Posted by: Kristy | December 3, 2008

No more shopping ’till others drop

Newsday reported yesterday that a Queens councilman proposed implementing a new law to create more crowd control during Black Friday shopping. NYC official James Gennaro, of Fresh Medows, said the measure is intended to prevent future shopping frenzies on the day-after-Thanksgiving that result in tragedy; this year, a Long Island Wal-Mart employee was killed after being trampled by shoppers.
While the proposed “Doorbuster Bill,” which would require increased security measures during major sale days such as Black Friday, is legislation that could help restore some order to the chronically hectic, harried and even potentially dangerous shopping day, another issue needs addressed.

When did society become so commercially obsessed that the sight of falling prices overshadows the sight of a falling man?

Regardless of the number of security personnel the Wal-Mart store had on-hand — which, according to the article, store officials declined to disclose — the question remains as to how more-than 2,000 people could be so short-sighted they would rather stop on, over or around Jdimytai Damour than use even a small force in numbers to get the man upright and out of the way. Now, 2,000 people could be considered a mob, with compounded pounds of force creating a slippery slope with which to contend. Even when Damour’s co-workers tried to help him, they were caught under the crowd’s feet. Yet, that should not be an excuse for the death of the 34-year-old Jamaica, Queens, resident who was working as a seasonal employee.

Death should never join numbers on a price tag for a TV or other good.

Augmented security barricade numbers, the appropriate amount of which Gennaro’s bill would attempt to define and mandate, will not be as effective as necessary until people increase the barriers holding back greed and selfishness, and release extra measures of common sense and attentiveness to others.

That is what this season is all about, by the way. Setting aside oneself and thinking of how to support and care for the people in one’s various spheres of influence and interaction. The second case of Black Friday fatalities hitting headlines this season involved two men who shot each other following an apparent argument at a Palm Dessert, Calif., Toys ‘R Us — a classic example of allowing others to become endangered due to self absorption. While police report the altercation was not regarding a toy or other item at the store and neither denied or confirmed if it was gang-related, the need to take loaded handguns into a toy store filled with shoppers only speaks to people being too wrapped up in their own problems to consider how their actions may affect other people.

Funny, for a holiday that originated to celebrate the birth and life of a man who embodies love as his very character, these days it is an element that seems to be sorely lacking in people’s actions.



  1. Hear Hear! (and may I say, very well written!) I’ve always thought that Black Friday showcases humanity at its worst!

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