What You Should Know

Ruben Diaz

November 28, 2011

By the Rev. Senator Ruben Diaz

While the City’s poor residents were the losers of the week, Walmart was the big winner.

The local, state and national media have reported that, in terms of sales, this past Thanksgiving weekend was the largest in history.

"Black Friday," as the day after Thanksgiving is called, generated an unprecedented $52.4 billion in sales, providing an enormous boost to the economy. Despite the fiscal crisis, consumers spent a historic amount of money on “Black Friday.”

Shopping centers, supermarkets and all types of stores were overcrowded with people, including rows of consumers who either slept or stood in lines for more than 48 hours prior to "Black Friday."

Despite reports of fights, insults and pepper spraying, because of the astronomic sales, “Black Friday” was a blessing for Walmart. “Black Friday” provided the opportunity of the century for the nation’s poor to take advantage of the bargain prices for clothing, household goods, food and other items sold at Walmart.

However, because the family of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s club, has not been allowed to build a store in New York City, the City’s poor residents who could not afford to travel to a Walmart store, were not so fortunate.

I understand those who oppose building a Walmart in the City. What I do not comprehend is why the City’s poor, mostly Hispanics and African-Americans pay the consequences? Because they could not benefit from these mega bargain sales, they were the biggest losers. However, despite major opposition in the City, the Walton family still reaped in major profits. Clearly, opposition to Walmart does not extend to the average person. There was no evidence of any major boycott, including the City’s poor residents.

Although I deplore the violent incidents at some at some Walmart stores, I congratulate Walmart and Sam’s Clubs for their astronomical sales. However, I feel much more sympathy for the City’s poor who failed to benefit from Walmart’s bargains.

I am the Rev. Senator Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.