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Black Friday: Is It Worth It?

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While most of us are planning on how to get the best piece of turkey, there are those among us who are planning an all out tactical assault on every retail location in Twin Falls. These are Black Friday shoppers, and while the day has taken on a much more playful demeanor, it’s origins are much darker.

The term “Black Friday” was coined by the Philadelphia Police Department in 1966 to describe the major influx of visitors into the area immediately after Thanksgiving that usually brings massive traffic jams, over-crowded sidewalks, and a crush of people in the downtown stores.

As the shopping extravaganza grew in size, it also grew in infamy. Reports of violence became commonplace. In 2008 in Valley Stream, New York a crowd of 2,000 broke down the doors outside of a Wal-Mart and trampled a 34 year old employee to death. When other employees tried to intervene and help the injured coworker the shoppers could not be stopped explaining they had been kept outside since 2am.

This year, for the first time, many retailers are opening their doors at midnight forcing their employees to go without enough sleep, or miss spending time with their loved ones on Thanksgiving. The backlash had created an online petition that has gathered more than 184,000 signatures to allow Target employees to spend Thanksgiving with their families.

I think Black Friday has gotten way out of hand, and fully lives up to its dark origins. To satisfy our greed we’re sacrificing more time with our loved ones by opening retail locations earlier, or keeping them open longer. So we can buy more crap we don’t need.

I have never, nor will I ever participate in Black Friday. Do you?

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