Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black and Blue Friday retail violence: Is there really any hope for us, and U.S.?

Over the course of the fall, we've witnessed the growth of the Occupy Wall Street protest from a single rag-tag, barely organized gathering of grass roots activists into a nationwide collection of...rag-tag, barely organized gatherings of grass roots activists.  As befits a "barely organized" movement, the motivations for protesting expressed by the people involved are almost as numerous, and varied, as the people themselves.

One of the most common reasons for the protests, however, is outrage at the devastation caused to America's people and society by the unfettered greed of the 1%.

And, after weeks of being held in contempt by officialdom, all-but-completely shunned by the mainstream media, and being the subjects of outright violent assaults by police officers, it seemed like they were making inroads in the struggle to open up America's eyes to damage caused by the concentration of economic resources in the hands (and wallets and bank accounts and trust funds and so on...) of the country's wealthiest 1%.

Then came Black Friday, an MSM propaganda-fueled orgy of mania, materialism, and all too often, unfortunately, violence.

Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people sacrificed part or all of their holiday to camp out at stores to await early openings, hoping to take advantage of some "great deals", only to see -

...A woman in California who pepper-sprayed other shoppers in a Wal-Mart to gain an advantage over those other shoppers in pursuit of one of a limited number of discounted video game systems

...A group of men who shot and critically wounded a shopper at another California Wal-Mart to rob him of his Black Friday purchases...

...At a Myrtle Beach, SC (stop me if you've heard this before) Wal-Mart, a woman shot in another Black Friday robbery attempt...

...At a Fayetteville, NC mall, two men who fired shots near people gathering for Black Friday "deals."  No one was hurt and the motive is unknown as of this writing.  But hey, at least it wasn't another Wal-Mart...

...At a South Charleston, WV Target, a man collapsed and died in the store, laying on the floor as shoppers stepped around or over him, ignoring his distress as they chased down "bargains".  But hey, at least it was only callous disregard for human life.  It could have been outright violence...

...In a Kinston, NC Wal-Mart (there's that word again), an off-duty police officer who pepper-sprayed a crowd with many children and elderly people in it.  Lest you think the crowd was rioting, the only person arrested was a man who criticized the police officer for pepper-spraying a crowd with children and elderly persons in it.  And lest you think the man was some wild-eyed radical, he was a former Kinston police officer himself and a 20 year veteran of the Army.

...In a Buckeye, AZ Wal-Mart, police injured an alleged shoplifting grandfather while arresting him.  The police say that he concealed a video game by placing it in the waistband of his pants, under his shirt, and then resisted arrest.  The suspect (or victim, depending on your perspective) says that he did that, but only to free his hands so that he could protect is small grandson in the surging crowd.  In other words, either a grandfather tried to steal a video game and resisted arrest when he was caught or the police officers felt they lost control of the crowd and took out their frustration on a grandfather who was trying to protect his grandson.

Either way - shoplifting grandfather or violent police, it doesn't speak well of us.

All of this - the violence, the mindless materialism - doesn't do anything to benefit the average person. 

The vast majority of the products sold on the day after Thanksgiving are "want its", not "need its", and the profits derived from the sales go to the 1%'ers, who are the owners of the "big box" retailers and malls.

Only in America - protest the 1% and get assaulted by the police (Occupy Wall Street), or go out of your way to transfer wealth to the 1% and get assaulted by the police and others (Black and Blue Friday shoppers).

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