Black Friday, Green Friday: Count me out

I’m opting out of Black Friday. Passing up all of the offers that cluttered my email inbox this morning — even the one from the Sierra Club, an organization I thought was better than that.

Black Friday needs a new name. While I understand that the “Black” refers to black ink in a ledger, the irony of using that word after what’s happened in Ferguson, Missouri, is too great to ignore.

Black Friday ad with red slash superimposedFor Black Friday takes place in big department stores and suburban malls, not in the low-income sections of town. It’s for the haves, not the have-nots. And in this country, in 2014, the have-not group is disproportionately filled with black and Hispanic people.

In Black Friday I see the social divide that leaves some people desperate enough to protest in the streets while the rest shrug and say “what’s their problem?” Or are too busy jockeying for bargains to notice at all.

So let’s call it Green Friday. Green, the color of money. And green the color of envy, as in “My neighbor got an 80-inch flat-screen, and I have to have one too.”

Better still, let’s opt out.

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