OpinionTop of the Ticket

The greedy hordes of Black Friday are now plundering Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingJobs and WorkplaceBlack Friday (shopping)TargetAbraham Lincoln

Admittedly, I am a guy who generally dreads the thought of plodding through a shopping mall on any day of the year, but to me the encroachment of Black Friday into Thanksgiving evening seems not only insane but also disturbingly unpatriotic.

It was bad enough when it became the norm for people to show up in the middle of the night in order to be near the front of the line when store doors swung open early on the morn after Thanksgiving. Every time I heard about the herd of shoppers being culled as someone got trampled or sent to the hospital after a fight over a Tickle Me Elmo, I felt justified in my smugness and disdain of this retail frenzy. If that is how the rabble wanted to spend their time and money, so be it. The manic rush to save a hundred bucks on a 50-inch flat-screen TV or finish Christmas shopping by 9 a.m. on Black Friday could go on without me. 

Over the years, though, retailers have pushed the starting time for this mad dash earlier and earlier until now it is bumping up against the slicing of the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving dinner table. This does not seem right. 

PHOTOS: Top of the Ticket cartoons

I pity the poor retail workers who have to leave home and hearth and turkey dinner on the most venerable national holiday of the year. Instead of giving thanks for the opportunity to be confronted by a greedy horde of bargain hunters, I suspect most of those workers are cursing the store owners who decided to ruin the day with their own lust for a dollar. I think it is safe to assume the guys who own Target or Best Buy or the other big retailers will not be manning the cash registers. No, they will be sharing a leisurely Thanksgiving repast with their heirs in the peace and safety of their gated communities. 

In 2013, it will be exactly 150 years since Abraham Lincoln set aside the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Obviously, traditions shift over time, but let us hope that by next year those who put making money and spending money above all other values will not have totally desecrated what was once an all-American day like no other.

For anyone who feels as disgusted as I am with the plundering of Thanksgiving, go to Change.org and sign the petition urging Target to stop being the Grinch who stole Thanksgiving from employees. Maybe if one retailer is shamed into doing business more thoughtfully, others can be, as well.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
ThanksgivingJobs and WorkplaceBlack Friday (shopping)TargetAbraham Lincoln
  • Can the bozos who created the 'fiscal cliff' save us from it?
    Can the bozos who created the 'fiscal cliff' save us from it?

    On Monday, investors on Wall Street sent stocks soaring on the airy hope that the president and Congress will come up with a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" that looms at the close of the year. This only proves that the masters of finance have all the emotional sophistication of...

  • 'Obama gifts' comment shows Romney is clueless about the real USA
    'Obama gifts' comment shows Romney is clueless about the real USA

    In a postmortem of his campaign, Mitt Romney blamed his loss on President Obama’s "gifts" to key voting groups, thereby demonstrating, one last time, how he does not understand the country he hoped to lead. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan's poor showing in his own hometown indicates...

  • Jerry Brown for governor
    Jerry Brown for governor

    Forty years have passed since Californians first elected as their governor a very young and quirkily charismatic Jerry Brown. Back then, voters made a conscious break from the past, choosing a 36-year-old Democrat with floppy collars and a philosophical bent to succeed two-term Republican...

  • The good news about offshore oil rigs
    The good news about offshore oil rigs

    Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn't appreciate irony. A new study led by researchers at Occidental College and UC Santa Barbara has found that the oil platforms dotting the California coast are fantastic for sea life.

  • There's a better way to do immigration reform
    There's a better way to do immigration reform

    Immigration is the definitive wedge issue in American politics, but it doesn't have to be. When the Senate's Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act failed to pass the House this year, it was the third such failure of comprehensive reform in a decade....

  • British war brides faced own battles during 1940s
    British war brides faced own battles during 1940s

    America's attitudes toward immigration have always been complicated. Influenced by world events, the U.S. embraces some immigrants and demonizes others, and it can be difficult to understand the logic. Take the story of 70,000 would-be immigrants from Britain during the 1940s who all...

Comments
Loading