'Black Thursday' Shopping Ban Shouldn't Be Limited to 3 States

Shoppers lined up for coffee in the mall black fridayForget Black Friday ... This year is all about "Black Thursday," aka shopping ON Thanksgiving. Because why should we stay home and be with our families, eating turkey, talking to one another, being merry without spending money ... when we could be at the MALL, nabbing doorbusters and deals on TVs, phablets, Xboxes, Baby Alive dolls, etc.!?! Ugh.

That seems to be the disheartening rationale of a few retailers with Thanksgiving shopping hours this year ... But thankfully (see what I did there?), it'll be illegal for stores to open on Turkey Day in at least three states! Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts all have "blue laws," dating back to colonial times that ban shopping on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sounds like something that should be a FEDERAL law, extended to all states!

While various states still have blue laws outlawing shopping or purchasing of certain goods (like alcohol) on Sunday, only these three New England states -- as well as Bergen county, New Jersey, known for its strict Sunday shopping ban, which extends to some of the state's biggest, most popular malls -- are flat-out refusing to allow Black Thursday. BRAVO to those local governments for standing their ground, despite efforts of retail groups to complain that shoppers are crossing into other states (womp, womp!) and aggressive attempts to change the laws.

This isn't just about preserving a day in which we are forced to focus on something other than materialism and commercialism. It's about giving workers a reprieve and the chance to be with their loved ones on one of the biggest, most family-oriented holidays of the year! The idea of Black Thursday is so unnerving for that reason alone. Are we really okay with being so greedy that we can't even give retail workers a break on Thanksgiving?

According to the AP, I'm not alone in my thinking. Plenty of would-be shoppers are opposed to the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving. Only 13 percent would prefer stores stayed open, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll. Although, sadly, I have to wonder ... who knows how many people are saying they disagree with it -- and then actually lining up in front of stores tomorrow?

How do you feel about Black Thursday?

 

Image via martinbowling/Flickr

in the news, law, shopping