Blacks spend $1 trillion +Â Support black businesses
By Chinta Strausberg
In just two-days, the doors of Wal-Mart and Target will open at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. respectively in celebration of the infamous and sometimes-deadly â€œBlack Fridayâ€ named for the day after Thanksgiving when corporate America hopes to get and stay in the black but a day when consumers willingly jump into the red zone sometimes for nearly a year.
But, it will also be a day of national protests by perhaps 1,000 Wal-Mart stores that are fed up with Wal-Martâ€™s opening early on Thanksgiving Day or the day after and having to deal with a very aggressive, combative and at times deadly crowd seeking to get reduced items by any means necessary.
But, Wal-Mart workers want Thanksgiving to be a day they will have off, but instead of considering their request, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) and has asked the National Labor Relations Board to block their work stoppage, according to â€˜Our Business News,â€ and the Womenâ€™s Wear Daily (WWD).
Black Friday is a day where in the past people have actually been either physically harmed or trampled to death while rushing into stores like Wal-Mart in hopes of grabbing up reduced toys and other gifts for Christmas.
Wouldnâ€™t it be nice if African Americans, who spend more than $1 trillion a year, conducted a run on black-owned stores? How about getting a gift certificate from stores like Reggioâ€™s Pizza for a year or a gift certificate from the Inner City ICE Entertainment Lawndale theaters located at 3330 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Chicago, or patronize black-owned restaurants like Josephineâ€™s Cooking, aka Captain Hardtimes, at 436 E. 79th Street.
Some consumers will shop from the comfort of their home via the Internet. That is certainly safer than being crushed to death like Jdimytai Damour, the 34-year-old son of Ogera Charles who was a temporary worker at Wal-Martâ€™s Long Island store.
Also injured were four shoppers and an eight-month pregnant woman who was hospitalized.
Better yet, I would hope that millions of all Americans opt to go to church on Thanksgiving Day then take a day of rest on Friday. Dedicate â€˜Black Fridayâ€™ to your God and hold unto your money until the real bargains kick in. Donâ€™t be led by the media frenzy that you will see beginning sometime tonight inviting you to some early morning â€œBlack Fridayâ€ shopping that will begin on Thanksgiving Day in some stores.
Remember, if you canâ€™t pay cash for a gift, then donâ€™t force the issue. Your waiting will actually save money for those wanting to buy Christmas gifts. You will get a better price and in a safer environment.
What pains me year-after-year are the conversations I hear from couples or single moms who stay in debt for nearly a year just to buy Christmas gifts for their children, their church members, friends and relatives. How can giving gifts you canâ€™t afford make you feel important when your checking account is yelling â€˜stop it already.â€™?
Please spend sensibly for your Christmas gifts and donâ€™t forget to set aside your REGULAR tithes, which are already down in many churches that are also facing huge water bills from the city of Chicago, and please donâ€™t buy into using the term â€˜Xmasâ€™ or be made to feel ashamed or politically incorrect from saying Merry Christmas, not Merry Holiday, Merry Christmas.
And, forget about being politically correct rather be morally and spiritually on the mark for this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Given the escalation of violence in our community, donâ€™t forget to pray for peace in the â€˜hood and in the Middle East.
Make a fiscally responsible pledge this year to express your love to your friends and family not by giving into your material wishes or the â€˜Santa Claus listâ€™ of others but by giving from your heart even if it is a homemade gift. You wonâ€™t get in debt by making a gift but your love will continue to shine. Donâ€™t spoil our children. Teach them by being an example. Teach them not to become credit card addicts in search of material gains.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.Â