By Ismail Veli……..
Many people see ‘Black Friday’ as an opportunity to save money from discounts organised by main supermarkets. Personally I think it’s a lousy day. People queue for hours on end for stores to open just to save a few pounds. Very often tension, arguments, and even fights occur when some see their preferred items scooped up by other customers. I’m not just being stuffy, I have a reason for detesting this particular day.
There are 2 conflicting stories on its origins on why it’s called black Friday. Some claim that it originated with the practice of selling slaves the day after Thanksgiving. Slave traders were reputed to have sold slaves at discount prices to assist plantation owners in order to help with the preparation for winter which involved cutting fire wood etc. The sale took place the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t for one minute assume that today’s traders have any desire or support this past practice, but I personally find it hard to grasp that such an onslaught on discount items is desirable, as the time, frustration and effort are simply not worth whatever financial savings are made.
Others dispute this version vehemently and claim that black Friday has nothing to do with slavery. They claim the term did not come into use until 100 years after slavery was abolished. 1951 to be precise! They claim it originates in the practice that many workers called in sick after thanksgiving as it was not common practice to pay workers on that day.
Whatever the reason both sides of the argument make a strong case for their version of its origins. In an age of political correctness perhaps both sides of the argument try to defend what they consider either as a vile day by those who detest it, or just another way of making shoppers and stores feel guilty on a day that is essentially just a good old day for shopping and having fun.
As explained my personal reasons are simply that I cannot be bothered to wait for hours in the early mornings in the hope that I will save some money. I value my comfort and simple needs above the common stampedes that have become synonymous with this day.
In the final analysis it would be a ‘Black day’ indeed if I live to see the day when I’m so desperate to save a ‘few bob’ (to coin an old British phrase) that I risk myself in what I consider to be a human version of a buffalo stampede.