An Open Letter to Jerry Stritzke

Dear Jerry,

Everyone in our country recognizes that Black Friday has gotten out of hand. Since the first Black Friday death in 2008 at the Valley Stream, New York Walmart and the appalling number of injuries and violence this “holiday” has caused, Americans have seen that something just isn’t right.

Retailers and shoppers know they should draw a line somewhere…but they can’t. And they probably won’t.

Why? The only answer I can come up with is that Black Friday is the one day per year where people are allowed to be consumed by their greed and pursue it with full force. It’s like a free-pass day to disregard human decency and buy, buy, buy. It’s also a day for retailers to capitalize on our love of things and watch their profits soar.

Greed is a funny thing, isn’t it? The love of money and stuff is truly insatiable. Even the Christians in the New Testament recognized this truth:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Your interviews about #OptOutside have touched solely upon the importance of going outside (which makes sense because that’s the entire premise of the campaign), but this campaign is an even bigger deal than that. You have chosen to put people before profits, before revenue, and before the insatiable black hole of human greed.

And to this, I must thank you. Thank you for setting a positive example. Thank you for caring about a cause that goes beyond your bottom line. Thank you for taking a stand for your values, even when no one else will.

I hope that you’ll continue this campaign year-after-year, and I hope other brands and Americans will join the #OptOutside movement — I know I will.


Erica S.