Charli Mills’ prompt this week is
September 2, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows the interaction of a migrant culture on the place of migration. It can be the reverse, too such as a migrant picking up on local customs. The idea is to explore exchanges.
This week is a sombre one when the subject of migrants is raised. I am firmly of the view that our fundamental humanity means we need to step up and help these people. I don’t remember the Kinder Transport of the 1930s but I do remember the Ugandans turfed out by Idi Amin and the Vietnamese boat people. I well remember that the pressure not to take these people was intense. Many siren voices said we were full and we couldn’t take any more. But we did and we have benefited. And each crisis ended. It’s not like this goes in for ever.
I read, I listen, I watch and feel a mix of emotions from irritated to downright angry at those who can’t see this, whose xenophobia is worn like a badge of pride. I feel right in my self righteous morality.
And then I read this post by Yvonne Spence and stopped. The crisis remains and I’m arrogant enough to believe my response is correct but Yvonne’s larger point has pulled me up short. I need to reboot my thinking because she’s right. I need a compassion and understanding for all, and not just those obviously suffering. Not shaming, name calling and calling out but understanding and persuasion. Please read, it makes so much sense.
So to this week’s flash. You may recall that, as Mary was tidying her parents’ garden she found a body. It turned out to be a child, probably the victim of a ritual killing. Well, read on….
In another’s shoes
Paul put down the phone. ‘The police. They wanted us to know that child they found – it wasn’t a ritual killing. The family had come from West Africa; it was their way of burying their dead.’
‘But the child had been dismembered.’ Mary shuddered. ‘I don’t understand it.’
‘If you’ve been brought up in a culture where it’s the only way to behave, how do you know different?’
‘You just should. It’s barbaric.’
‘It wasn’t that long ago we drowned witches. Maybe we need to empathise a little more, love. Put ourselves in their shoes.’
Mary nodded uncertainly.
The previous episodes can be found here.