I have a suggestion for the Occupy America folks all over this country. Let’s take back Black Friday. You know, the Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day, supposed to be one of the biggest shopping days of the American year?
It’s a great day for a decentralized national protest, because nearly everybody, including all those college students, is on holiday. It’s also a great day for an anti-Big Money protest, because it will hit the corporations where it hurts most: retail sales.
What if instead of swiping those credit cards and running up our consumer debt on Black Friday–making it a black day for consumers, but a golden day for corporations and financiers–we deliberately boycotted the malls? Instead, let’s declare a day of participatory democracy in action, a chance to meet with our neighbors and fellow citizens out on the public square, in cities and towns all across this country, to collectively envision a new society based on the true ideals of Thanksgiving: joining together as human beings across superficial differences like ethnicity, nationality and creed, nourishing each other with the bounty of our natural world and helping each other through lean times.
We live on a rich and abundant planet where there are sufficient resources for all of us to live well–the problem is the inequitable distribution of those resources. On the original Thanksgiving, the native hosts were kind enough to give their Puritan guests a helping hand. The rest is history, and it’s not a happy history at all.
We are standing at a crossroads where we have a chance to step off the path we began as a nation when the Europeans colonized this country and the capitalist machine began to roar. We may not get another chance, given the precarious state of our global climate.
Now is our time. Let’s step up and change history together. Black Friday organizers, let’s get busy!