By now I’m sure everyone has heard of Walmart employee Jdimytai Damour who was crushed to death early Friday morning by a stampede of crazed shoppers. One does not even know what to say about such a senseless death.
Mob psychology aside, this appalling event is indicative of a much larger problem in this country. Thousands of people lined up all over the nation to buy things they don’t need during a time of economic crisis. The corporate consumerist ethos has trickled down and made us sick with greed. A man is dead because people wanted $50 off a tv! And stores set up this mayhem by advertising “extremely limited quantities” and “special prices from 5-8am”. The Long Island Walmart where Mr. Damour was killed was reportedly reopened by 1pm on the same day and again filled with shoppers. Not even a day to mourn? If folks weren’t already boycotting Walmart, this seems like an excellent time to start.
We must get it through our heads that no amount of “stuff” will lead to fulfillment. If anything good can come out of this economic downturn, I would hope that it would be people realizing that they can make due with less. If anything good can come out of Mr. Damour’s death, I hope it will be a wake-up call to slow down and have compassion for one other.
Performance artist/activist Reverend Billy is doing some excellent work in this area. I urge folks to check out his documentary What Would Jesus Buy?. It seems especially timely this holiday season.