Wal-Mart Shoppers Trample and Kill Employee Jdimytai Damour, Keep Shopping

A failure of values at the largest and smallest scales of society.

I’m used to reading about the high price of U.S. consumerism in the form of environmental devastation or economic inequality, but those ideas remain rather abstract and are measured in charts, graphs and lengthy academic articles. Last Friday, however, we saw the price paid in the much more intimate, familiar and tragic terms of a human life: Jdimytai Damour.

From New York’s Newsday newspaper:

A stampede of shoppers in a Valley Stream Wal-Mart on Friday morning left one worker dead and at least three patrons injured after an impatient crowd broke down the store doors and trampled the seasonal employee, Nassau police said.

Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens, was pushed to the ground by the 2,000-plus crowd just before 5 a.m. as management was preparing to open the store, which is located across from the main Green Acres Mall building. Hundreds stepped over, around and on the 34-year-old worker as they rushed into the store.

Being Haitian, Damour’s family has probably seen its share of tragedy expressed through violent mobs, but how do you explain to this man’s parents that their son died because a reasonably healthy and well-fed (by global standards) Long Island mob just couldn’t wait to get its hands on a $69 Samsung digital camera?

The murder of Damour is a failure of values at the largest and smallest scales of society.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018