Staunton, November 23 – Vitaly Milonov, the outspoken Duma deputy, says he is against having Black Friday sales in Russia because retailers behave in ways that humiliate consumers, who are forced to behave “like animals,” and because such sales are not truly Russian but rather unwelcome American imports (fedpress.ru/news/77/society/2157267).
The deputy adds that no one “makes fun” of this or makes clear that “this is some kind of nonsense.” But another deputy, Just Russia’s Oleg Nilov says that on Black Friday, retailers mislead Russian consumers because the latter don’t know their rights (riafan.ru/1124160-tolko-by-vtyukhat-v-gosdume-nazvali-chernuyu-pyatnicu-naduvatelstvom-chistoi-vody).
“Black Friday,” of course, is what many call the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the US. Since the early 1950s, Americans have viewed it the start of the Christmas shopping season; and retailers often say it is the busiest shopping day of the year and the date on which they sell enough to go into the black for the calendar year.
Over the last several years, however, as the American news media has become ever more a profit center and the residents of the US are referred to less often as citizens than as consumers, media reports about Black Friday have eclipsed those about Thanksgiving, a development that many Americans, including the author of these lines, consider unfortunate and even offensive.
But banning the day as Milonov and his Russian colleagues would like is not the answer. Instead, Americans and others need to work to redress the balance between Thanksgiving which links the American founding to today and emphasizes all that we have to be grateful for and a day which is only about getting Americans to spend more money than they might otherwise.
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