When Benjamin Barber asserts, “Black Friday is not something we do; it is something being done to us.” he means that corporate America is imposing consumerism on Americans. Barber claims that businesses do not respond to our needs as much as they attempt to create our wants. In other words, they are trying to tell Americans what they should be purchasing whether they need or not. Barber is furious at the fact that consumerism has become such an integral part of American society that instead of responding to the needs of millions in third world countries, businesses are more focused on meeting unnecessary wants in America.
Barber cautions that this consumerism is damaging the fabric of the society, taking attention away from all important things such as family and festivals because it has turned every holiday and event into a commercial festival. It is time to realize things have gotten quite serious when more than 20 million Americans who leave home for shopping, don’t even know what they are going to buy.
Barber rejects the idea that businesses are simply responding to demands from the consumers who want more time to shop. He argues that it is merely an excuse from businesses to relieve themselves of any fault because they only do it for themselves. The businesses’ survival and profitability depend upon consumers’ never-ending desire for shopping.
Barber asks the readers to resist this corporate raid because if left unchecked, it may completely devour American traditional festivals like Thanksgiving and eat away at any remaining American spirit. This is why Barber reminds the readers at the end that Black Friday is not something consumers demand. It is merely a trick Corporate America uses to promote shopping addiction.