Dark & Sinful: Taking the black out of Black Friday

Acting a fool.

Wikipedia just blew my mind. I’ve been walking around all this time thinking “Black Friday” is a financial term. It refers to the fact that stores, in the red all year, finally turn a profit and get in the black during the holiday season.


The Philadelphia police coined the term in 1966 because the whole city turned chaotic on the day after Thanksgiving — the crazed crowds, insane traffic, mobs of people pushing their way through storefronts. The police, outnumbered and outmatched, couldn’t control it.

Since you can’t trust Wikipedia, I did more internet research. The Huffington Post and ABC News said the same thing. ABC News ran the headline, “Black Friday’s Dark Origins.” Three internet articles? Totes legit. Then, I found even more articles corroborating their story.

Consensus: the police started saying Black Friday in hopes that people would stay home. It’s too grim and harsh outside. All disappointment.

Ooh. Scary.

Yeah, OK. That’s what they meant.

True. Black Friday is a mess. I don’t want any part of it. You have to park illegally and the mall cops may give you a ticket. Auntie Anne’s may run out of cinnamon sugar pretzels. In my 34 Thanksgivings, I’ve taken my face out of the refrigerator only once to go to the mall. Kiosks closed in on the aisles. Santa was surrounded by so many kids it looked like he must’ve been birthing them.

But let’s be real: what the Philadelphia PD meant was that, on that day, people didn’t know how to act, acted a fool, fueled the ruckus. They acted like black people.

Fair enough. There is an amazing YouTube clip of a black woman getting run over by black people at a Walmart in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The woman, who’s pregnant, doesn’t try to get up. She makes sure she puts her wig back on first. Priorities.

But, because 2014 has gone out of its way to prove acting a fool is an equal opportunity (for recent examples, see Chris Rock’s SNL jokes about 9/11 and the Boston Marathon, and Ted Cruz), I propose we change the name from Black Friday to Multiethnic Friday Where We Act Like We Act Year Long.

On Thanksgiving, if you don’t have an Uncle Bill who carries a fifth of whiskey into your front yard to start a fight with Billy Jr., who’s playing Tom Brady with a neighbor kid, you’re required to get in Friday’s mix.

I’m willing to do my part at Target when the doors open at 6 p.m. They’ve got a 60" Samsung flat screen for $797.99. Got to get that.

Who’s going to Walmart?

Does Circuit City still exist?

Let’s join together, doorbusters. Let’s black it up, and white it up, and Hispanic it up, erbody it up — essentially, America it up, land of the Aw, Yeah, They’re Practically Giving This Shit Away for Free. Let’s aim for some major Bay News 9 coverage and show the police what’s what.

Good thing they’ll be right there with us. 

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