the holiday of giving thanks.  Now most Americans find themselves squandering their thanksgivings to save a Benjamin on a new television.

If we look back to the origin of Thanksgiving, we see that it has been around for over four hundred years as a celebration prompted by favorable outcomes of events.  The first known Thanksgiving day in America is believed to have been held three hundred ninety-five years ago as a harvest celebration where the pilgrims gave thanks to their god for their good fortune.  We have celebrated Thanksgiving for hundreds of years since as a day to give thanks for our good fortune in it’s many forms.

The holiday of Thanksgiving has always been a day of gluttony because of it’s ties to harvests and a surplus of food.  Now, however, we see an affront to our traditions in the form of the consumer false holiday we call “Black Friday.”  Almost anyone reading this can remember a time when you woke up early to get in line in order to get a great deal on that special item you could never have afforded otherwise.  Nowadays if you want to get that great deal, you have two options: sacrifice your Thanksgiving to wait in line and enter the gauntlet for your prize, or wait to shop on the internet.

The online shopping options available today present a viable alternative for most Americans.  Some Americans, however, do not have internet service, and there are even some people who do not possess the computer skills required to shop online.  There are many rural Americans who do not have internet, and a great deal of them do not wish to get it.  These Americans only have two options: Join the millions of Americans waiting in line across the country and say goodbye to their traditions, or refuse to support the big box stores with their presence and money.

Unfortunately, even those people who despise Black Friday may not be able to afford to protest.  Many of these people have families that they wish nothing more than to give the world to.  So many of them have children with a mile long Christmas list that they try to do their best to fulfill.  To these people, they see Black Friday as their only chance to check off the biggest item on their shopping list.

So while they may be suffering for their families with what in their opinion are no better alternatives, perhaps some of us can speak out against Black Friday.  If you refuse to shop on Thanksgiving, whether it be an active form of protest or just a moral choice, you are fighting back against this blight on our country and are preserving the sanctity of the day that you have cherished since you were a child.  Even if it does not result in a major change, you can sleep at night knowing that you did not let Black Friday claim you among it’s victims.

Knight Hrehor