Inversions of War

Flipping all the arrows around in one fell swoop.


From The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson:

“No, we not gonna pick one. You can send the truck back to town, and we’ll wait. Got nothing to do.”

“Y’all just doing us this way because y’all got the advantage over us. This war ain’t gon’ last forever, and, by God, y’all gon’ pay for this.

“We already paid,” George said. “All these years we couldn’t even ask how much you were paying for a box of fruit or we’d get fired. You gave us what you wanted to give us. You promised us one thing and give us another. You put the payday off whenever you get ready. Sometime you didn’t pay us, period. So now, far as I’m concerned, this is reckoning day. And I ain’t worried about after the war. You can pay us what we want, or else your fruit gonna hang out there. And they want it in New York. They want it all over the world, and you ain’t got nobody to pick it.”

The pickers had more money in their pockets than they were raised to think they had a right to, and times were the best they had ever been, which said more about how meager the past had been than how great the present was. There was a war going on, after all. They hated that there was a war, but they knew that it made them indispensable for once, and deep inside they wished it would never end.

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