Remembering Jdimtyai Damour

This is Jdimitai Damour. I am remembering him again this year, on Black Friday, as I have every year for the past several. If you are curious as to why, you can read about it here.

It’s just been a few years since his death, at a Walmart store in New York, and even in that short time it seems Black Friday has gotten even more insane. For example, tonight I read where many stores didn’t open at midnight…they opened at 10 pm.

A church member just posted that as he was driving back from Fort Worth tonight, every single Walmart and Target store parking lot was filled.

Let’s be clear: there is nothing about Black Friday even remotely connected to the real meaning of Christmas.  Not even in the slightest.

Let’s be also clear: to stand against the orgy of Black Friday is not to stand against the interests of working people. It’s to stand FOR them. It’s to stand up for better working conditions, reasonable working hours, and, by God, decent wages…so that one day folks like Jdimitai might not feel caught in a forced-choice between not making ends meet and working on Black Friday.

He still is, to my mind, still the Martyr of Black Friday. And his death, literally and figuratively, teaches volumes about what is wrong with this country.

We have not only not learned a thing by his death. Instead, year after year, we march on in an orgy of consumerism that, by its very nature, can never be sated.

(As always, if you like this post, then “like” this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too…)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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