Mourning civility

On Black Friday shopping day, materialism tramples holiday good will

Black Friday is aptly named. It’s getting to the point where it needs to be mourned.

While we appreciate the economic vitality it represents, the rampant materialism is getting out of hand, and people are getting hurt. It’s become a national embarrassment.

Some shoppers in a South Charleston, W.Va., store ignored, and reportedly walked over, a man dying of a heart attack. A woman in a Los Angeles-area store pepper sprayed some 20 other shoppers to claim an Xbox video game. In the Phoenix area, a grandfather was reportedly slammed by security officers face first to a store’s concrete floor after he apparently slipped a product in his waistband to grab his grandson, who was being trampled.

“You literally would’ve thought there was the cure for cancer in this box,” one witness said of the madness leading to the grandpa-slamming. “I mean, people were going insane.”

In Kinston, N.C., security officers used pepper spray to keep shoppers at bay. According to Reuters, “In Manhattan, a group of shoppers upset that Hollister’s flagship store was not opening at midnight like other locations apparently broke into the store and stole a large quantity of clothing, police said.”

Again, we celebrate the vitality of it all – sales over the four-day holiday weekend were up 16 percent from last year, says the National Retail Federation. We long for a booming economy and a return to robust consumer confidence.

But we need to be careful about the price we pay. Getting a great deal on the latest gadget isn’t worth getting hurt or selling one’s soul. Indeed, as radio host Laura Ingraham noted Monday, the reason for the season isn’t saving a few bucks, but rather being saved.

It’s hard to see that through pepper spray.

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