Friday Fiction – Foreign Invader

Today’s picture wasn’t immediately recognisable to me, except that it looked like continental Europe, but the title of the photo turns out to be Barcelona. I’ve been, once, on a soccer tour of all things (Pembroke Ladies, I think we lost every match), but perhaps this wasn’t a part we visited.

The picture is from Dee Lovering and Rochelle leads us as usual. I always appreciate honest comments and hope you’ll leave one today.

barcelona-2006-011

Foreign Invader

Mrs Bronson looked over her glasses and down her nose. “He’s dark-skinned,” she whispered to her husband in a voice that carried eagerly to their daughter’s ears and, no doubt, her new boyfriend’s.

“Slightly,” Mr Bronson concurred, somewhat quieter. “But he seems nice.”

“Think of the babies though.”

“Good God, woman, let’s not think of babies yet. She’s only nineteen.”

“Someone has to. We need to put a stop to it. Can’t have half-caste Grandchildren standing over our graves, Albert.”

“Christ! Now you’ve got her a mother and us dead!”

“Probably killed by that boy. I don’t trust the Spanish.”

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51 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

51 responses to “Friday Fiction – Foreign Invader

  1. LOL. This is funny yet conveys the racial prejudice of the times.

    • Mercifully less common in my time / world than many, but still more common than it should be. I’m glad it amused you too. I like to think there is a place for humour in topics like this as long as you’re laughing at, and not with, the culprits.

  2. Funny… though we are not supposed to find any racism funny. But I can easily imagine this very conversation coming from the mouth of my father…

    • As I said in the previous comment, I do think there’s humour to be found, as long as you’re laughing a the right people. Humour AND horror might be a more accurate description, I suppose.

  3. Such a totally believeable character. Well, both of them really – the long suffering husband/father too. I could just imagine this happening. Astutely observed, Jennifer.

  4. Can’t having half-caste (do you mean “can’t have half-caste”)

    I lived this! My parents put the kibosh on me dating a black man and my sister an oriental man way back when. I’d never thought they were prejudiced until then – and they still don’t seem to be. Strange, yes? Well portrayed.

    • Ooh, good spot. I’ve fixed the typo, thank you!
      Prejudice is a strange beast, isn’t it? I think sometimes it’s deeply ingrained even in people who know it’s wrong at the same time. Sorry you lived it, but I’m not surprised – many people have even in these modern more accepting times.

  5. Francesca Smith

    Wow, you have managed to transform something bad into an amusing story. A very believable tale and well written too.

  6. This plucked a nerve… amusing, but still all too common.

  7. Dear Jennifer,

    And this is why we have wars. Your portrayal of the jumping to conclusions that is the unique province of humans was perfectly rendered and, as is your style, delightfully real. Why is it that some people are allowed to reproduce?

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • As ever, Doug, your elegantly worded comment makes me smile. Thank you for your kindness about my writing, even amongst your understandable distaste for our race. Fortunately (because I don’t think mass sterilisation is an option!) those we might be tempted to castrate don’t always pass their prejudices on – the daughter in this story certainly doesn’t seem to have taken on her mother’s views.

  8. Deliciously and unforgivably racist.
    AnElephant enjoys.

  9. Funny conversation despite the racist undertone. I chuckled. Not at the racism but ….. Oh never mind.
    Tracey

    • I know what you mean, Tracey. As I’ve said above, I think we are allowed to find humour even at the same time as distaste, although I know it’s a tough line to walk or to define.

  10. Dear Jennifer,

    Some of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen of mixed parentage. Having said that, I really wanted to slap the mother in the story. Almost funny if not infuriating. Well written as always.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • Slap away Rochelle, her closed mind is probably a symptom of her upbringing and environment (by which I mean to blame the society and people who raised her, not to justify her prejudices), but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be shown the error of her ways.
      As we trend towards a society where diversity is the norm, such issues become hopefully less relevant, but we are still a long way from that.

  11. That’s so believable Jennifer – and in India, a very common scene, even though all are from the same Indian race!

    • I wasn’t actually thinking India (half-caste was heard in the UK in my lifetime to simply mean ‘mixed-race’) but I can see how the story would apply in that context too

  12. Haha. It is funny although the prejudices this piece expresses are not. Thank heavens for the father. He has a great sense of humour and I think he will make her see sense.

  13. Taking xenophobia beyond the placenta: interesting concept!

  14. What a mother! That poor girl. good thing she has a cool dad to even things out.

  15. Rather fun if one ignores the prejudice. She’s a nasty one is mum!

  16. These people are so pathetic they’re somewhat funny when we’re not directly affected. That way of thinking, sadly, can be found everywhere, maybe that’s why we recognize these people. You’ve described that perfectly, great story.

  17. In this very week, your story packs a wallop. And yet Mrs. Bronson probably doesn’t consider herself prejudiced at all.

  18. Racism is so ugly. Conversations like these from “good church folks” had me convinced, as a multi-racial child, that it would be a sin for me to marry and have children. If it was wrong for people of different races to date or get married, then how could I possibly do the right thing since I was, in myself, multiple races? Fortunately, I grew up and realized that those people were completely full of Sh**.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking story this week, Jen.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • I’m so glad you escaped that world, Marie Gail. I really do believe that one day we will have a world where nobody gives a monkey’s about such things, but sadly we’ve got a long way to go.

  19. I love the banter, and especially love the husband. Puts the wife’s beliefs in the ridiculous and laughable perspective to which they belong…and never loses the wonderful writing and humor we enjoy. Very well done!

  20. This is chilling actually… Unfortunately this type of absurd views still exist. Well captured through dialogue.

  21. You always write such believable characters! I loved the story, even though it portrayed a sad reality. Dad sounds like he might bring a little balance to the situation. Well done.

  22. Chilling darkness in a very realistic dialogue, Jennifer. I’ve heard some pretty horrible things said to my Jewish children, and given the state of the world, when it comes to race… a very powerful story, very well told.

    • I really don’t get it. As children it is somewhat natural to pick out differences (whether that’s the kid in glasses, the car your parents drive, whatever), but you’d hope as adults we’d have grown out of such ridiculous judgements – or at least of allowing them to hurt others. Sadly not.

      • Frankly, I think many adults are much worse than kids. It’s the moms that I often find very mean and manipulative. As adults, we should know better… but it’s as if we simply know how to inflict more pain.

  23. Great work. With your light touch you show her bigotry to be laughable and ridiculous,as it is. Satire works so effectively to expose error and evil.

  24. Unfortunately this type of prejudice is still only too common. You do a good job of bringing the characters to life. I can’t decide whether I want to slap or laugh at the mother’s attitude and I pity her long suffering husband. Good story. 🙂

  25. Dee

    Hi Jen
    I smiled when I read this, as the ‘mother’ reminded me of my aunt. She said things like ‘I’m not racist, I just speak my mind.’ This was usually before she did make a racist comment and couldn’t understand the backlash she received from us as she was just ‘speaking my mind.’
    Well written as always.
    Dee

    • My husband and I often talk about the “I’m not [prejudiced / racist / judgemental] but…” language that so many people use to justify comments they know are unacceptable but genuinely believe. You can’t change people’s beliefs simply by making them socially taboo – the only thing you can really do is change things a generation at a time.

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