It Was Definitely One Black Friday

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It Was Definitely One Black Friday
By RAY HANANIA • Fri, Dec 02, 2011 –– Have the maniacs taken over the insane asylum?

It seems that way.

The holiday season isn’t supposed to be a fire sale at Walmart or Best Buy. It’s supposed to be a time when we gather our families together and we show some thanks.

But not everyone is able to enjoy life. Many have real problems. No money. No jobs. No food. And, now, no dignity.

And who is setting the example? President Barack Obama is stumbling. His Republican challengers are acting like idiots. And the economy is in a nose-dive.

With role models like that, no wonder the public is acting stupid, too.

All across America, consumers turned Thanksgiving and the Friday after into a real Black Friday.

A woman in Orland Park who reportedly lost her job decided to leave her dinner table on Thanksgiving night in order to stand in line at Best Buy so she could be the first in line for the store’s Midnight Sale.

They were selling garbage 42-inch flat screen TVs for $200.

Her story wasn’t the worst.

People were arrested for fighting in stores across the country, many of them were in Walmarts.

There was the melee captured on video that took place among customers who battled over the last few $2 waffle irons at an Arkansas Walmart.

In Los Angeles, a dozen Walmart customers had to be treated by paramedics after another customer shot them with pepper spray so she could grab one of the last Xbox video game systems. Pepper spray!

At a Walmart in Rome, N.Y., two women were injured and one man was arrested when they got into a fight over another popular sale item.

In Milford, Conn., police used a stun gun to subdue a Walmart shopper who was trying to grab a video game system, too.

And a 54-year-old grandfather — 54 years old — was bloodied by police when he reportedly resisted arrest at a Walmart store in Phoenix, Ariz.

We have soldiers dying in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting endless wars stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. We have pro-Democracy protesters trying to bring elections to their dictatorships in the Middle East. We have record lines at area food pantries and spiraling unemployment.

And we have the Communists making a comeback in Russia.

Isn’t there enough insanity in the world already?

Can’t we just be grateful for what we have rather than greedy for what we want?

There’s no doubt that Walmart didn’t come out looking very good as Thanksgiving 2011 faded into the past — and faded not fast enough.

But Walmart is just a company. The real victim, though, is the image of America, which took the biggest hit this past holiday season, a self-inflicted wound to our image.


I’ve known the Daley family for more than three decades, covering City Hall from Daley to Daley. It would not be right if I did not make room to offer my sincere condolences to the Daley family: Rich, Patrick, Nora, Lally and the families of Bill, Michael and John for the loss of a great woman, Maggie Daley, who succumbed to her decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was always a very kind and courageous person. The Daleys are good people and I wish them the very best at this tragic moment.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, media consultant and the host of Radio Chicagoland on WSBC AM 1240 Radio every Sunday from 8 – 11 am.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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