Shoppers rampage
0 comment Thursday, September 4, 2014 |
On a Free Republic thread about the deadly stampede by frenzied Walmart shoppers, post #8 asks why the media are using an incorrect picture to illustrate the story. The picture apparently being shown is (I believe) from a Target store, and it looks like a racially-mixed group of people, some White, some black, some of unidentifiable race. However, the correct picture of the site of the Walmart stampede shows a group which appears to be close to 100 percent black.
The poster asks why the media are using the wrong photo. Need we ask? It's all part of the media's campaign of deception and obfuscation in the name of political correctness.
The other incident of 'Black Friday' violence, which resulted in two people being shot dead in a Toys R Us store, is reported in the usual odd fashion of today's PC media; the race or ethnicity of the people involved is coyly avoided in the article. This lack of information usually leads me to conclude that the perpetrators were nonwhite. The media are never shy about telling us when a White person commits a crime.
Is it important to tell us the race or ethnicity of a criminal suspect? I say it is, especially when the suspect is still at large. But in countless cases I've seen reported on the TV news, a suspect will be described only by the type of clothing worn, and by sex. For instance, a 'male wearing dark-colored clothing' is a popular description of criminal suspects. If this person is at large, he is still a danger to others, and yet his arrest is made less likely by the lack of a clear description.
When this kind of thing first became accepted practice by the media, and presumably by law enforcement agencies, many skeptics denied that such a policy existed, saying that only paranoid 'bigots' would make an issue out of racially ID-ing suspects. But it's since been acknowledged by news media that they in fact avoid such racial identifiers out of a desire not to ''stigmatize members of ethnic communities unfairly."
So rather than ''stigmatize'' someone, heaven forbid, let's let criminals run free and possibly victimize other innocents. Innocent lives are not as important as the ''feelings'' or the ''self-esteem" of 'ethnic communities.'
As for these disturbing events among 'Black Friday' shoppers, if one can call stampeding mobs 'shoppers', what have we come to, that there can be so many people willing to regress to savage behavior in pursuit of ''stuff", such as big-screen plasma TVs and game systems?
Many other questions come to mind: why are people knocking down doors (literally, in the Wal-Mart incident) to obtain these high-ticket items? The very people involved are the people the media tell us are ''deprived'' in some way, unable to participate in America's prosperity. It looks to me as if they are doing better than many middle-income people, if they can afford these luxury items. And if the economy is so troubled, why do so many Americans seem to have so much disposable income? Are they living beyond their means, charging these items on maxed-out credit cards? I've often idly wondered this kind of thing. When I still lived in the Big Multicultural City, I often saw residents of a certain housing project. Supposedly these people were at the bottom of the economic totem pole, yet they had $200 shoes, gold chains, and designer label clothing. I saw virtually no one who looked poor or deprived. In my youth, there were people (Whites as well as other races) who looked truly poor, being inadequately clothed and shod. Now the 'poor' people seem quite middle-class. Even homeless people sometimes don't look completely down and out.
Still, we are told that we are in some kind of new 'Great Depression', or on the verge of such a crisis. Are we? You'd never know it by these berserk shoppers.
But the behavior of the Walmart shoppers is apparently causing many people to think 'naughty' politically incorrect thoughts, at least if we can judge by the comments at many of the newspaper web pages. The first link I provided above, from the New York Daily News, contained some rather over-the-top comments, at least by PC standards, and I would not be surprised if such comments are deleted, or if commenting is shut down, as usually happens when people go off the reservation and make ''bigoted'' comments. It's interesting to see that some people are speaking up and making connections that were unthinkable in some quarters until recently.
This article contains the usual psychobabble explanations for the savage behavior of the Walmart mob, and some commenters actually see through it.
The all-knowing 'experts' say that fear was behind the behavior:
A fear of being unable to afford gifts - given today's economic woes - may drive many consumers to shop competitively for bargains at dawn, say local psychologists and sociologists.
Many people abandon their normal behavior when caught up in the urge to snag discounted plasma HDTVs like those on sale Friday at Wal-Mart in Valley Stream.''
Leave it to psychologists to try to elicit sympathy for those who trampled a man to death.
Why on earth should anybody ''fear'' not being able to buy an HDTV? It makes sense to fear not being able to buy food, or not being able to provide shelter for ourselves or our families, or not being able to get crucial medical care. Those wants are grounds for fear and distress, or at least concern. But ''fear" of not being able to buy pricey luxury gifts or even 'presents' for oneself? That's just greed and lust. And it is not something we should empathize with.
The exasperating thing about those who are so avid to buy Chinese-made junk because it's cheaper is that we Americans in general are not a frugal people, and we are not a deprived people. I suppose if this country were like the old Soviet Union, in which people told of having to stand in line for hours to get a simple loaf of bread, the desperation to 'get stuff' might be somewhat understandable. But as of now, at least, these frenzied bargain-hunters, who will stay up all night to get in a line to buy TVs or game systems, are not needy or hungry or desperate. They don't ''need'' these things at all.
We are a spoiled, self-indulgent, acquisitive people when you come right down to it.
Our parents and grandparents in many cases knew real want, and they knew the value of a dollar. Most of us today have never known hunger (except when on a self-imposed diet) or want. There's no excuse for Americans to act like starving people fighting over a loaf of bread.
Not all of us individually are guilty of these things, but as a society, it's true of us.
It's tempting to blame these trends on the media, and advertising. They do play a huge part in creating lusts in people for these luxury items and what used to be called 'status symbols.' Or some blame Walmart for their irresponsibility in enticing people to these dog-eat-dog shopping frenzies, and for failing to hire sufficient security and other staff to deal with rampaging hordes of 'shoppers'. Some say we should not blame Walmart. I say there is blame to go around. People of good character would not be engaging in this kind of savage behavior in quest of a "cheap'' $800 TV, but retailers should realize they are courting disaster by catering to the worst instincts of some people. Most people might be able to behave in a civlized and restrained way at these sales. Others, unfortunately, are not, and retailers surely know their customers. Walmart stores in certain areas are notorious for the kind of underclass clientele they attract and cater to. True, many middle-class people are bargain-hunters but most know to stay away from such places because of the kinds of customers who throng such stores. For that reason (and because I like quality, non-Chinese made merchandise) I shun Walmart.
So Walmart was irresponsible, but ultimately the stampeding hordes are the guilty ones. No individual blame can be affixed in a situation like the Walmart one; a number of people apparently trampled the poor man who died; no one can say who was most responsible, but it appears that there was a general callousness and indifference to his life and safety on the part of all the crazed shoppers. So they bear a collective responsibility and guilt -- which I doubt will trouble any of them. Reports said they were resentful and angry at being asked to leave when the injured and dying man was being aided by the paramedics. Getting their loot was uppermost in their minds. This is sad, and appalling.
Was this just an isolated incident? Unfortunately, probably not. Was it a harbinger of what is to come? I hope not, but I fear it may be, as we descend into Third World status in this country.
Personally I am doing more online shopping or giving gift cards, rather than descend into the chaos of shopping malls at Christmastime.

Labels: , , , ,