Black Friday was a black day, indeed, for a Jamaica, Queens family who will never be able to face an American Thanksgiving weekend the same way ever again. Jdimytai Damour was killed in a Long Island Wal-Mart by roughly 2000 people* stoned on hyper consumerism.
I am ashamed, deeply ashamed of my countrymen and women. I want to point my finger at those people; those stupid, selfish, brain dead idiots and yell “Murderers! Assassins! Cannibals!” but I can’t. The truth is I would be pointing the finger at myself. I am as guilty as the seething mob that blindly trampled on the body of a fellow human being to get to the next sale item. While I made a point of NOT shopping this past Friday or online the following Monday, the blood stains of that young man are on my hands too. I cannot turn away from this tragic, unnecessary loss of life. I wish I could just blame Wal-Mart and be done with it but we drove Wal-Mart to be what it is. Our culture demands that we demand our STUFF and so what if a guy dies getting in-between me and a great deal on a coffee maker or hair dryer or flat screen TV or what ever?
Mr. Damour’s untimely and completely unnecessary death draws a line I refuse to cross. There is nothing more precious than a life. There is no bargain mark-down or tempting super-offer to make it anything remotely near to acceptable that he was murdered on Black Friday. It is NOT OK!
I propose we institute a Damour Act of Decency where upon we all pledge to put the value of each other above all material things in this world. I want to see TV commercials that tout the amazing properties of a genuine act of compassion, sale signs that promote hugs with every purchase, where the value of a smile and a kind word are splashed across giant billboards along the Jersey Turnpike.
Do not mistake this for some Polyanna remedy to all our problems. The world will still be a dark and scary place. We will continue to grope hopelessly for meaning to our existence but remember that we are capable of transcending our present reality. We are America; we generate possibility. Bring value to human acts of decency; bring value to Jdimytai Damour’s life. Remember him next time you go shopping and invoke the Damour Act of Decency.
MMN – 12/2/08 NYC
*Daily News|NY Local
Gould, Trapasso & Schapiro
Daily News writers Updated Friday, November 28th 2008, 10:46pm