It occurs to me that it’s more useful to post this today than two days from now.
I’ve condemned Black Friday before. This year, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden at Making Light does it way better than I can, focusing on Wal-Mart and the company’s persistent refusal to institute measures that would decrease the frenzy and protect both customers and employees.
It isn’t like this takes them by surprise, people. That post documents a four-year history of injuries and property damage, hospitalizations and crowd violence that takes police to shut them down. And there are well-defined methods of reducing that risk.
They do not include tossing laptops at the crowd like t-shirts during a rock concert.
When your employees are making statements like “They trampled each other for ’em, […] It was great,” then something has gone horrifically wrong. Wal-Mart’s corporate masters create and feed the mob mentality, because it benefits their bottom line. But the cost to the rest of us — including their employees — is sickening.