‘Tis the season for bullets and bruises as Black Friday ushered in a spending frenzy and its brother, widespread fighting and violence. Seeking to get their piece of an estimated $600 billion expected to be spent between now and Dec. 25, retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day and tried to lure customers into their business lairs.
Once again low prices were the bait but despite apparent efforts by corporations to ease some of the shopping stress and entice shoppers earlier into stores, this year again saw shootings and injuries in the name of love and X-mas gifts.
The season is so bad that website Black Friday Death Count (blackfridaydeathcount.com) tries to keep track of the injuries and loss of life.
Search “Black Friday Violence” on Twitter and you will be treated to a huge number of links, photos, stories and videos about perpetrators and victims in the annual shopping melee. #WalmartFights and #BrawlMart trended on Twitter. YouTube videos captured battles and fights from varied locations.
According to Black Friday Death Count, there have been four deaths on Black Friday since 2006.
Among early incidents reported this year by media and police:
In Romeoville, Ill., a police officer was injured and an alleged shoplifter shot in a Thanksgiving Day altercation. Police say shots were fired after an alleged shoplifter dragged another officer on a car. But buying didn’t cease: “The shoppers were directed by police to an unblocked entrance north of the police tape,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
In Las Vegas, a man carrying home a television was shot by a thief in a car. Police say the thief fired warning shots, prompting the victim to put the big screen TV down. But then the victim tried to take the TV back, and was shot in the leg, the Associated Press said. “No arrests have been made. It’s unclear what happened to the TV,” AP added.
In New Jersey a man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on a police officer after allegedly arguing with a Walmart employee, according to NBCNewYork.com.
The San Bernardino Sun reported an injured officer in Rialto, Calif., as he tried to end a fight that erupted when a store manager opened the doors of a Walmart early. There were a few other fights, two inside and one outside of the store, according to the newspaper.
Other media outlets reported a man slashed with a knife in Virginia over a Walmart parking space and a stabbing in Carlsbad, Calif., at a mall entrance.
Walmart told ABC News “some 22 million shoppers come through its stores in a four-hour period on Thursday night.” Meanwhile Walmart workers were holding protests at 1,500 stores nationwide. Walmart workers are living in poverty and need the world’s biggest retailer to increase wages, said activists.
Others protested major retailers like the Gap, Target, Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret and mounted online petitions to discourage shopping or support workers. A Pizza Hut manager in Elkhart, Ind., was fired and then offered his job back after refusing to open on Turkey Day.
Something is horribly wrong when shopping becomes a blood sport and retailers factor the cost of added security as part of their profit margins. Something is horribly wrong when a person is beaten, stabbed, shot or killed when trying to purchase something. Something is horribly wrong when these incidents happen year after year and post-holiday debt skyrockets every year. If you survive shopping shock troops you can look forward to debilitating debt and dodging creditors. Next you can expect robberies, burglaries, assaults, drunk driving and rapes as America lurches toward a new year.
Avoid the madness, step away from spending and consider what is really important and what the X-mas season is supposed to be about. It is supposed to be about the birth of a savior but its reality is more in line with the one it historically stems from–the wicked king Nimrod, who broke the civilization and law ushered in by Moses. Jesus wasn’t born Dec. 25 and would have no part in such lunacy in his name. It is actually disrespectful to act in this way and to try to connect this paganism and greed with his name.
“America, who has become the most wealthy people on the face of the earth, is also one of the most extravagant and wasteful people, on the earth. So, We The Black People, the once-slave and now a Subject People should not try to adopt the economic ways of a people who cannot truthfully say that they practice economy, among themselves,” warned the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in an article published in Muhammad Speaks in 1971.
“Therefore, America produces a slave who is also extravagant, with what little he gets. He has his eyes and mind set upon obtaining aid from his extravagant master. He hopes to be, in time, just like his master. Since he has never had any other master or guide than his slave-master, he imitates his slave-master. His Slave-Master keeps him down, by not caring to teach him economy.”
The patriarch of the Nation of Islam offers a true understanding of wealth and its proper use: “Certainly We Want Wealth. We cannot enjoy life without wealth, but we should economize that wealth until we are equal with other nations in the way of economics. … With this wealth economized, the slave should emerge very powerful, for himself.”
This holiday season forgo the extreme shopping and the gifts you can’t afford, give to a worthy cause, like the Economic Blueprint (www.economicblueprint.org) and become one of 16 million giving 35 cents a week for our collective economic future–not a flat screen TV.
Give your love and time to those who are important to you, but reject the spending, and the stress of crass consumerism. Sadly, and literally, the life you save may be your own.