Black Friday is over for the year 2008. I did not sit out overnight waiting for the sale to start. I did not rush to the store and stand in first rush long lines. And I managed to land a very nice 19″ LCD TV for the bedroom at a great price at the Silvis, Illinois Wal Mart. I read that other shoppers were not so lucky at stores across the nation.
As is not so uncommon during special events, the crowds were out of control in several stores across the nation. One Wal Mart store in Long Island, New York reported Black Friday mayhem, which revolved around an unruly crowd tragically stampeding an employee to death. I have read several stories on the event including a couple of QCOnline postings where the blame game has already started in the comments sections of the posts. So far I have read many reasonings for the tragic affair by posters including placing the blame on: the nationwide event of Black Friday, Christmas, Security and several irrational jabs at blaming Wal Mart. I have been on both sides of the Black Friday line. I have worked retail many times during Black Friday Events and on rare occasions I have been a consumer during Black Friday events. Despite my numerous presence at many Black Friday events there was never an injury occurrence. There were consumer temper tantrums galore. But the only time I can ever remember actual violence was when I was a kid being dragged into K-Mart Blue Light Special Nights. Most Blue Light Special Nights were not Black Friday Events.
Neither the Black Friday event, Christmas, Security nor Wal Mart was the cause of this individual’s death. Black Friday and Christmas have been celebrated events for years. The violence that broke out this Friday was not representative of the events themselves. If we were to cease these events as some would call for, then will we cease very other event where a handful of individuals stir-up violence and mayhem? Shall we shut down sporting events, rock concerts, political rallies and media events? All have been home to various acts of violence. Shall we reduce the Interstate speed limit to thirty miles an hour that would reduce more injuries and deaths in weeks than have ever been accounted for during the history of shopping events. Also, if the company had a security guard at every entrance it is highly unlikely they could have slowed down the stampede of 2000 anxious people. And because Wal Mart offers great deals to their customers is not what killed this man. Lots of stores were mobbed with customers chomping to buy products at special prices. Violence is rare and not the norm at these events. There is blame to go around. But the blame belongs to the people who pushed, shoved and trampled the poor man to his death and injured several others. A combination of personal greed, envy, gluttony and pride all helped inflame the passions of anger and impatience, which is a deadly combination. It was mob mentality created from anger and impatience that killed the Wal Mart Employee. Sadly anger and impatience effect too many day-to-day activities.
This Friday, millions of people lined up across the nation to take advantage of special bargains and a fraction of those people lost control of their senses in a hand full of places. In the one case, they turned in to a mob that recklessly killed a man. And the facts are that even if someone is finally brought to justice for the event, the individual/s will be scapegoats for the throng of 2000 individuals that turned in to a mob. The cry for justice should be turned towards the mob not the events and institutions they tarnished.