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...

  • Choosing between Shriver, Kuehl for L.A. County supervisor
    Choosing between Shriver, Kuehl for L.A. County supervisor

    The race for the 3rd District seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors began in earnest last week, as the contenders — Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver — faced each other in their first debate since qualifying for the runoff. They were hardly past the opening statements...

  • 'Assisted migration' may save some species from climate change doom
    'Assisted migration' may save some species from climate change doom

    Most people have never seen a pika. The small mammals with oversized, round ears and stubby legs live at high elevation, on rocky slopes in the mountains of western North America and Asia. But there's a reason we need to be talking about them, and the discussion has to include two of the...

  • Strong reasons to retain state justices
    Strong reasons to retain state justices

    California voters will see the names of three state Supreme Court justices and numerous Court of Appeal justices on their Nov. 4 ballots, a result of the state's hybrid system for keeping politics to a minimum in the court system while still granting the people a measure of oversight of...

  • Disparity in Ebola aid shows nations' views of joint responsibility
    Disparity in Ebola aid shows nations' views of joint responsibility

    Since Sept. 8, the death toll from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has grown from about 1,900 to well above 2,600 — an increase of more than 36% in less than two weeks. Perhaps the world should have realized earlier that this wasn't another small outbreak, and should have responded...

Comments
Loading