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"... That's Not Why"

10/25/2013 12:51 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

"That's Not Why....."

Nana.............. 73
Marcus......... 16

Setting: America, now. Fall evening in NANA's immaculate kitchen, complete with the original formica countertops.

Standing at her stove, NANA oversees her dinner, and snaps green beans. MARCUS slogs through his homework at the kitchen table, papers spread out and snack dishes pushed to the side. The television drones on in the background.

NANA: Did your Daddy call?

MARCUS: Yeah. He'll be here in about an hour.

NANA: And you'll be finished your work by then?

MARCUS: Yes ma'am.

NANA: It's a disgrace.

Marcus stares down at his recent test paper, then holds it up.

MARCUS: It's not that bad. I got a B. I'm doing the extra credit right now.

NANA: No baby. What they're doing down there in Washington, D.C. is a disgrace.

MARCUS: They do a lot of disgraceful things on the Hill, Nana.

NANA: Don't be fresh. You know what I mean.

MARCUS: I know what you mean, Nana. But the government's open now.

NANA: For now, but it'll always be something.

MARCUS' cell phone rings, and NANA stares him down until he silences it.

NANA: Change that station. They keep saying the same things over and over.

MARCUS unsuccessfully channel surfs.

NANA: We don't have to look at anything. I need to hear myself think.

MARCUS turns off the television. He walks over to a counter, and turns the radio on. As classic jazz fills the kitchen, NANA smiles.

NANA (CONT'D): Now that's what I needed. A little Miles Davis.

MARCUS: You like the oldies.

NANA: Who're you calling 'old'?

MARCUS: I didn't say you were old. I said you liked oldies.

NANA: Um. I do. That music takes me back.

MARCUS: You liked it back then, huh?

NANA: Reminiscing about old music is one thing, but other things weren't so great. This country is going backward.

MARCUS: But I thought you were glad Obama got in a second time. You don't like him now?

NANA: I don't know him Marcus. I guess I'd like him if I ever met him, but that doesn't mean I'm not frustrated, like a lot of folks.

MARCUS: You still think he's good, don't you? He got healthcare for everybody.

NANA: Yes indeed, he did. And that was a long time coming. He could have done a lot more if people acted like they had some sense. It's ridiculous. Wasting money the country doesn't have --

MARCUS: And shutting down the government.

NANA: That's right Marcus. Some of them'd rather shut down the government than have to answer to a Black man.

MARCUS: I know. Look at what they did to President Obama.

NANA: Yes, well--

MARCUS: And you know they're doing this to him because he's Black.

NANA: No baby. It's not because he's Black.

MARCUS: Nana, what are you talking---

NANA: Pass me those other beans. Please.

MARCUS walks to the far counter, retrieves the rest of the string beans and hands them to NANA.

MARCUS: You don't think any of this is happening because President Obama is Black?

NANA: There is nothing about his being Black that's causing all of this foolishness.
They're blocking the President and being nasty because they're racist.

MARCUS: Same thing.

NANA: No it isn't.

The End