Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Is Thanksgiving taking a backseat to Black Friday?

Is+Thanksgiving+taking+a+backseat+to+Black+Friday%3F

Chris Musk  Journal Staff

Thanksgiving has a held a historical theme of being a time of thanks and compassion for our family and friends. This holiday is to remind Americans not to take for granted what we have in our lives and to remember our beginnings as colonists and the hard struggles our nation went through.

Native Americans helped us to learn to only take what we need and graciously taught us methods of cultivating crops, how to hunt more efficiently in new terrain, and even set up the Massachusetts Bay colonists with an alliance with the local Indian tribes. Obviously, a big meal was later held between the Native Americans and the new colonists and the holiday eventually became known as Thanksgiving.

This all greatly helped with our survival in the new world and whether you agree or disagree with the Darwin’s philosophy of survival of the fittest, we all know what happened to the Indians. Coming from this historical theme of Thanksgiving, many today are now wondering if our materialistic desires and great aptitude for Black Friday is exceeding our embracement of Thanksgiving.

Black Friday this year has led to many fist fights and even to some shootings, such as in Tallahassee, Florida. This behavior of people fighting to get their desires, if looked at in a more objective standpoint, is nothing new to mankind: but for it to happen just the day after Thanksgiving really is insulting to the holiday. Let us not be thankful for what we already have and let complacency of the individual blind us all into killing and fighting over things that we really do not even need in the first place.

Black Friday is great for business and many of us do get amazing deals on some gifts, but it is unfortunate that the common attitude people have on Black Friday is to not be grateful for what we have and only want more than we need. The other attitude people have while shopping on Black Friday is the mentality of survival of the fittest, the same attitude we had when practically committing genocide against the Native Americans. Having these two days back to back is truly ironic when one thinks about it this way.

Materialism is clearly incorporated as being a partial definition of an American. We are a capitalist nation for the most part, and competition and exploitation of the individual’s wants is what fuels capitalism.  We are a very fast-paced nation and consumers always want the next best thing immediately. Some people – such as Karl Marx, other socialists, and communists – think this behavior is disgusting.

But America’s GDP is this highest in world by far for a reason. The socialists and communists can look through history and see how nations who strictly practiced the components that make up their desired economic systems lead to a less competitive economy and nation overall.

Putting economics aside, have our capitalist ways that have ingrained into the everyday American really lead to Black Friday being more important than Thanksgiving? I like to think not because personally, my family is not big on Black Friday. But for many other Americans it is just as important, if not more than, Thanksgiving.

Full blown socialists and communists are not tuned in to economic reality, but maybe as far as the subject of materialism goes they are on to something. It is really sad that many Americans today have developed apathy for Thanksgiving and placed more importance on Black Friday, whose theme is essentially take everything and leave nothing. With our history of Thanksgiving broadly mentioned above, it is clear many Americans have lost their values.

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Is Thanksgiving taking a backseat to Black Friday?