Black (Thanksgiving) Friday

Black (Thanksgiving) Friday

Brace yourselves.
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The holidays, the most wonderful time of the year. When everyone gets together with their families and crafts huge expansive meals and they all gather on the couch to watch their favorite movies and play games. Sounds perfect right? It pretty much is. Until Black Friday comes. When all family values go out the window, all general well-being for humanity is erased for that 200 dollar flat screen television. Black Friday used to be a cool event, but now it’s gotten out of hand and it’s breaching on the sanctity of the holidays.

The past four to five years my family has hosted Thanksgiving and it’s been an absolute blast. Our house is packed to the brim with family, food, and football. It’s always a fun time and around nine or ten when things start to wind down and family leaves we strap on the coats hats and gloves and we pack in the van with mom and head out around midnight. I was always young and never had a job or real money to get anything but for some reason I loved standing in line with my mom who was there to actually get something. We’d stand in line through the cold and sometimes the rain and once we finally got in the store the excitement was so much fun. People rushing to get their gifts, people running around with carts full of TV’s, it was so interesting to watch. And after visiting a few places we’d go to Steak n Shake or somewhere open 24 hours and get some food at some ungodly hour in the morning. It was all such a fun experience. But it’s changed so much.

That was back in the day when places didn’t open until four or five a.m. or later. So it didn’t infringe on your family Thanksgiving at all. Aside from the crazy people who go out and line up the days before Black Friday, you didn’t really have to worry about getting in line until later at night. But as the years went on places started opening sooner and sooner. Now places are opening at five and six p.m. That’s in the afternoon! When everyone should be in their homes enjoying stuffing and turkey! Who in their right mind wants to go out in the middle of the day and throw away their Thanksgiving for a few good deals? It’s gotten out of control and it seems entirely superfluous.

The reason this is all happening is because of two things: 1) People didn’t want to go out at five in the morning to get the deals and 2) Amazon and online retailers were stealing storefronts business online and on Cyber Monday. So stores thought “Hey, instead of opening on Friday at say, nine a.m. let’s open at five p.m. on Thanksgiving.” This is only going to cause more headaches and more chaos among customers. Every year we are seeing insane videos of people being trampled and injured during store openings as customers barge through the doors, disregarding any safety and organization the store has set up.

So I propose that instead of stores opening earlier, push it later and make Black Friday on FRIDAY, and not the sacred family time of Thanksgiving. Or just cut it out entirely and make everything online because that’s what we’re moving towards. Either way I plead, don’t waste your time out there on Thanksgiving Day, stay in with your family. And when you do go out, be safe and smart. There’s no sense in hurting someone over a five dollar toaster.

Cover Image Credit: Cinema 5D

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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