28 November 2008

Black Friday indeed

A Wal-Mart employee in Valley Stream, Long Island, was killed in a stampede this morning. A pregnant woman was injured. The full story is here.

As Kim just wrote, what is happening to us? Have we lost our senses?

Knowing they were part of a mob that murdered one man and injured a pregnant woman, can these people really give these toys and televisions and stuff to their children? As expressions of love and generosity?

  • People in the rear of the line began pushing, cascading the people in the front into the doors, which were knocked off their hinges, Fleming said. Hundreds of shoppers who then streamed in literally stepped on the worker who later died, Fleming said.
My in-laws live in Valley Stream. I live 20 miles from Valley Stream. There's nothing special about Valley Stream. This is the banality of evil - the banality of greed - the banality of a culture that has lost itself. Newsday ran an article this week about soup kitchens on Long Island that were struggling to feed the poor because donations are down -- and yet, 2000 people swarmed Wal-Mart and killed a man?

This agnostic says God help us all.

18 comments:

Booklogged said...

How terribly sad. I can't stand the thoughts of mobs of people so I always avoid these types of things. And I live in a small town. I can't imagine how bad they must be in big cities. Well, now I guess I can imagine it. So much grief for the families of that worker and the woman. It's sad on so many levels.

kadezmom said...

Amen.

ng2000 said...

Valuable resource of wal-mart news summaries: http://www.ng2000.com/blog/2008/11/28/wal-mart-2/

KnitNana said...

What I can't believe? Someone (who isn't normally odd at all) emailed me and said, "The stores shouldn't offer only 4 of an item and not expect something like this to happen."

Excuse me? The STORE????

What about personal responsibility here? The PEOPLE who were pushing and shoving?

You're absolutely right, Melanie, it's appalling what people will do for stuff...and how on earth can they give anything they bought?

I'm more interested in staying human.
(((hugs)))

Stephanie said...

I just can't understand that people are out of their minds enough to think that there is something inside that Walmart store that they need bad enough to join a mob, smash through some doors and run over people. Seriously - what does Walmart have that you need that bad?

KSD said...

This has cast a pall on my entire day. It has destroyed my holiday spirit.

Carrie K said...

Frenzied mobs have always been ruthless. I do not understand that kind of herd mentality. I was hoping that those folks would all be charged with murder.

BettyBoop53 said...

Why is anyone surprised at this behavior? I am saddened but not shocked. The stores are as responsible as the people who stepped and stomped on the poor souls who were injured and died. Last year several stores in our area announced shortages of desired items on sale for Christmas. People stood in line in the freezing cold over-night for the Black Friday sales. There were fights, people jumping lines and rushing of the doors. The stores either didn't provide security or didn't add extra securtiy. Yes, people should know how to behave. But when businesses hype shortages of desired items then announce the actual limited number of the items they show a lack of responsibility to the public they are trying attract as customers. Once people gathered to stand in line over night or in mass in front of the store the customers they attracted were owed a certain amount of protection and security as well as their own employees. Everyone is to blame; the customers for their wretched unfeeling behavior and the stores for deliberately ignoring a potentially harmful situation they created.

Nicole said...

... and anyone who says there's no such thing as Mob Mentality should be the one opening those doors.

Just think - this was a mob who just wanted to get from Point A to Point B as fast as they could. Imagine if they'd actually been *trying* to cause damage what more they could have done...

Bridget said...

I have to agree with Betty Boop.

Having said that, it seems that whether it's 10 people or 100 people, they'll act this way if it's something they "need."

I can't imagine needing anything that much.

Larjmarj said...

Amazing how low this consumer driven society has managed to stoop.

Stefanie said...

I cried when I heard about this on the radio this morning. What a tragedy not only that someone died but that people were so greedy and uncaring that it could happen in the first place.

Paula said...

How very tragic and barbaric. Another reason why I prefer to avoid crowds whenever possible.
Also,
This is why homemade is best and internet shopping is second best!

Marji said...

One could justify a starving mob stampeding for bread. But a bunch of lardass Americans trying to get $5.00 off a toy their overindulged kid doesn't need?

I believe it was a relative of Freud's who deliberately turned us into a society based upon desire rather than need. I wonder how much blood it will take to satiate the Retail Gods.

knitseashore said...

I agree with Betty Boop too -- how many people are going to be hurt and die before the management of these stores takes some responsibility for creating this situation?

Internet shopping and homemade gifts are definitely the way to go, if this is what holiday shopping has become.

adrienne said...

It's appalling, horrible, I'm not there's a strong enough word for it.

sunt_lacrimae_rerum said...

We are having a store-free holiday here. This is a most appalling story. Wal Mart has always been on my enemie's list because they encourage such mob mentality and because they pay their workers about as poorly as workers can be paid.

It's a dreadful Orwellian universe.

60GoingOn16 said...

It really is crazy, is it not? Things are no better here in the UK; shopping frenzies continue, credit crunch notwithstanding. No-one killed yet but give them time. Meanwhile, on the doorstep of some of London's most socially and economically deprived communities, a brand new - and very upmarket - shopping mall opened last month, the largest in Europe, apparently. By all reports it is heaving with customers.