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No, ‘Black Friday’ does not refer to slavery — just our annual frenzy of consumerism

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Social media posts by R&B singer Toni Braxton and NBA player J.R. Smith have highlighted an inaccurate urban legend about the origins of “Black Friday.”

Many Americans have called for a boycott of the post-Thanksgiving retail sales — which kick off the official start of the holiday gift-buying season — to protest the decision by a Missouri grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

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Braxton and Smith shared viral images on their Facebook and Instagram accounts promoting the boycott by tying the origins of the annual orgy of consumerism to slavery.

“DID YOU KNOW: Black Friday stems from slavery?” the illustration asks. “It was the day after Thanksgiving when slave traders would sell slaves for a discount to assist plantation owners with more helpers for the upcoming winter (for cutting and stacking fire wood, winterproofing, etc.), hence the name.”

The viral image made the rounds last year on social media, but it’s not clear how long the urban legend has circulated.

The day after Thanksgiving has been known “Black Friday” since at least 1951, according to Snopes, when the term referred to workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving to give themselves a four-day weekend.

The term had consumerist connotations by 1961, when Philadelphia police used “Black Friday” and “Black Saturday” to complain about additional traffic and other problems associated with shoppers heading out to begin their Christmas shopping.

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Retailers began advertising “Black Friday” sales by the late 1980s, because the surge in sales often pushed business owners balancing their books from red into the black.

Bookkeepers use red figures to indicate losses and black figures to indicate profit.

Braxton captioned her Facebook post with, “No Black Friday for me,” while Smith quickly removed his Instagram post after followers pointed out the inaccuracy.

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Ted Cruz mocked for tantrum about Gorsuch siding with Native American rights: ‘Way to channel Andrew Jackson’

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In a surprise move on Thursday, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with Native American rights, ruling that Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting tribal sovereignty over much of the eastern portion of the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to Twitter to vent his outrage over the decision.

Neil Gorsuch & the four liberal Justices just gave away half of Oklahoma, literally.

Manhattan is next. https://t.co/Ic9gqqznJp

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace chuckles after Times reporter explains why Trump has no hope of pivoting to an empathetic campaign

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace struggled to stifle a chuckle in a conversation about President Donald Trump's struggle to run a campaign that can contend with most Americans' needs in a horrific pandemic.

"I think to Nick [Confessore's] point earlier, there should be a sense of nervousness in Trump's camp," began Democratic strategist Basil Smikle. "You don't see -- you talked about enablers. You don't see Republicans engaged in their behavior with respect to the president at this juncture. You're starting to see them not nationalize he's the president of the United States. They should be more allied with him, but instead, they're focused on local campaigns. The president has lost several cases at the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act case notwithstanding. There's a lot of things they should be rallying around, but they can't."

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Here’s how bad things are for Trump after the Supreme Court ruling: columnist

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In a piece for Vanity Fair, columnist Eric Lutz addressed the degree to which President Donald Trump is in trouble after the ruling by the Supreme Court on his financial records.

Trump has spent the better part of four years fighting any transparency about his finances and taxes, which many have suspected might reveal illegal activity.

"He's not going to release his tax returns," said senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in 2017. "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."

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