What Black Friday says about America

It’s legal to camp outside of a Wal-Mart to get the best deal. It’s illegal to camp in a public park to promote discussion about democracy.

It’s legal for thousands of crazed shoppers to swarm a Best Buy to grab the latest electronic gadget at 40% off. It’s illegal to be a “mob” on a college campus carrying signs or peacefully protesting injustice.

Corporations spend hundreds of millions to promote “Black Friday”, but “Occupy Anyday” is treated as a bunch of lazy hippies who should get jobs – apparently so they can buy more stuff.

Whether or not you agree with the Occupy Wall Street crowd, it says something about America that we think nothing of people popping their tents up on the sidewalks and parking lots of our local big-box stores, while the government rounds up, harasses, arrests, and pepper sprays the OWS folks for doing the same in parks.

“I think they should shower and get a job,” are the words Newt Gingrich spit at the OWSers. From Herman Cain: “Go home and get a job and get a life!”

No mention of whether or not the frenzied consumerism on display at Wal-Marts and Best Buys across America on Black Friday is good for America or not.

Of course it’s not. What does it say about our nation that we froth at the mouth to get to department stores to buy unneeded gadgets, but we turn our noses up at people who want to bring up social issues (regardless of the merit of their argument)?

It says we’re headed toward a bleak future where intelligent debate and meaningful change are rebuked.  It says that we’re headed down another aisle filled with big screen TVs, toys, and iThings.

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