Smintheus’ post, “In Thrall to Mammon” describes in horrifying detail what happened to Jdimytai Damour, the poor soul trampled to death by a slew of bargain-hunting savages at America’s Favorite Krap Hut, Wal-Mart.
The story has been discussed over coffee tables and elsewhere online.
“How could this happen? Who is to blame?”
For some, the answer is simple.
Wal-Mart, of course.
Perhaps the most high-profile opinion comes from United Food and Commercial Workers President Bruce Both who cites a lack of safety barriers and security personnel at the store to be the chief cause of the man’s death.
“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, the state of New York’s largest grocery worker’s union.
“Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?
“This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-Mart,” he said.
I am no fan of Wal-Mart. They don’t pay their workers well. They discourage cooperation with unions. They should have had more security.
Personally, I believe that they are merrily marching us all toward the second coming of feudalism.
But we are the ones marching there. Mammon, indeed. We must!must!must! have a new plasma-screen TV. (A New York Daily News article—the same one detailing the events that day– helpfully pointed out that the TV sells for $798.)
Wal-Mart is not responsible for Jdimytai Damour’s death.
The people who knocked Damour over as they streamed into the store are responsible. So are the people who stepped over Damour once he was down. So are those who stood in the way of people trying to help him. So are those who kept shopping even after they were told that someone died.
Frankly, that event underscores what seems to be our mantra: I am the most important person here. My needs are the most important, and I deserve to have anything that I desire. I am not personally responsible for that desire, nor am I personally responsible for what might happen to someone else during the pursuit of that desire.
We worship ourselves.