Cooking Oil vs iPods: A Study in Contrast on Black Fri

It’s the biggest shopping day of the year here in America. It’ll have such a big and powerful impact on our economy and society that the news networks are calling it Black Friday (do they always?). I learned this when my eyes caught video news footage today of mob scenes at malls across America… at 5 am!! I couldn’t figure out why the shopper mobs were so striking until I realized that we’re normally used to seeing people mob about things that actually matter, like controversial death sentences, food shortages, and political opression. So I started looking for more images.On Monday, the Sudanese women on the left were waiting in line for cooking oil at the Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) of Mourni (via AFP). UN officials estimate that 2 million people will be displaced from their homes in the Darfur region by next month, which has to be at least the number of people in America who probably couldn’t tell you if they had cooking oil in their kitchen or not.Early this morning, on the other side of our globe, hundreds of people lined up outside the Best Buy in Little Rock, AR before daybreak to get a head start on their holiday gift-buying (via AP). Their relief came in the form of coffee and donuts. What a contrast.

Maybe we all need something to be desperate for, regardless of where we were born or where we live. However, if there’s one day when humanitarian relief workers and recipients around the world don’t receive American news broadcasts, I hope it’s today.Here are some more quality photos from today, equally as shocking. WalMart in East Windsor, CT (via AP):

Toys R Us in Little Rock, AR (via AP):

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