Boycott Thanksgiving sales

The Reno News & Review is a small independent newspaper in the third-largest city of one of the lowest population states in the United States. Sometimes we’re tilting at windmills when we take on topics of national import. We accept this, but we’re Americans, and we reserve the right to bitch without reserve, even when—as with the weather, the government, or the gun lobby—our moaning complaints are only quixotic.

In other words, we know that our objections about stores being open on Thanksgiving will have all the effect of a tear on a flood.

Walmart, which makes a big deal of its anti-American policy of being open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day by making claims that it will be open “earlier than ever,” is lying. Walmarts are open all day. They just start their Black Friday sales two hours earlier this year.

Comparing Walmart to the communist countries that produce the goods it sells and are also open for business on Thanksgiving Day is cliché. Of course Walmart is a horrible corporate citizen. Of course the company doesn’t pay a livable wage or offer decent benefits to most of its employees.

But to try to make a virtue out of forcing its workers to be on the floor when their families and loved ones are at home watching football or snuggling on the couch is beyond hypocritical, it’s evil.

Look, the only people who have a problem with the fact that Christmas has become a day to worship consumption rather than a day devoted to reflection and prayer are those devout Christians who want to remember the reason for the season. Walmart’s “Black Friday” policies are surely a reflection and admission of that. Even the phrase “Black Friday” is a play on the Christian “Good Friday,” is it not?

We’re not going to change Walmart, or other corporations that open on Thanksgiving. That’s the bottom line. Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday, and you know how those multinational corporations feel about the United States. We’re not going to change J.C. Penney or Macy’s or Best Buy, either. They’re all open.

But we’ve changed a few minds in Northern Nevada over the years. And that’s who we’re reaching out to, our moral, considerate readers.

Don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day. Just give it a rest. Have a little sympathy for those poor people who have their patriotic desire to celebrate this most American of holidays with their family stolen from them. Do it for their children and grandchildren. Every nation celebrates its own birthday. We were the first to have a day just to be grateful for things like family and tofu and turkey and Tofurkey.

And when you do venture out for Christmas shopping, don’t spend a dime at stores that are open on Thanksgiving. Know also that all their loss leader sale items will be gone by Black Friday, so you should spend your money at the small, locally owned stores that let their employees spend Thanksgiving home with their loved ones.