The Blackest Friday

Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving melee where shoppers stampede to get the consumer goods for super cheap, is now over. It’s the madness of consumer capitalism in action as people literally risked life and limb to get the latest widget for their loved ones, made all the more intense given the crappy economy.

Black Friday also refers to a pivotal event in Iranian history where large numbers of people were running – not towards the objects of their materialist desire, but away from the Shah’s army which killed unarmed Iranian protestors.

Numbers range from 84 killed to the thousands, but either way it serves as a reminder what American neocolonialism is – the brutal suppression of democracy, like the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh – as well as the fiction that neocolonialism can be voted out by electing a Democrat as president; it was Nobel Laureate and “Peace, Not Apartheid” author Jimmy Carter that was president at that time.

It’s largely forgotten now, but it was Carter that called the Shah to his face: “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” Months later, Iranian troops were gunning Iranians down in the streets of Tehran – with American guns and American bullets – a scenario not that much different with the current administration’s relationship with the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak before he was deposed in the revolution that’s continuing in the streets despite American complicity and silence.

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