It’s maybe just a little cynical but nowhere near as crazy as what is actually happening in some U.S. cities.
“Another toaster oven?!!” She sounded mad, “Another toaster oven!!!! We already have, what, six of those. You can’t sell them, and we damn sure don’t need more than one to cook with.” He knew she wanted to slap him, she even drew back her hand, but then she threw it up with the other in exasperation.
“Damn boy, where’s the computers or TV’s? The cellphones, some real jewelry like diamond rings and things you can bring home in your pockets? What about cash from the registers? Toaster ovens!!!” She walked in a circle, her hands in the air.
“But Momma, that’s one of them high-end air-only ovens, the kind you see on television. It’s worth more than two-hundred and fifty dollars.”
“Shit, I don’t want no two-hundred and fifty dollars!!! Don’t you understand this opportunity the government is giving us? It’s time for us to get what is due us, what people have stolen from us. This is time for reparations for how we have been treated and I mean to get my, she caught herself, our fair share!!!’
“But Momma,” He knew there was no reasoning with her once her blood was up still… “We ain’t Black. Those reparations they’re talking about are for the Blacks.”
“Don’t matter none boy, we have been just as put upon as the blacks, this ain’t got nothing to do with slavery, these are reparations the rich owe us! Now, tomorrow night you get in front of a jewelry store and when they break the window you go for where they have the rings and watches in the counter. Take your daddy’s hammer, Lord knows it ain’t doing him no good in jail, and you bring home some money and lots of jewelry. None of that fake stuff like you see on television and remember they don’t sell the good stuff at Target. You got to go to a real jewelry store.”
“But this is stealing Momma.”
“No, it ain’t. It ain’t stealing!!! She stamped her foot on the floor, hard.
It’s justice for us poor. You just think that. This is justice for what they’ve done to us, to me, to your daddy, to my daddy and momma. This is just justice. Now we get to get ours.”
“But Momma, who is ‘they? You always say ‘they’ but who are they?”
She looked at him with the exasperation only a parent who thinks they have a stupid child can get.
“They are everybody who has kept us from getting our fair share. That’s who they are!! They’re the people on television and the people in government and all those rich people that live on the North Side. That’s who they are!!
She stopped and thought a minute. “Maybe I should go with you and wear my coat with the deep pockets.”
Then she remembered the pictures on television. Sure as day somebody would recognize her and the next thing the government would take away her Social Security disability payments and she needed those payments. Without them she would have to go back to work.
“No, Junior you can collect the reparations payments by yourself and this time it had better not be another toaster oven.”