Spectator editorial: It’s a stampede

Some retail outlets may have a new announcement for their shoppers. “Human stampede special, isle thirteen.”

According to a Dec. 1 Associated Press article, a temporary worker at a Nassau County Wal-Mart was trampled to death by a stampede of post-Thanksgiving shoppers. Police are reviewing the surveillance videos from the store, but acknowledge it may be difficult to bring criminal charges.

It would be great to see the police have enough evidence to bring charges upon those who are directly responsible for the worker’s death. But as difficult as it will be to identify individuals, it will be even more difficult to pin-point who exactly was
responsible. Everyone who either trampled over the man or simply ignored helping him is responsible, and putting the blame on one person or a small group of people will not hold everyone who is at fault accountable.

In addition to the individuals, overall commercialism is to blame. It has effectively built up the mentality that much of the celebration of Christmas revolves around buying. People in America have reached a point where they are more concerned about saving money on prices than looking out for the well being of others and will go to great lengths in order to obtain what commercialism provides. The result has been a steady increase in greed.

Although corporations cannot be expected to decrease the nation’s dependence on commercialism, they can help to prevent further deaths from occurring on Black Friday. The current system obviously isn’t working, as people every year seem to get hurt, and in this case, die. Sitting back and letting the problem increase would be reckless on the part of the corporations, especially Wal-Mart. Responsibility needs to be taken for what happened, and out of respect for the man killed, Wal-Mart and other stores need to begin to not encourage alternate forms of sales and bargains. Otherwise, Black Friday will continue to become blacker and blacker with each passing year.