Happy Black Friday.
Sense the sincere lack of enthusiasm in those wishes? Good.
Forget for a moment the glaring double-standard of people tenting outside of major store outlets or mobbing them once the entrances are opened are now time-honoured Christmas traditions, but Occupy tents and peaceful protesters are pepper-sprayed and forcibly disbanded. This just goes to show where our priorities are. It's sad.
My deeper concern?
Fair Trade companies, and those micro-businesses and social enterprises working to assist marginalized people groups (women out of the sex trade, villages revitalizing themselves, etc), are jumping on the advertising bandwagon to keep up with Target, Apple, Wal-Mart, and the huge giants that tell us we NEED all their crap.
While I appreciate the need for these smaller operations to stay sustainable and alive as a part of vibrant community living and health, it is my person opinion that using the Black Friday ethos to peddle fair trade wares lives in direct opposition to the reasons why social enterprise and fair trade exists at all.
If these do-good enterprises are only feeding our gluttony, rather than helping to establish a more just and equitable world, why buy from them and not target? We're still perpetuating the cycles of greed and consumerism.
Soap box down.
Now down to the problem solving part.
How can we support both the ethos of social enterprise (peace, relationships, unity, community, equality, etc), as well as the enterprises themselves without falling into the tempatation consuming, consuming, consuming?