Black Friday is well named. The term seems to originate with the Philadelphia Police, who in 1966 started to dread the massive disruption in traffic that put them all on overtime the day after Thanksgiving. The massive public expense for the benefit of retailers was given the dark moniker because it was something that the city wanted to dissuade.
It’s worth noting that this was the first holiday retail season after the debut screening of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in December 1965, which also decried how commercialism has destroyed Christmas.
From this simpler time, things have only gotten worse. After a few decades of tacit acceptance of the dark day, the hours have been pushed back from a 6AM start time to before midnight. This year, Wal-Mart plans to open at 8PM on Thanksgiving Day and workers are organizing a strike that may shut the whole operation down. The issue? Over work, under pay – and much of the cost of low, low prices ultimately born by the public. It’s time to put a stop to Black Friday as we know it.