Black and Blue Friday, and Strangers at the door… of our home

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune

By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune

“Home,” in this instance, means right here in the good ol’ US of A. On the one hand, those who have been heading for the border in that so-called caravan are not only there, but they have been storming it, determined to get past the barriers. President Trump, on the other hand, has declared that no one shall come in unless they come in legally.
Perhaps “invasion” is the only word to use now that we see what those in that “caravan” have been doing. Would any of us feel that it is perfectly okay if throngs of people showed up at our home and demanded to be let in? Chances are not one of us would look out the window, and seeing all those people — strangers and possibly even some dangerous strangers — would just automatically open the door and let them surge inside, perhaps even trampling those who invited them in. Of course, if they started throwing rocks and bottles at us and screaming all kinds of obscenities and even pushing on our doors, that might help us want to open our door all the faster, no? Who wouldn’t want to let such raging strangers into their home?
One could consider them somewhat like the throngs waiting outside the doors of the stores to open on Black Friday, and sadly, those shoppers would be no more polite or careful of all the others rushing through with them than the invaders at the border wall are of each other. It is no surprise that many get hurt, even seriously, when caught up in any kind of mob/throng activity — yet still possibly even using their children to be right up front to grab at the hearts of those on this side of the wall. Seeing them crying in the melee would be good for their publicity and possibly even create a sympathetic following that would soften up those resisting the intruders.
But still, would any of you open the doors of your home to even a small mob, especially after they start throwing those bottles and rocks at you?
Well, this — thronging immigrants wanting to come into our “home” — is not a new situation, but it is certainly an ongoing one. This is hardly the only time it ever happened, and if one checks up on how former president Obama handled it when it happened on his watch, one might be surprised. Such situations — where thousands are storming the gates, so to speak (possibly reminiscent of medieval times when the warriors of one town or kingdom stormed the castle of another kingdom) — obviously require something that can work quickly, before the intruders gain entrance and take over the territory that does not belong to them (envision the intruders storming the castle and making it over the parapet and killing off the guards who were supposed to keep them out; it is easy to see how that can be the beginning of the end for those in the castle).
Seriously, folks, no one is in favor of tear-gassing women and children. But is anyone in favor of thousands of invaders breaking into our country en masse, by force, and hurting or even killing those posted at the wall to protect us from the damage and destruction of those who have no regard for the rules of this country? Saying that and agreeing that we would all prefer to have a better solution to this whole situation, the reality is that until a better solution comes along, we are still obligated to protect our country and those who live here from all those who would hurt us and our country. Just as we would prefer not to hurt others, if someone were breaking into our home and would possibly or likely hurt someone or all of those in our family, we would feel obligated to do what we could to stop that intrusion and protect our loved ones. We would not be saying that those intruders have the same right to be in our home as does our family and that if they wanted to use up our food and grab for the beds first that that would be okay with us.
And then, while all eyes are on that situation, we remember that it is Cyber Monday, the so-called biggest shopping day in the history of the world, even bigger than Black Friday! Well, if nothing else, that proves that if you give the shoppers of this country a price they cannot refuse, they’ll come out in droves… or simply stay parked in front of their computer, checking every store and every item they have ever wanted till they find a price for one of those items that will ring their bell.
And while they are spending all that money, they’ll be thrilled that they are saving all that money! There is something to be said for saving money, but only if it was on something you were getting anyway, and it doesn’t take all one’s time and energy to get it, to say nothing of risking one’s life or limb. In a way, crazy shopping
maneuvers such as some people start employing to be ready for Black Friday, such as getting up at 3 a.m., so one can start waiting on line at 4 a.m. (or earlier) to get into a store a little bit sooner than the hundreds of people behind you, may seem like a good idea, but are the risks really worth it?
Many people get trampled by the initial rush into the store, rendering them unable to complete their plan for swooping into the store and grabbing at anything they can. Of course, if they make it in untrammeled and able to shop, they may well get the buy of the year, but everyone else who makes it in is also looking for those very same buys — bringing one up to the next level of risking one’s life or limb for a material deal. Is your body worth what you would be putting it through just for the saving of some money, even if it’s hundreds of dollars? What is the good condition of your body worth?
Then, of course, let’s say one actually gets a few of those big tag items into one’s cart; who’s to say someone won’t come along and do their shopping out of your cart?
Needless to say, Black Friday and the storming of our border are two totally different things, but let’s look at how those two separate groups of people might be somewhat similar. Both groups are willing to undergo long and uncomfortable hours of waiting for their moment of “getting in” (while one might have trekked hundreds of miles to get there, and the other may have just hopped in the car and driven about 30 minutes or so); they are dedicated to getting in so they are prepared for some hardships or some unpleasantness at the doors, be it
pushing and shoving, accidental pain from an elbow or a foot, or even worse, and nothing deters them. Then, when they see their opening, they surge forward with all their might, not even noticing the person next to them. No one thinks of shoppers, as a group, being an abusive, thoughtless, and even dangerous crowd. But check out the callousness of the shoppers even as they stepped over a shopper who was down and who — when he was finally able to get to a hospital — died shortly thereafter. That’s hardly the only example of throng-related death,
but considering that the danger is known, some adults bring their children or place their own delicate or fragile bodies into that melee-to-be. So proportionately, obviously, fewer people get hurt and die during a Black Friday than at the border these days as the intruders try to get in, but the concept is similar: There’s a good deal on the other side of those “doors,” and if we can just get in — no matter what it takes — we’ll be winners!
Be willing to spend a little more money and keep your bodies and your children safe on Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays, and apply to come into this county the legal way, and be willing to wait like all those before you had to do unless your need for asylum is critical…and real. Fake need for asylum requests spoil it for those who truly are escaping for their lives.
And under no circumstances believe that you are more important than others who are there to shop or more important than those who already live in this country — remembering that you are the intruder into their home!
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at

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