I shattered the silence in the barbershop on this slow day when I mentioned that the U S of A and Russia might be starting WWIII over that mess in Georgia.
Leroy was the first to respond. “Georgia, why is Russia in Georgia? I’d better call my sister in Atlanta to see what’s going on. Hell, maybe I ought to get down there.” He got up and started for the door.
“Leroy,” Jabo called him back, “not that Georgia. The country of Georgia that’s near Russia.”
“Oh,” Leroy said, “I knew that, I just wanted to see if you fools knew it.”
“Man, who cares bout some country most of us folks here in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, don’t know nothing bout.” Alvin spoke in his ‘I’ve got something important to say’ voice. “I tell you what we ought to be talkin bout. We ought to be talkin bout that there resolution the representatives in congress passed a few days ago.”
“You mean the resolution that Steve Cohen, the representative from Memphis, sponsored apologizing for slavery.” I suggested.
“That is the one.”
“Why you so upset, it’s bout time the government of the U S of A apologized for what they done to our folks,” Jabo offered.
“Dang right,” Leroy supported Jabo.
“Alvin, what you got against the United States apologizing for slavery and segregation?” I asked.
“Look here, I don’t want no lame apology. It just like Oscar Brown Junior says on that song, I want my damn forty acres and my mule, and just think bout all that interest.”
“Man, Alvin, you are one big ass dreamer,” I said, “dream on fool. I’m here to tell you the government is not going for that reparation crap. Hey, it would probably break the treasury the government owes us so much money.”
“Alvin, you ain’t no farmer. What would do with a mule?” Leroy wanted to know.
“Leroy right, Alvin,” Jabo backed Leroy.
“Forget youall. I just want what I’m due for all those years my great, great, great grandpa and grandma worked for the white folks for nothing, not one red cent was they paid. Now that ain’t askin too much. If the government ever asks me what I want, I’m gonna tell’em the forty acres and the mule you owe my ancestors.”
It was futile arguing with Alvin once he got an idea in his head.