Speak Now with Columnist Maddie Raymond: A Flood of Capitalism on Black Friday

On November 26, I woke up at 6:30 am Like so many others, I slipped into my clothes, brushed my teeth, and went out on a day when I didn’...



On November 26, I woke up at 6:30 am Like so many others, I slipped into my clothes, brushed my teeth, and went out on a day when I didn’t even have school. By 8 a.m., I had already made four laps around a Kohl’s with my friend, mother and sister, watching with puzzled interest as they scooped up item after item looking for an offer that they would not be found anywhere else. It was Black Friday.

There were no fights and I did not see anyone being trampled to death. I mean, I live in western Massachusetts so I don’t know what to expect. But what I saw were signs everywhere announcing only-day deals, and person after person carrying what looked like suitcases and huge tote bags full of items. It was a deluge of capitalism, a surge of so-called “American” stereotypes. I even had my first stack of pancakes at iHop. Delicious, although a little raw in the middle.

So what is it all about? What’s the point of going to the mall on a Friday in November that we’ve kind of decided to give all that power to. Aiming to ride miles and miles in a Forever 21, I didn’t even buy anything, or receive an American Eagle bag that could hold what I bought and probably a family of five. Well, walking through this choppy sea of ​​capitalism while reminding myself of mine and everyone’s wired desire for material goods, I thought the least I could do during this season was to remind all of you to take a step back and take stock of what’s going on. is really happening.

What does it mean? Many people in the retail and service industries have called for a boycott of Black Friday (The Anti-Racism Daily). If this is something you can do, I ask you to think about it – I will surely participate in the boycott now that I have what I need for this article. But I understand that this is not possible for everyone. Often, in the midst of schedules that don’t allow us to take time off and on wages that don’t buy what we want, except on those specifically designed days, a boycott is not possible.

So instead, this holiday season, I ask you to just see all the frenzy of buying gifts, wrapping money, and exchanging money in a whole new light. Tip retailers extra, if you can. Ask them how they’re doing and say hello before diving straight into your orders. If you can, do as my friend’s mother did that misty morning at Kohl’s and shop for gifts for members of the local community in financial and social difficulty. With all his focus on material objects, redistributing wealth where possible is even more important.

Consider shopping small, if you can, at stores you already love and cherish. Supporting them gives life back to your own community, which probably needs it more than Target or JCPenney. Local stores need all the help they can get to compete with the low prices and lightning-fast efficiency of these mega-businesses.

I want you all to see this holiday season as a catalyst for the changes you will make throughout the year. If you have wealth, take stock of it and share it with others who don’t. Make it a monthly habit to redistribute even a small amount of money directly to community members in need. There are many mutual aid funds available with a simple Google search.

To be completely honest, Black Friday was pretty disappointing for me. After receiving my huge American Eagle bag, I asked the cashier how things went that day. They told me it was pretty much like a normal (albeit busy) shift at the mall.

While I don’t know the big picture, it looks like at least in my area, the Black Friday hype is dying out. It gives us a golden opportunity to take a step back and think about how we want to spend this day in the future.

In the future, I want us to remember our humanity on this day. In the midst of all these deals designed by large corporations, it can be easy to put aside basic respect for the person behind the ledger, even if it’s just until the basket is full. But that’s what these companies want, to pit us against each other to increase their results.

If a Black Friday boycott or a switch to small shopping is not possible for you, I hope you will use this season again to think about how you treat those on the other side of the register, and if you are on the other side, how you wish to be treated.

Despite the surge of materialism that ensues during this season, I believe that we can still keep our values ​​and our desire for collective liberation in the sights. Collective solidarity and respect are more important than ever as the snow flies and the fairy lights rise.

Maddie Raymond, who lives in the hills, writes a monthly column.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Speak Now with Columnist Maddie Raymond: A Flood of Capitalism on Black Friday
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