In the United States, Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather, to reflect, and gorge on wonderful home made food. It is also a holiday that has been traditionally honored by the corporate world by shutting down businesses and giving employees the day off to spend with their families. Every job I have ever held, whether that was a sandwich artist (aka Subway employee), sales clerk, or a teacher, I have always been able to take Thanksgiving Day off. The mall I worked at, for instance, would be closed only three days a year – Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter. Every other day of the year it seemed was fair game for retailers and shoppers alike. As I watch Black Friday turn into Black Thursday, I have begun to realize just how privileged I am that I still receive Thanksgiving Day off and how I had taken for granted my day off of work when I worked for the corporate world.
The tradition of Black Friday has existed for many years, where shoppers will line up in droves to be able to purchase a limited number of products at ridiculously low prices the day after Thanksgiving. Over the past couple of years, however, retailers have decided to step up their game and start Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. At first stores started opening Thanksgiving night, but this has quickly moved to stores opening as early as 6am on Thanksgiving Day in 2014.
Whether this tradition of Black Thursday continues is up to you. Stores will not open on Thanksgiving Day, if you don’t shop there. This is after all a question of supply and demand. You also can choose to spend your money at stores that have chosen NOT to be open on Thanksgiving Day. For an up to date list of stores that will be open on Thanksgiving and ones that will not, like the Facebook page Boycott Black Thursday or see the Huffington Post article.
You also can get involved and support your neighbors as they protest low hourly wages and unfair labor practices at Wal-Mart this Black Friday. To find an event near you go to the website: www.blackfridayprotest.org.
Danielle McDonald, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice
Northern Kentucky University