Advent Reflection, 2008
By Dennis Hankins
In Memory of Jjimyti Damour
For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Black Friday became especially bleak for the family and friends of Jjimyti Damour. A temporary worker, 6-foot-5, 270 pound Damour, was asphyxiated at the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, Nassau County, NY, while trying to shield a pregnant shopper from the hordes of bargain hunters pushing their way in.
Lying on the floor dying, the throngs stepped over Damour in search of the deals of the day. Co-workers attempting to reach their fallen friend were prevented in reaching him by the crowds.
This scene just goes from horrible to unbelievable. Upon learning there is a death at the front door of the Wal-Mart, the police ordered the store closed. Many of the shoppers became indignant. After standing in line for hours, they saw no reason to be denied the bargains they came to get.
There is something very sickening about this whole Black Friday thing.
I know retailers hope that this day will bring their books out of the red. As someone has suggested, why not make this a week long event rather than a Friday only frenzy. I found the same product 2 days later at the same store at the same Black Friday only advertised price. I didn’t have to get up with the chickens or stand in line to get it. No one was trampled to death. No crime scene was quarantined. No one was hurt. What gives?
The life of a fellow human being cries out from the floor at this Wal-Mart. Family and friends of the victim are in shock. Of course there will be law suits. How about the folks at Bentonville, AR, corporate offices for Wal-Mart, just take this grieving family aside and do what’s right. Leave the lawyers and the courts out of this. Skip the legal angling and meet this family with the appropriate emotional and monetary response. Anything less is unconscionable.
And for the folks in line that morning, the police are looking for you.