Readers React

Fighting back against Black Friday's intrusion

One group of people you probably didn't find shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday: L.A. Times readers

The Times' letter writers regularly challenge the status quo and offer up new ideas for addressing complicated problems. But when it comes to major holidays, change isn't typically something they believe in.

On Christmas, Memorial Day and the 4th of July, readers complain of what they perceive as The Times' insufficient coverage of that day's holiday. Christmas is too commercial, Veteran's Day is no longer about the veterans, and Memorial Day isn't solemn enough.

So it goes with Thanksgiving. Leading up to the holiday and immediately after it, dozens of readers lamented Black Friday's increasing intrusion into Thursday's sacred meal; many said Americans, even those who complain, have only themselves to blame.

Encino resident Russell Blinick says we should be less eager to part with our money:

In witnessing the annual rush to empty our wallets on this day, it seems to me that in its simplest terms it is but a trough to funnel cash from the bottom 90% of our population to the top 1%. While many countries in the world encourage savings, we, like lemmings, witness this cash transfer annually in a perceived patriotic fervor.

For God's sake, Americans, awaken from your stupor.

Mark Shoup of Apple Valley wants to put the "giving" back into Thanksgiving:

The war on Thanksgiving is not being waged by retailers like Macy's or Best Buy. The war is being waged by us, the consumers.

Some retailers are pushing boundaries by opening for business on Thanksgiving morning. Why? Because we, the consumers, will shop.

Imagine something different. Imagine people bringing food and clothing for the poor lined up outside homeless shelters. Imagine people lined up for days outside our jails to visit the inmates.

Wouldn't it be great if prisons, homeless shelters and houses of worship opened early by popular demand on Thanksgiving to accommodate the masses yearning to show gratitude for the things they have in their lives? Imagine if stores had to stay closed for the holiday because we, the public, were too busy showing love and giving thanks to do any shopping.

That retailers open early is our fault. It is we, not them, who are waging war against Thanksgiving.

Linda Shabsin of Diamond Bar speaks up for workers at all businesses:

The problem with working on Thanksgiving is that no one wants to do it. But where is the outcry over supermarkets, gas stations, fast food and convenience stores staying open? Don't these workers deserve the day off also?

We seem to want to pick who stays open and who should close. If people truly want the workers to have the day off, they could all stay home on Thanksgiving and enjoy the time off work.

When no one shows up at the stores, the merchants will get the message. This won't happen because it is easier to complain than to support the workers.

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