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Interactive video lesson plan for: Does Black Friday Shopping Keep Workers from Their Families? | C. Nicole Mason

Activity overview:

Do big sales and shopping mania keep workers from their families the day after Thanksgiving? That's a common moral high ground, but it ignores the real needs of those on hourly wages. Mason's latest book is "Born Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America" (


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Transcript - One of the things that really, really upsets me – a lot of things upset me but this upsets me – is that the people who are talking about poverty and what should be done are the people who are not or are least likely to be affected. So we’re talking about policymakers. We’re talking about, you know, my colleagues – middle class people who are not worrying about, you know, their lack of healthcare, health insurance. They’re not wage earners. I mean hourly wage earners. So I’m, you know, so I feel like I’m also living in a bubble, right. So I live a very comfortable life, you know, in a great neighborhood, great schools. All the things that I talk about in terms of what works.

And so what that means is that I also hear what people are saying, right. So the conversation is oh, you know, it’s so bad. Why are people, you know, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, whatever store – close down for, you know, don’t open on those days, right. You know you’re horrible, you’re screwed, you’re this, that and the other. And then I’m like that is such a classist thing to say. It’s classist. Because if you depend on an hourly wage and if you – and I did, you know, when I was growing up and so did my parents. So I know that people sometimes like to work on the holidays because you get paid time and a half, right. So if you close the store and I’m not able to work and I depend on those hours and the extra money to be able to provide for my family then were does that put me? So there’s like this whole, you know, moral ground that I think people sort of take without really thinking about well what’s the impact of the people and the workers. Now if you were to say well, close the stores and pay the workers then that’s a different story. But the idea that we’ll close the store because you’re being a scrooge. Everybody should be home with their families doesn’t really take into consideration the complexity of people’s lives. Read Full Transcript Here:

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