So I’m sitting here at work, stuck working on a stinkin’ Friday, when I log onto Yahoo and find one of their Featured Stories is regarding the recent Black Friday death of a man who worked at Wal-Mart. The 34 year old man was 6′-5″ and 270 pounds and was no match for a crazed mob of shoppers. I’m sure you’ve heard the story by now.
The video story on Yahoo about the incident is from ABC News and as the reporter began, I notice the wording below the woman’s face asked the question ‘Was Wal-Mart ad to blame?’ Wal-Mart didn’t trample that man to death. Shopping obsessed individuals who couldn’t simply side-step a Wal-Mart greeter were the ones to blame. But, since we can’t point our finger at one individual as the culprit and finding and charging every individual who charged through that door isn’t feasible, we do the next best thing: blame the corporate entity involved. And of course we sue because America is the Land of Tort Litigation. After all, we sue McDonald’s because their coffee is hot (which it should be unless it’s iced) or we sue for our own stupidity.
The fact of the matter is that as tragic as this young man’s death was, it’s a symbol of the times we Americans live in. We’re more concerned with material things than someone’s life. We don’t want to accept blame for something so senseless… something that didn’t really need to happen. For those who would argue against my statement about being more concerned with material things than someone’s life, please explain to me why shoppers in the store were upset when local police shut the store and wouldn’t let anyone out until their investigation was complete. They complained about the incovenience to them.