Seeing people’s blog posts about Buy Nothing Day was my first exposure to this movement. It seems like a great way to use our privilege as consumers in order to make a stance against corporations. However, coming from a low-income background, I can’t help but to wonder about who Buy Nothing Day is for.
While many can afford to stop making purchases on Black Friday and therefore protest against consumerism, this day in which people are able to buy items at discounted prices are to some a great opportunity to buy necessary things. Low-income families can benefit from this holiday by being able to make more purchases for a lower price.
Buy Nothing Day has good intentions. It aims to change a system in which corporations get all the money and leave little for the rest of the country, resulting in a dramatic difference between the 1% and the rest. Low-income people are obviously greatly affected by this system and would be able to live under better circumstances if this were to change. However, I don’t think that Buy Nothing Day is accessible to everyone and low-income people that decide not to participate should not be shamed for prioritizing their livelihood over politics.
Black Friday shopping mean different things for different folks. For many of us, it’s a game, a sport and an event we mark but for others, it’s a matter of necessity. This is why I have reservations about Buy Nothing Day.
Perhaps, the majority of us should sincerely adopt Buy Nothing Day and…let those who truly need the “doorbusters” be the first in line – for a change.