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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Why are we not surprised about people dying on Black Friday?

The line at the Best Buy in Levittown N.Y. when it opened on Black Friday almost reached the neighboring store. The technology retail chain opened at 8 a.m. (JASMINE BLENNAU / THE STATESMAN)

“One worker trampled to death during Black Friday sales at Wal-Mart.”

“Two dead after a shooting in crowded Toy ‘R’ Us in Black Friday shopping pandemonium.”

“A Black Friday shopper who collapsed while shopping at a Target store in West Virginia went almost unnoticed as customers continued to hunt for bargain deals.”

These headlines, depicting the death and injury of multiple people all across America, seem to be featured at the top of every single newspaper on the Saturday after Black Friday, once the reported death and injury count have been tallied.

Sometimes, the counts are run in the evening news on Black Friday. We might even see some poor retail worker getting trampled live via Twitter, with new hashtags popping up faster than crushed pre-med hopes after a BIO 203 midterm.

The idea of expecting people to die on Black Friday is not only upsetting, but also quite alarming. As of now, there are seven reported deaths and 98 injuries due to Black Friday-related incidents, according to the website This website is a stark reminder of the fact that people actually die on Black Friday.

What is even more shocking is that we expect to hear horror stories coming out of Black Friday. We expect to wake up on Saturday morning and see that one or two people were killed over the last Tickle Me Elmo or that a man was trampled to death because that big flat screen T.V. was close to 50 percent off.

It is absurd to hold the value of the price of some materialistic item over a person’s life, which truly puts the whole Black Friday craze into a very critical lens. The thought of people dying over deals is horrible; the fact that a person is literally willing to shoot, with the intent to kill, in a crowded shopping center over a toy is ridiculous. On top of this, the thought that some retail workers have given their life in the name of corporate greed and commercialization is just downright upsetting.

What has come of our society that we willingly will go out and trample another human being, a person who has their own life and story, just to save some money? What can be said of people as a whole if they are willing to fight, shoot and kill each other just for some deals?

Personally, I do not go Black Friday shopping because I value my life and would rather go out in a more fashionable way, like getting food poisoning from the SAC cafeteria or dying at the age of 75 when I finally get to see Kelly Dining’s renovation completed.

However the majority of people will still contribute to the problem of “Black Friday” because people cannot resist the lure of buying more than they need, which in part will lead to the unfortunate harm and the death of more people.

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