Don't blame Wal-Mart folks. They didn't make you flock into their stores by the thousands for a chance to swarm a stack of memory cards, Xboxes, waffle irons, or whatever else you could get your hands on!
And don't blame the cops either! Any idiot with half a brain cell can see that this sort of mayhem cannot be controlled by any outside force, it can't be slowed down by any show of force or authority once it started. In short, it's not policeable!
On the other hand, feel free to blame these cops for this (alleged) act of brutality. Of course, don't blame them for their inability to impose order on a crowd that defies order, blame them for not exercising their own common sense and just letting the guy pass. If Walmart is so concerned about loosing items to the five fingered discount during their Black Friday sales, perhaps they should reconsider having them. Call it the cost of doing business because there isn't anything that guy can slip into his pocket that is worth his life!
Nor can we blame capitalism, consumerism, mercantilism, or any other -ism we can think of. Nope, sorry folks, the blame for this sort of unruly chaos lands squarely on those who participated. It's demand that leads to this supply and that demand originates inside the homes and hearts of the common person, inside everyone appearing in the above film clips and everyone making them. Each and every individual we see in these clips decided as an individual to engage in this inhuman behaviour and each and every one is to blame for its outcome.
There's just no poetic way of expressing how disturbing and vile these scenes are when we realize that what they depict are thousands upon thousands of our fellow citizens, our neighbours, our relatives, maybe even ourselves, sacrificing our human dignity in exchange for pieces of plastic and metal, some of which have been given the financial value less than that we might, on a lucky day, find on the street.
If that plea for dignity and common sense doesn't move you to, (a) avoid kicking and scratching your neighbours as you descend upon that dwindling stack of Nintendo Wiis (there is a reason why the name of the system is also slang for a bodily function), (b) backing off the the poor WalMart slave (they don't want to be their either!) whose been given the garbage bag full of merchandise (how poignant it is that the merchandise arrives in a garbage bag!) and sent to risk his or her life on the storeroom floor, (c) stepping out of the line of 500 people waiting to pick up one of 25 items (the math isn't hard, customers 26 through 500 are not getting that camera without resorting to violence), or (d) staying home, then maybe the following will:
Go back and watch the first video again. When you do, imagine this: imagine that woman in the blue t-shirt with her butt sticking out is your granny, or mom, or aunt, or sister, or daughter (you know she's one of these things to someone!). Now imagine that you're the one on Christmas day who unwraps the waffle maker, or, rather, one of the four people to unwrap the waffle makers she managed to get away with. How would you feel knowing what she went through to get it? Never mind how much the item cost, how would you feel knowing how low she sank for that stupid waffle maker? Does it look like she put a lot of love and consideration into picking for you the perfect expression of her affection (for you and three other people)? I would like to think that after all the chaos of Black Friday has subsided and when family and friends have finally gathered for some recreation and celebration, that most people would recognize that waffle maker for what it is, a worthless prize in a meaningless game, a token of nothing but your granny/sister/daughter's compulsion to act like an animal when she finds herself among animals. I'd like to think that most people who stop to put two and two together--Black Friday chaos and the Christmas ideal--that shame and indignation would be the only sentiment filling their hearts. Now imagine being reminded of that shame and indignation every time you use that waffle maker--that is, if you ever do use that waffle maker. Wouldn't that seriously diminish your opinion of the person who gave it to you? If it doesn't, don't you think it should!