“So what do we do now?” he said.
He shook his head. “Duh. Yes, ‘we.’ Did you think I wouldn’t get involved?”
“The last time you sat where you’re sitting and I sat where I’m sitting, you told me that it was different for you. You told me that the risk was bigger if you’re brown than if you’re white.”
“Yeah, I said that. It’s every bit as true today as it was, then, too.”
“But you’re in.”
He looked out into the darkness and didn’t say anything. I smelled his gum.
“Marcus,” he said. “Have you noticed how messed up everything is today? How we put a ‘good’ president in the White House and he kept right on torturing and bombing and running secret prisons? How every time we turn around, someone’s trying to take away the Internet from us, make it into some kind of giant stupid shopping mall where the rent-a-cops can kick you out if they don’t like your clothes? Have you noticed how much money the one percent have? How we’re putting more people in jail every day, and more people are unemployed every day, and more people are losing their houses every day?”
“I’ve noticed,” I said. “But haven’t things always been screwed up? I mean, doesn’t everyone assume that their generation has the most special, most awful problems?”
“Yeah,” Ange said. “But not every generation has had the net.”
“Bingo,” Jolu said. “I’m not saying it wasn’t terrible in the Great Depression or whatever. But we’ve got the power to organize like we’ve never had before. And the creeps and the spooks have the power to spy on us more than ever before, to control us and censor us and find us and snatch us.”
“Who’s going to win?” I said. “I mean, I used to think that we’d win, because we understand computers and they don’t.”
“Oh, they understand computers. And they’re doing everything they can to invent new ways to mess you up with them. But if we leave the field, it’ll just be them. People who want everything, want to be in charge of everyone.”
“So we’re going to win?”
Jolu laughed. “There’s no winning or losing, Marcus. There’s only doing.”