A truly Black Friday

Published 12:38 am Saturday, November 29, 2008

Suffolk retailers had a busy day on Friday, but shoppers weren’t necessarily buying, according to some store managers. On what is traditionally the busiest day of the year for retailers, many shoppers in the city seemed to be “just looking.”

Better that than the displays of craven greed that took place in at least two parts of the nation on Friday. In one incident on New York’s Long Island, a Wal-Mart security guard was trampled and died after shoppers broke down the doors — knocking him to the floor — and then hurried into the store over his prone body.

Another incident, this one across the country in Palm Desert, Calif., concluded with two men shooting each other to death inside a Toys R Us store. Police have said they believe the incident may have been gang related, but there is some indication the altercation may have been triggered by the shopping frenzy that characterizes much of what retailers know as Black Friday.

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It’s a sad commentary on the modern American value system that three people — at least one of them an innocent bystander — died as a result of consumers’ search for a better deal on toys and other goodies. For much of the nation, the idea of peace on Earth, good will toward men has been overrun by greedy consumerism.

The whole situation gives a depressing new meaning to the term “Black Friday.”