The whole country was split over what the message meant. They were calling Kamama “The Indian” and the FBI was working around the clock to figure out who he was. But they never found anything. Or if they did, they didn’t tell us.
“What should we do?” your mother asked when we made it back to her apartment.
“I don’t know,” Akeem said, shaking his head. “But we gotta do somethin’. This guy’s legit. If he could hack all the radios in the country, what else can he do?”
“Do you think we should do what he said?” your mother asked. “I mean, if we stay, we get killed. But should we give in and leave?”
“Well, The Indian’s got a point,” Akeem added. “This was a long time coming. It’s what we get for what we did to Native Americans. We did them real dirty. Honestly, I think they had it worse than slaves.”
“I don’t know about all that,” I said. “Calm down.”
“Nah bro,” Akeem went on. “Think about it. We went 400 years without ever talking about these dudes. 400 years? That’s like somebody walking in your crib and throwing a party for 400 years and never talking to you. At least slaves were mixing the drinks. Native Americans didn’t even get invited to their own house.”
“He’s right,” your mother said, shrugging to me.
“You’re full of it,” your father said. “It doesn’t matter what we did to those savages. This is our house. I say we stay and fight.”
“You would say that,” your mother replied.
He nodded and added, “I’ve been itchin’ for a chance to blow the teepees off these Indians.” Except he used a bunch of other words that I can’t say out here. And he didn’t call them Indians.
“What if we shared with them?” you asked.
We all looked at you because we hadn’t expected you to be paying attention.
“Awww, sweetie,” your mother said.
“What if we let them have half of America and we have the other half?”
That sounded like a really cute idea.
“Yeah sure,” Akeem laughed. “That always works. I mean look at Haiti and D.R. Wasn’t that France and Spain sharing?”
Your mother smiled as she kissed the top of your head. “Grown-ups aren’t really good at sharing, sweetie. Especially when it comes to sharing big things.”
“I say we get out of here,” Akeem said. “Everybody just get up and go back to their home countries.”
“What home country?” I asked him. “Africa? What you know about that Africa life?”
“It don’t gotta be Africa,” Akeem replied. “But anywhere but here. Bro, we got a whole planet of Air BnB’s to go to.”
“I’m down with that,” your mother agreed. “I say we go to France. I hear the food is amazing.”
“I was thinking somewhere a little more…” Akeem cut in. “Maybe…blacker? Like Jamaica, Bahamas. Maybe Puerto Rico.”
“Technically, Puerto Rico would still be America,” I noted.
“You think Kamama would count that? I mean, it’s not the continent.”
“You guys are a bunch of cowards,” your father said. “You’d rather turn around and give this land up to a bunch of redskins? We stay and fight. End of discussion.”
“You can stay and fight with your crazy white self,” Akeem scoffed. “I ain’t about to get my black behind whipped by Native American slavemasters who’ve been waiting 400 years to whip these cheeks.” He did say Native American. But he didn’t say “behind”.
“We could go to England,” your mother suggested. “We don’t have to learn another language. We’ll literally be going back home. Kind of.”
Your father spit on the floor and your mother screamed at him for it.
“Screw Europe,” he said. “We’re not going back there. And we don’t even speak that kind of English anymore.”
I had to admit, for once he had a point. Not to mention that we weren’t really on good terms with England after, you know, the whole Revolutionary War thing.
“Like I said,” your father kept going. “We stay and fight. Let’s start World War III with these mildly frustrating Native American Indians.” Except he didn’t say mildly frustrating. Or Native American Indians.
“All in favor of Jamaica raise your hand,” Akeem said, throwing his hand up. You put your hand up too because you had never been out of the country.
Your mother shrugged and put her hand up. The three of you looked at me and your father.
“Bro, you realize that you’re in the same boat as MAGA Mark?” Akeem pointed out.
“We are not in the same boat,” I corrected him.
“I don’t do boats,” Mark added. “That’s you people.”
I ignored his comment and kept going. “I honestly don’t think it’s gonna come to that, guys. Even if this guy’s legit, the FBI or CIA or somebody’s gonna have him behind bars in no time. I mean, if we caught Bin Ladin, we’ll catch this guy too.”
Akeem chuckled under his breath as you and him looked at each other. “If you say so. But when crap starts going down. Don’t come running to me. I’m gonna be living it up with oxtail and rum cake in Kingston.”
Our apartment wasn’t the only one in the country having this kind of discussion. The back and forth conversation went on for a few months on every network: FOX, CNN, Young Turks, TMZ, you name it. But eventually, somewhere around September, it all died out. I guess going back to school has a way of taking people’s minds off a possible future genocide. But little did we know that in just a few months, nothing would be the same.