After taking a sip of wine, Dad explained that certain Americans like inventing stories, especially tales that turn them into native people. Dad’s thesis illuminated nothing. The girl’s behavior still made no sense.
“But why?” I demanded.
“They think it’s exotic,” Dad over-asserted the word exotic to heighten its vulgarity, “and, it eases their conscience. It makes them feel better.”
“Better about what?”
“About taking things.”
“Ooooooh,” I uttered as the puzzle pieces slid together. By things, Dad meant the lands called the United States of America. Still, I didn’t want to believe that my friend, or her family, were liars, and so, I did the work of whiteness: I continued to defend her innocence.