Give Back

If you’re gonna be part of the American nightmare that is Black Friday, at least shop for a cause

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As much as it may pain some people to admit, shopping for insane deals on televisions, video games, and other consumer goods during Black Friday is now an American tradition up there with casual racism and fighting with your family members about politics over the dinner table.

Given the future that we as Americans now face going into Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s understandable that people might want to indulge in a little retail therapy. But rather than simply shopping the pain away in isolation this Friday, there are a number of ways people can spend their money knowing that they’re contributing to causes dedicated to preserving civil liberties for historically marginalized folks.

The simplest and most direct way to conscientiously drop some of that sweet, sweet Black Friday cash is to literally just donate directly to an organization like Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the ACLU, which has gone on the record and promised that it will fight Trump in court if and when he attempts to turn the draconian policies he proposed during his campaign into actual law.

Immediately after the election, the ACLU saw a drastic uptick in donations that totaled about $8.2 million. That was a fantastic start, but we’ve got four long years ahead of us. If you can drop a few hundred bucks on a discounted flat screen television this week, you can definitely drop 50 bucks in the mail to an organization that’s going to go to the mat to protect your rights. Besides, donating to most of these non-profits will yield you a nice tax deduction come April, with which you should feel free to treat yourself.

But if you can’t wait until spring to purchase a material object, there are plenty of online retailers—Racked has a nice list—who are ready to hook you up in style and contribute portions of their proceeds to groups like Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and the Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund. As a bonus, many of them (like this Sara Benincasa-inspired tote) will provide inspirational post-election gifts for all your despondent friends.

And finally, if you want your holiday haul but don’t want to support the CEOs of Target and Best Buy, it’s important to remember that you can always shop at local, small businesses run by women, people of color, and LGBT-identified folks and directly support the communities they represent.

You may be thinking, “Hm, most of these things won’t actually be on sale and Black Friday is about deep, deep discounts.” That’s true, but ask yourself what kind of investment you’re willing to make towards the well-being of others, not to mention yourself. Rampant holiday season consumerism is, you know, problematic, but if you’re going to spend a few coins this weekend (or, actually, whenever) then at least do it with the knowledge that your money’s going to help to keep fighting the good fight.