Black Friday mayhem is costing lives

In Opinion
Black Friday has historically brought out the worst in people. With deceiving sales comes pointless crime. This annual mashup has been led by the media to be seen as the beginning of a wondrous Christmas season, when really it mirrors the chaotic past it was created from. (Natalie Goldstein/ Daily Titan)
Black Friday has historically brought out the worst in people. With deceiving sales comes pointless crime. This annual mashup has been led by the media to be seen as the beginning of a wondrous Christmas season, when really it mirrors the chaotic past it was created from.
(Natalie Goldstein/ Daily Titan)

The post holiday chaos is starting to bare a striking resemblance to the grisly nature of its etymology.

While the day after Thanksgiving is supposed to be for digestion, Black Friday has been erroneously referred to as the momentous beginning of the Christmas shopping season since the 1980s.

Despite that being an idealistic way to look at the day that’s responsible for nine deaths and 102 injuries thus far, according to the blackfridaydeathcount.com, there is a history that many like to forget when going out to buy those marked down items.

This year 59 percent of Americans–an estimated 137.4 million people–who planned to or considered shopping during the day of sales reckoning, according to a 2016 survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

It’s no wonder a few eggs have unfortunately cracked in the making of this consumer market omelette.

This year, Black Friday has been host to two deaths and four injuries, both of which were a result of fighting over parking spaces. The mere idea of someone being shot dead over a spot to park should really put some sort of damper in the mind of Americans, especially when they consider plowing their way through parents and children just so they can buy an outdated television for 15 percent off.

For those wondering, the Saturday before Christmas is usually the best time for sales, according to thebalance.com, so the unnecessary crime is founded in no truly profitable basis.

The history of Black Friday is always a conversation that finds its way to the dinner table that Thursday evening. The real story of how Black Friday got its name comes from roots similar to the ones we are witnessing today.

In the 1950s, Philadelphia was home to an amazing amount of heroin usage and a collapsing economy. The ripples of the Great Depression were significantly apparent and were felt greatest during the holidays. However, the one thing that brought people together in a time of light-heartedness was the annual Army-Navy football game held most frequently in Philadelphia, which is still held today.

With the holidays approaching and a football game commencing, police officers of Philly had no choice but to accept longer hours and time off to oversee and control the monumental rise in volume for shoppers and tourists who flooded the city.

The subsequent chaos and recklessness of these rabid consumers led the officers to coin the fatefully crime-ridden day as “Black Friday,” according to History.com.

The retailers attempted to rid the day of its negative connotation, but ultimately failed. But luckily, the term subsided with time.

Until only recently has the term been uprooted and spun to convey some sort of sales pitch by collective retailers around America. The day is known for some sort of “everything-goes” sales that ultimately comes to a $20 to $40 discount for a majority of the shoppers, except for those fools camping out at 3 a.m. on Thursday and waiting until the clock strikes midnight.

It seems then that the history of Black Friday has repeated itself, where police officers of a 1950s Philadelphia witnessed crime and traffic at a level big enough to bare a title. This year’s Black Friday chaos is a testament to its original name’s intended connotation.

The only thing that is left to do is for the media and the public to at least accept that Black Friday and Friday the 13th have more in common than one might think.

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