The Black Friday mindless stampede; Update: Video added

posted at 12:30 pm on November 28, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I worked for several years in retail and then for two decades in retail-related security, and have no intention of participating in the longest, roughest day in American shopping.  In all of those years, I never heard a story like this, though, which indicates that people have lost their minds and their humanity for the sake of discounts (via Michelle):

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

“He was bum-rushed by 200 people,” said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. “They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too…I literally had to fight people off my back.”

I’ve seen people get into shoving matches and fistfights, and I’ve heard of injuries, but a death and a miscarriage?  This didn’t happen because of a fire erupting or a terrorist/hostage situation, as we have seen in Mumbai.  Hundreds of people trampled others to death so that they could get to cheap retail goods the fastest — presumably to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

At some point, that horrible irony should cause people to pause and think about what motivates them in this holiday season.  Everyone likes a good deal, but few of us would choose to die for one — and therefore we shouldn’t want to kill for one, either.  Retailers won’t like to hear this, but maybe we need to spend a little less and recover our humanity just a little more.

Update (AP): Breitbart has video of the aftermath.

Update II (Ed): Thankfully, the miscarriage appears to have been inaccurate, although the pregnant woman did get injured.  The Anchoress has more thoughts.

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baldilocks on November 28, 2008 at 11:20 PM

encountering racism among the right must be old hat to you, why on earth stay a five percenter? (percent of blacks mccain won)

Noneya on November 28, 2008 at 11:39 PM

To me the guy seemed to be saying that the paramedics weren’t doing enough; that they were refusing to do mouth-to-mouth for some nefarious reason. That was the disgust I heard.

But are you saying that he should have interfered with the paramedics because he thinks that they are not doing enough to save the man’s life? That’s crazy (and illegal). Then you’d be saying “another whack job” and you’d be right.

baldilocks on November 28, 2008 at 11:19 PM

You first used the word outraged. Now you say disgust. Those are two entirely different emotions. No, I am not saying he should have interfered. I am saying if he were so outraged, and that was your wording, not mine, he should have, as I clearly said, “made his feelings known.” In other words, spoken up loud enough for the paramedics to hear. I never described anyone as being a whack job. In fact, this whole incident is incredibly sad to me. It is worth noting that in another video I saw on this, the crowd actually would not disperse for several minutes to let someone get to this man and even then, continued to jostle the people trying to help him. In my honest opinion, all of the people standing and watching are ghouls and the one taping and laughing was especially sickening.

Glynn on November 28, 2008 at 11:44 PM

encountering racism among the right must be old hat to you, why on earth stay a five percenter? (percent of blacks mccain won)

Noneya on November 28, 2008 at 11:39 PM

Encountering racism on the Left is even older hat for me–the racism that’s built into the Left’s very fabric, so insidious that its “beneficiaries” don’t even know that they’re being enslaved and or condescended to like children. As a matter of fact, you just demonstrated some of it–thinking that you know what’s better for me than I do. If that’s not a slavemaster mentality, then I don’t know what is. At least racists that exist on the right don’t pretend like they love blacks, etc.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 12:50 AM

You first used the word outraged. Now you say disgust. Those are two entirely different emotions.

Glynn on November 28, 2008 at 11:44 PM

Okay. Then he’s both.

I am saying if he were so outraged, and that was your wording, not mine, he should have, as I clearly said, “made his feelings known.” In other words, spoken up loud enough for the paramedics to hear.

For what purpose?

I never described anyone as being a whack job.

Neither did I. Those, again, were my words.

In fact, this whole incident is incredibly sad to me.

Me too.

It is worth noting that in another video I saw on this, the crowd actually would not disperse for several minutes to let someone get to this man and even then, continued to jostle the people trying to help him. In my honest opinion, all of the people standing and watching are ghouls and the one taping and laughing was especially sickening.

Glynn on November 28, 2008 at 11:44 PM

Okay. I did say that about the laughing. But those were different persons than the outraged-disgusted guy. The outraged-disgusted guy obviously knows nothing about the new CPR procedures and thinks that the EMT should be giving mouth-to-mouth but won’t. I can hear the reproach in his voice (yet a third description of the outraged-disgusted guy). The outraged-disgusted-reproachful guy think that the EMT is committing some sort of malpractice and doesn’t know that the bag-valve-mask takes the place of mouth-to-mouth.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 1:02 AM

One of the things I would like to find out — though I doubt the shoppers involved are going to ever admit they were part of the mob — is how many people who were in that group are from New York City.

Remember, thanks to the politicians (and some liberal residents) or New York, there are no Walmarts within the city limits. The Valley Stream store is just east of the Queens-Nassau County line, so for any NYC resident seeing the deals on TV or from ad supplements in Newsday that were being offered by the store on Black Friday, you couldn’t just go to your neighborhood Walmart like anyplace else in America — if you wanted that discounted Wii or that 50-inch big screen HDTV, you had to leave the city, and this is the closest Walmart to the city limits.

If that’s the case, it’s almost the equivalent of a concert hall or arena with all but one of the exits locked when a fire breaks out, except this would be the reverse — funneling a huge crowd into one location through a small entrance. That doesn’t excuse the mob for what they did. But it may explain in part the size of the mob, and why something like this happened in Valley Stream and noplace else in the country.

jon1979 on November 29, 2008 at 1:02 AM

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 12:50 AM

Oh ok, I get it now. It’s the self-loathing.

Noneya on November 29, 2008 at 1:13 AM

Oh ok, I get it now. It’s the self-loathing.

Noneya on November 29, 2008 at 1:13 AM

You loath youself? Well the only thing I can say to that is: just stop. Seriously. Praying helps.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 1:18 AM

youself=yourself

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 1:18 AM

Okay. I did say that about the laughing. But those were different persons than the outraged-disgusted guy. The outraged-disgusted guy obviously knows nothing about the new CPR procedures and thinks that the EMT should be giving mouth-to-mouth but won’t. I can hear the reproach in his voice (yet a third description of the outraged-disgusted guy). The outraged-disgusted-reproachful guy think that the EMT is committing some sort of malpractice and doesn’t know that the bag-valve-mask takes the place of mouth-to-mouth.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 1:02 AM

Yes, I know and discussed this in another post in this thread. My idea, and apparently several others, was that if he were so outraged/disgusted, he would have said so. I would have. But that’s just me. So we are simply arguing a point about differences in reaction. I work in the medical field, so I would not ever encourage anyone to physically interfere in a rescue scene. But manys the time someone has made their feelings known from the sidelines and they certainly intended to be heard. That’s where my point of view is coming from. I do know that the people laughing were not the same person who was outraged. I believe I said that above, too. At any rate, all very sad. You and I certainly agree on that point. And perhaps the outrage should have been that this happened in the first place.

Glynn on November 29, 2008 at 1:21 AM

The state of black America has nothing to do with crowd mentalities or even the laws of physics.

baldilocks on November 28, 2008 at 9:52 PM

It isn’t a reflection of all black communities, but the issues that those who committed this act are a sum total of what they are. The disregard for life was on full display. Just as the disregard for life at soccer riots is clear. It is fair to make general comments about the people engaged in those atrocities. The reason skin color becomes an issue is because the liberals have made it an issue. They pander to the black community and weaken it in the process with their liberal nanny state policies.

When the liberals and the blacks themselves stop making skin color an issue to garner political power, then I will stop using skin color as a contributing factor in behavior when we are in these type of discussions.

csdeven on November 29, 2008 at 1:38 AM

Hundreds of people trampled others to death so that they could get to cheap retail goods the fastest — presumably to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

posted in the opening story at 12:30 pm on November 28, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Ed,

Based on behavior and patterns of the general populace, and the popularity of Darwinism-evolutionism, and the downplaying of Faith and Religion, it is unlikely that they were shopping in order to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

It appears they were shopping in order to have bragging rights to getting goods on sale, as well as to have bragging rights on getting the goods before anyone else does.

Had they been interested in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, they probably wouldn’t be there, but would be involved in other pursuits related to faith based matters.

William2006 on November 29, 2008 at 1:55 AM

I sure like to “Save Money.” And to “Live Happy”, too.

But not at That Price.

newton on November 29, 2008 at 2:10 AM

The reason skin color becomes an issue is because the liberals have made it an issue.

Here in this thread?

They pander to the black community and weaken it in the process with their liberal nanny state policies.

I’ll presume that you’re just stating this as an assertion rather than suggesting that I’m saying something opposite. I am not.

When the liberals and the blacks themselves stop making skin color an issue to garner political power, then I will stop using skin color as a contributing factor in behavior when we are in these type of discussions.

csdeven on November 29, 2008 at 1:38 AM

What political power wrt to Leftism’s detrimental effect on blacks is demonstrated in this monstrous display of human nature, greed and materialism? Put another way: how is the trampling death of one poor man related to Leftism?

I’m not seeing the relationship.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 2:11 AM

William2006 on November 29, 2008 at 1:55 AM

It’s called ‘irony.’

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 2:12 AM

The phrase ” long island wall mart” is misleading, there are several wall marts on long island and the majority of them are in white neighborhoods, valley stream is the “hood” though, and sorry if it offends anyone, but this is how blacks act as a general rule.

There’s something dreadfully wrong in black america … Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me a similar scene from white america … triple dog dare ya

johngalt on November 28, 2008 at 1:00 PM

It’s one thing to be way, way out of line – and you are – and another thing to be dead wrong on the facts – and you are.

So go back and read through the comments, and you’ll see the story about the general admission concert deaths in Cincinnati. I wasn’t there, but my recollections from my college days at racially integrated Illinois State tell me that The Who wasn’t a big draw in the black community.

PackerBronco seems to have had similar experiences with the lilly white liberals at Wisconsin in Madison.

I spent my third straight Black Friday with my wife, up early, and shopping for our family. We live in a racially diverse area in Chicago, and had the same experience we have every year – a crowded mall full of people having a fun time looking for holiday bargains, helping each other with packages and directions while standing in checkout lines, and quite a bit of sympathy for the harried clerks on their Big Day, working with overloaded systems, tons of customers, last minute price and coupon changes.

I didn’t get bumped or pushed once or in any way offended. Had a great time with my black, white, asian and hispanic neighbors, as every year.

You need a timeout, dude.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 2:43 AM

Heh – 2:43am. Should never have had the pumpkin pie at 11pm.

Ed, I repeat my annual call for the end of secular Christmas as a federal orgy of vacation time. End the Federal holiday! Leave Christmas to Christians as a religious holiday, as with Holy Week and Easter.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Oh brother

and so it goes……

John The Baptist on November 29, 2008 at 4:46 AM

The phrase ” long island wall mart” is misleading, there are several wall marts on long island and the majority of them are in white neighborhoods, valley stream is the “hood” though, and sorry if it offends anyone, but this is how blacks act as a general rule.

There’s something dreadfully wrong in black america … Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me a similar scene from white america … triple dog dare ya

johngalt on November 28, 2008 at 1:00 PM

It’s one thing to be way, way out of line – and you are – and another thing to be dead wrong on the facts – and you are.

So go back and read through the comments, and you’ll see the story about the general admission concert deaths in Cincinnati. I wasn’t there, but my recollections from my college days at racially integrated Illinois State tell me that The Who wasn’t a big draw in the black community.

PackerBronco seems to have had similar experiences with the lilly white liberals at Wisconsin in Madison.

I spent my third straight Black Friday with my wife, up early, and shopping for our family. We live in a racially diverse area in Chicago, and had the same experience we have every year – a crowded mall full of people having a fun time looking for holiday bargains, helping each other with packages and directions while standing in checkout lines, and quite a bit of sympathy for the harried clerks on their Big Day, working with overloaded systems, tons of customers, last minute price and coupon changes.

I didn’t get bumped or pushed once or in any way offended. Had a great time with my black, white, asian and hispanic neighbors, as every year.

You need a timeout, dude.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 2:43 AM

I think the fact that you had to go back to 1979 to find a smiliar event involving a white crowd is very telling.

as someone has pointed out, I think, already, this tragedy was not about greed, it was about SELFISHNESS, a sense that these people had that they were owed something, and they were going to get theirs, with a complete disregard for others, and a callousness abotu human life in general, as evidenced by the spectators laughing while the paramedics frantically tried to revive the poor man.

I think the post Katrina aftermath is a perfect analogy here, there are tons of stories from aid workers who were trying to help katrina “victims” by providing food and water, and were abused with statements like ” is this all you got ?” …. these people in many cases were not asking for help, they were DEMANDING it…the sort of entitlement mentality that has been sown and cultivated for generations and now is being reaped and harvested in droves. The complete lack of personal responsibility, the gimme gimme gimme hand out mentality that has reached it’s apex with the Obama presidency …when people feel they are owed something, and do not care about anyone else but themselves, this is what you get. Callous, cold hearted, selfish mobs. Its not racial at it’s heart, it’s societal, in the usa, it happens to be the black communities…in europe, it’s the muslim communities…Paris burned for 6 months last year because muslims were enraged because they weren’t getting enough of what they felt they deserved.

our country is going in the wrong direction precisely because people feel entitled and owed something, and less and less of them understand that they need to give something back…we talk too much of Rights ! and not enough of about the responsibilities that go with them.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 7:50 AM

I’m confused. I thought – as Barrack and the MSM told me for 18 months – we were in a severe recession. I thought people had to choose between eating and paying the heating bill. I thought – as john Edwards told me – children all over the country have no coats in winter.

And yet with all this going on people are buying 50″ TVs at 4:00am?

Hmmm

angryed on November 29, 2008 at 7:57 AM

I’m confused. I thought – as Barrack and the MSM told me for 18 months – we were in a severe recession. I thought people had to choose between eating and paying the heating bill. I thought – as john Edwards told me – children all over the country have no coats in winter.

And yet with all this going on people are buying 50″ TVs at 4:00am?

Hmmm

angryed on November 29, 2008 at 7:57 AM

the people that are hurting the most right now are the rich guys…stockbrokers mortgage bankers, etc … which in turn hurts the car salesmen, the airlines, the travel agents, the hotel owners, the restaurant owners…if you don’t roll in those circles and don’t own stock, chances are you’re fine, and gas is cheap again.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM

I live near a small town of about 10,000 people. It even got rough in that Wal-Mart. Some woman decked a guy over a video game console. It’s just plain crazy anymore. Perhaps a huge crash in our economy would put us back on track for what is important.

boomer on November 29, 2008 at 8:13 AM

I’m not seeing the relationship.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 2:11 AM

You cannot separate the effects of liberalism on the black community. I can understand that it appears that a riot in a soccer stadium is the same as what happened at the Wal Mart. The only common denominator is that people die. The underlying reasons for the riot are the issue. In the case of soccer fans, it is based on a complete lack of respect for the lives of others stemming from an overindulgence in a sporting event.

In the case of the Wal Mart, it is based on a complete lack of respect for the lives of others stemming from a sense of entitlement.

Which of those attitudes are fostered by liberalism? The latter of course. It isn’t a foregone conclusion that blacks will riot. It is a forgone conclusion that anyone that gets involved in liberalism is ingrained with a sense that THEY are entitled. Each group is identified by different traits that divide rather than pull together. Gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and every other special interest groups are told by the liberals that they are being treated sooooo badly that they need to fight until they “get theirs”.

The liberals make skin color and issue and many in the Black community make it an issue also, so they need to be challenged on that premise until they get to the point that MLK dreamed of. Where people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. The liberals cannot continue to judge people by skin color on one hand and in the other demand that people are not judged by skin color.

csdeven on November 29, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Anyone who has used a coupon with an expiration date will understand the materialistic urgency of these animals.

elvis on November 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM

I ventured into the crowds yesterday. It wasn’t as bad as I expected and when it got really crowded I headed home. At some point common sense has to kick in, don’t you think? Everyone knows the stores only stock about 40 of whatever item is pulling in the crowds. If you see a hundred cars in the lot before it opens, and that was the only item you came for, then leave. Walmart has some obligation to better manage crowd control. Force lines like Disney and limit the number of people who can enter at a time in highly populated areas. Doesn’t Best Buy do that for certain items? Kohls was handing out bottled waters to the people in line.

BrideOfRove on November 29, 2008 at 9:08 AM

The people that are hurting the most right now are the rich guys…stockbrokers mortgage bankers, etc … which in turn hurts the car salesmen, the airlines, the travel agents, the hotel owners, the restaurant owners…if you don’t roll in those circles and don’t own stock, chances are you’re fine, and gas is cheap again.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM

So unless you work in the service industry as 70% of the US population does, you’re OK. Unless that is you work in the auto industry which is 3 million people. But aside from those two categories of people, the economy’s booming.

angryed on November 29, 2008 at 9:13 AM

The people that are hurting the most right now are the rich guys…stockbrokers mortgage bankers, etc … which in turn hurts the car salesmen, the airlines, the travel agents, the hotel owners, the restaurant owners…if you don’t roll in those circles and don’t own stock, chances are you’re fine, and gas is cheap again.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 8:11 AM

So unless you work in the service industry as 70% of the US population does, you’re OK. Unless that is you work in the auto industry which is 3 million people. But aside from those two categories of people, the economy’s booming.

angryed on November 29, 2008 at 9:13 AM

now I did not say that, I just think all this “great depression ” talk is nonsense. We’ve had a few quarters of stagnancy, not a TOTAL fiscal collapse like we saw back then… unemployment is up but not horrific .. things could get worse, of course and maybe will, but things aren;t nearly as bad right now as the drama queens in media are making it out to be.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 9:34 AM

“So unless you work in the service industry as 70% of the US population does

THAT right there is a big part of the problem…so few of us actually do anything productive…like build or create or manufacture, etc…we’re a nation that specializes in nonsense.

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 9:35 AM

From an article on Drudge

Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers stepped over him and became irate when officials said the store was closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

Disgusting. Sums up the “Its all about me” mentality that is destroying so many of our communities.

jman on November 29, 2008 at 9:42 AM

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Some interesting discussion you have provoked on this thread. And yet there are regulars on here who wish to see you shut out of the forum. Troubling. Perhaps the moderator will do the right thing and ban fascists instead of you.

jay12 on November 29, 2008 at 10:47 AM

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Some interesting discussion you have provoked on this thread. And yet there are regulars on here who wish to see you shut out of the forum. Troubling. Perhaps the moderator will do the right thing and ban fascists instead of you.

jay12 on November 29, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Disappointing but not surprising i guess, I would have hoped a right of center blog would be more willing to engage as opposed to shouting down a la the daily Kos type blogs are. I guess free speech is only for those who agree with you ? ah well, such is life.

peace

-jg

johngalt on November 29, 2008 at 11:26 AM

johngalt,

Before I waste any more time reading your posts, let’s get this out on the table. The company is called Wal-Mart. It is not Wall Mart. It is the largest retail store chain in the world and number 1 in the Fortune 100 ranking of U.S companies by annual revenue. The name is ubiquitous, and yet you cannot even come close to spelling it correctly.

This, imo, undermines your credibility severely, not unlike assigning blame for an incident in New York to the entire culture of African Americans. Conclusion – you seem impervious to facts that might be obvious to others. I am considering the possibility that you are simply stupid.

I will now go back to read for additional proof.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM

I think the fact that you had to go back to 1979 to find a smiliar event involving a white crowd is very telling.

Thanks for addressing the post honestly, but let me turn that around: give me a similar event anywhere prior to the one yesterday. I don’t recall a lot of trampling incidents “in the black community” either. And I think any fair reading of this incident should start carefully. You jumped to a fully broad conclusion about an entire race of people.

I’ve done the same thing before, don’t get me wrong.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM

In the case of the Wal Mart, it is based on a complete lack of respect for the lives of others stemming from a sense of entitlement.

csdeven on November 29, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Everything you’ve said here about Leftism and how its advocates have abetted the near destruction of the family and its values among black Americans is true. But in all the words you’ve used, you haven’t made the causal connection(s) for this particular incident. You’re only making assumptions and not plausible ones either. Here’s my plausible one: The people in the back pushed the one’s in the front; they had to keep moving or end up like that man (that’s also how the doors ended up broken). It’s the laws of physics.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 12:18 PM

…became irate when officials said the store was closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

Disgusting. Sums up the “Its all about me” mentality that is destroying so many of our communities.

jman on November 29, 2008 at 9:42 AM

This, if true, is an example of the Spirit of Evil that is rampant in the entire country.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM

You point out some legitimate, if obvious, societal trends. But I am missing whatever Jay is seeing, calling for you to be “shut out” of the discussion. The word he’s looking for is “banned”, and I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I missed it.

As for Katrina, all of the “journalists” that I saw on tv crying and whining about the horror were white…liberals. In a just world, Ray Nagin would have been tried, found guilty, and hanged for his criminal negligence, and their idiot Governor would have been jailed.

Yes, the nanny state victim nitwits in NOLA represent the bottom of our barrel, but government incompetence was and is rampant in that story, too. I know people who are working there now, trying to rebuild a church, and they swear that – even now – the only things getting done are by the foundation that Brad Pitt initiated.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM

This, if true, is an example of the Spirit of Evil that is rampant in the entire country.

baldilocks on November 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Pretty big canvas there, too, baldi! I certainly hope that the Spirit of Evil is not rampant in our country. I see a Spirit of Stupidity, but evil?

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM

You point out some legitimate, if obvious, societal trends. But I am missing whatever Jay is seeing, calling for you to be “shut out” of the discussion. The word he’s looking for is “banned”, and I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe I missed it.

Jaibones on November 29, 2008 at 12:27

Maybe you missed it, huh? Get your head out of your ass, then, and read the comments again. Maybe you won’t miss it the second time around.

jay12 on November 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Hey Eddie,

A little premature with that miscarriage bit, eh? And yes, even though she was knocked down, she and her baby are fine. Good news for her and those abortion doctors/clinics who I’m sure would have faced the teeming wrath of the RR/HA groupies salavating at the chance to do some of God’s good work.

Keep up the “fair and balanced” reporting.

dk on November 29, 2008 at 1:10 PM

I just think all this “great depression ” talk is nonsense. We’ve had a few quarters of stagnancy, not a TOTAL fiscal collapse like we saw back then… unemployment is up but not horrific ..

Unemployment in early 1930 was 3.2%. This was well after the great crash of ’29 when a lot of people thought the worst was behind them. It took 3 full years for unemployment to get to the depression peak of 25%.

Your upbeat thinking sounds like that of real estate agents in 2006. Yea sure prices are down just a bit, but any talk of a housing crash is nonsense.

We are in the 2nd inning here and are only getting started.

angryed on November 29, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Let’s just name this ugly thing what it is …. it’s new age Obamerism. NAO if you will. Water-walking light at Wal-Mart. A convergence of Obamamorons & self-promoting nanny media.
 
A grand display indeed of all the morons encouraged by the media to demonstrate their intelligence by waiting all night long for the long awaited, endlessly reported BLACK FRIDAY sales.
 
Did I mention reported incessantly by the endless media narcissists as “news”? (One local ex-princess-ex-beauty pageant-winner-TV traffic bimbo is reporting parking lot updates every 10 minutes!)
 
Hey these possessed shoppers might get their mug on TB and say something really profound and the TB media can then report it as news!
 
Apparently they collectively mis-heard that Wal-Mart was giving merchandise away free …. you know just like the government deal they received for their no account mortgages, student loans, car loans, payday loans, etc., etc.
 
Liberal Valley Stream L.I. just a stones throw down the road from the liberal Obamaland known as Hempstead. Sounds like many Obama voters may have participated in this event.
 
My condolences to the man’s family who unfortunately lost his life attempting to do his job.

jaaakemm on November 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM

4 million revelers in chicago for inauguration day. 1 porta pody for every 300 as recommended by National Park service? Stampede? What a mess!!!

gringo69 on November 29, 2008 at 2:18 PM

who is going to pick up the trash at this greeny fiasco????

gringo69 on November 29, 2008 at 2:19 PM


Did I mention reported incessantly by the endless media narcissists as “news”? (One local ex-princess-ex-beauty pageant-winner-TV traffic bimbo is reporting parking lot updates every 10 minutes!)
jaaakemm on November 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Hey don’t knock her….yesterday’s ex-princess-ex-beauty pageant-winner-TV traffic bimbo could be tomorrow’s ex-vice presidential candidate/prodigal governor and future hope for the Armageddon Party.

dk on November 29, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Where did you get the photo used to headline this story, because that does not look at all like the crowd I saw in every other picture of this incident at this Walmart. Did you just pick any crowd photo to use?

JeffinSac on November 29, 2008 at 4:51 PM

Just the kind of thing you’d expect from New Yorkers, I’m afraid. Though I’d make a fair wager it was all urbanites who are simply too busy to care about any poor sap who doesn’t have a studio apartment in Manhattan.

It takes a special kind of arrogance to trample over someone on your way inside an f’ing WalMart.

BKennedy on November 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM

Crowd mentality can be a deadly thing. Remember the 90 or so soccer fans who died in England in 1989 at Hillsborough when a crowd tried to push its way into an already overcrowded terrace? I still remember the pictures of those kids with their faces crushed up against a wire mesh fence, dying.

There’s some kind of wider lesson to be learned here about crowds and the crowd mentality, which applies to things like “consensus” and public opinion, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s in the way that when a group of people start feeding off each other and acting as one, then everyone forgets about their own individual responsibility. After all, you can’t blame a “crowd” because it doesn’t really exist, it doesn’t have a consciousness of its own, it’s just an abstract concept which defines a group of individuals. When people feel like they’re part of a crowd, it’s easy for them to engage in some kind of oppressive or destructive behavior. Everyone else is doing it, so why not them? Their individual responsibility is absorbed into an abstract construct – “the crowd” – which absolves them from any individual blame.

Thus when you have a crowd waiting to get into a store for a sale and everyone is pushing and shoving to get in the doors, it’s easy to think “what the heck” and do a little pushing yourself. If something goes wrong or someone gets hurt, then no individual is going to get the blame.

It’s the classic mob mentality. I’m pretty sure some of the same kind of psychological principles have been at work on a national and political level, like for instance during Nazi Germany.

Sharke on November 29, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Here’s a pretty harrowing video from that soccer disaster, to put some perspective on things. Makes you realize just how much worse these things can be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a16gV5ZQ8g0&feature=related

Sharke on November 29, 2008 at 10:03 PM

Hundreds of people trampled others to death so that they could get to cheap retail goods the fastest — presumably to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ

.

Cannot presume anymore.

Walmart, along with a bunch of major retailers has worked hard to purge JC from XMas. Last year, employees were allowed but not encouraged to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again after their prior orders to say only ‘Happy Holidays’ caused some backlash.

A few years ago, all Xmas music with religious words was played as orchestral only, very low volume. Last year, perhaps due to sagging sales and backlash fear, some of the ‘Happy Holiday’ vocals were allowed (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire songs). This year, for whatever reason, religious songs began just after Halloween to get a headstart, loaded with Ave Maria and O Holy Night.

They have also daringly allowed the Salvation army to return to bell ringing, put up a sign that says ‘Christmas Store’ and installed the Secular Tree of No Meaning Intended in every store. I saw that tree in some videos of Black Friday mob scenes on the internet from other states. Huge Red and Green balls and no tree topper. No angels, Stars or other religiousity to taint the season.

This stuff seems trivial but this huge outreach to erase the connection between XMas and JC has paid off.

Many people now find it offensive to give a religious connotation to anything connected to XMas.

It is then a competition for consumption. A race to ace.

entagor on November 30, 2008 at 2:15 AM

NahnCee,

When I went to my local Wal-Mart yesterday morning I counted 3 marked police vehicles and 1 unmarked vehicle (which I only noticed on my way out of the store). There were half a dozen officers from local Sheriff’s Deputies to State Troopers in attendance.

I saw all manner of people be they black, white, Asian, Hispanic…whatever comporting themselves with generally good behavior and manners…no matter how rich or poor they were (or how unwashed they smelled).

Although the place was packed to the gills there were no incidences of trampling of any kind. The only “incident” that I can think of was when a small child tried to steal something out of my cart…right in front of one of the cops and both of her parents.

You never saw such embarrassed people in your life. In between apologies to me in very accented and broken English the father was giving their small daughter an object lesson as to why stealing was bad.

“NO STEALING!”

“VERY SORRY MISTER/SIR”
“STOP CRYING! YOU STOLE AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STEAL”

“AGAIN WE SO SO SORRY.”

Morals of the story:

People stop being mobtastic azzholes…it killed 2 people one person this time. Take responsibility…saving $300 or so on damn TV isn’t worth someone’s life!

Wal-Mart: please if you can see the crowd going completely nuts outside…don’t let them in until you call for adequate crowd control courtesy of men with guns and badges or better yet set up some sort of system beforehand (as my local Wal-Mart did)

SgtSVJones on November 30, 2008 at 3:13 AM

When I went to my local Wal-Mart yesterday morning I counted 3 marked police vehicles and 1 unmarked vehicle (which I only noticed on my way out of the store). There were half a dozen officers from local Sheriff’s Deputies to State Troopers in attendance.

I saw all manner of people be they black, white, Asian, Hispanic…whatever comporting themselves with generally good behavior and manners…no matter how rich or poor they were (or how unwashed they smelled).

Although the place was packed to the gills there were no incidences of trampling of any kind. The only “incident” that I can think of was when a small child tried to steal something out of my cart…right in front of one of the cops and both of her parents.

You never saw such embarrassed people in your life. In between apologies to me in very accented and broken English the father was giving their small daughter an object lesson as to why stealing was bad.

“NO STEALING!”
/SMACKS KID IN FACE/
“VERY SORRY MISTER/SIR”
“STOP CRYING! YOU STOLE AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STEAL”
/SMACKS KID ON REAR/
“AGAIN WE SO SO SORRY.”

Morals of the story:

People stop being mobtastic azzholes…it killed 2 people one person this time. Take responsibility…saving $300 or so on damn TV isn’t worth someone’s life!

Wal-Mart: please if you can see the crowd going completely nuts outside…don’t let them in until you call for adequate crowd control courtesy of men with guns and badges or better yet set up some sort of system beforehand (as my local Wal-Mart did)

SgtSVJones on November 30, 2008 at 3:15 AM

What the poop is with the double-posting here? Can we please have an “edit post” or “delete post” button? Please Allah? Ed? Michelle? Someone?

SgtSVJones on November 30, 2008 at 3:45 AM

Consumerism as mass psychosis.

Jargon and cliche take the place of careful consideration. Every consideration has been given to heightening the people’s desire and anticipation and then to gathering them into herds, with little thought for the dangers. The institutions of “Black Friday” have been poorly thought out, and it’s easier to preach to one’s own assembled herd than to think through the dangers of herds and they ways in which herds and their dangers may be averted, decreased, or controlled.

Kralizec on November 30, 2008 at 5:18 AM

People stampeding like friggin horses. Gold rush. Ya know when we have a big frenzy of fish out on the water the fishing boats do the same thing, cutting each others lines, ramming one another, throwing sinkers at each other. What is it with human kind where greed goes unchecked?

johnnyU on November 30, 2008 at 6:17 PM

My take:

1. Don’t even be in crowds obsessed with getting something for nothing. It’s like throwing a pass in football: three things can happen, two of them bad. Not worth the risk.

2. Disconnect worship of God from consumerist gift-giving. God does not need a new ipod, and the person you give it to will be no closer to God as a result of the gift.

3. Find new ways to love and be loved. Stuff never substitutes for time and attention.

4. Mr. Damour’s family will do the whole nation a favor by suing WalMart for a huge pile of money. Money talks, and retailers will change how they run these insane sales when they realize how much it will cost them.

MochaLite on November 30, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Yeah, we’ll be bailing these fools out soon enough.

Mercy4Me on November 30, 2008 at 8:22 PM

I’ve heard xmas described as ‘people buying things they can’t afford, for people who won’t like it anyway’

johnnyU on November 30, 2008 at 8:28 PM

That’s the spirit!

TheSitRep on December 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM

To all those early morning shoppers….

“You can’t fix stupid”.

PappaMac on December 1, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Well I braved Black Friday in Bismarck,ND & everyone was nice & polite. There was no shoving-people were gathered around the “deals” that were situated in the aisles. No one filled up their carts with “deals” until 5 am, just like they were supposed to. They could have. But they didn’t. People were happy & talking to each other, strangers, about the “deals”.
I had two excited teenage boys greet me warmly & they let me by when they didn’t have to.
Maybe in ND we’re just nicer.

Badger40 on December 1, 2008 at 1:44 PM

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