Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Death for a Bargain

I'm sure you remember this despicable story from "Black" Friday. After seeing these pictures, I now understand how the day received its name.

I know, I know; I'm a racist. You see, racism is pointing out obvious but unpleasant facts surrounding controversial matters. For example, American blacks are far more likely to be criminals than whites, statistically speaking. Such utterances equal vying for the Imperial Wizardship of the KKK.

This is the sort of mindlessness I expect from a herd of cattle in a lightning storm, not from human beings looking for a discount at Wal-Mart. One would think these were starving people in a Soviet bread line. I understand fleeing for one's life--self-preservation, and all that. But the people-in-question weren't escaping danger. They created it.

I've read five separate articles about this incident; and the one factor that leaped out at me was the total callousness of those who participated in the stampede. Out of a crowd of two thousand people, not one stopped and helped the victim. Those who didn't trample him stepped over or around his body and went shopping. The only people who came to his aid were store employees, some of whom sustained injuries for their efforts. They also met with attitude problems from participants in the stampede, when they announced that the business was closing as a result of the fatality. In all the news coverage, I saw no evidence that anyone in the crowd felt remorse or sorrow for the event that had transpired. Alas, I suppose the expectation of respect for human life from a ghetto thug is akin to hoping a treehugger will help you cut firewood.

As John Wayne used to say: "That'll be the day."

I'll leave you with my brother's contrasting experience at our local Wal-Mart on "Black" Friday. At 5:00 A.M., he waded through a crowd so large that people bumped elbows. Strangely, he experienced:

No deaths
No arguments
No fistfights
No stealing from other customers' shopping carts
No pushing
No cursing
No stampeding
No destruction of company or individual property

Incredible, you say. It's nothing short of astonishing that no one died over a discounted toaster, or a half-off pack of bloomers. Somehow, us stupid rednecks made it through a whole day of super-duper savings without a single murder or negligent homicide. Who'dathunkit?

My attitude about these situations is that a crowd's behavior is determined by the caliber of individuals who constitute that crowd. To this extent, we know all we need to know about the brand of individuals who made up that Long Island mob, don't we?

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