I have a few ideas for new blogs, but first I feel I need to get something off my chest. I was in a few groups on Facebook that had to do with things Scottish. I finally left them after a few months and here is why. Just about once a week or more a debate would ensue as to what exactly makes a person Scottish. There were, as there usually are a few members whose argument was that if you were not born in Scotland, then you can not be Scottish. To be Scottish, one must be born on Scottish soil.
Well, O.K. They are certainly entitled to their opinion. However, there are a number of people in these groups, and one group has almost 20,000 people, who are of Scottish heritage. They are from all areas that Scots emigrated to, fled to or just moved to. These being; Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina to name some of the bigger places. Any number of the people in the group, were offended by the idea that one must be born in Scotland to be considered Scottish. Many of the responders on the posts were Americans born to Scottish parents, others had Scottish grandparents and some, like myself had distant Scottish relatives. Where does one draw the line? Posts piled on top of posts; debating back and forth. I read through them for a while, then I just had to stop. It was the same argument over and over again. I was disgusted and so I left.
What do I think makes a person Scottish. Those of us with Scottish ancestry feel that our ancestors make us Scottish in a way that is obviously different from those born in Scotland, but nevertheless, just as deeply felt. We glory in the things of Scotland. We are honored and amazed at the strength some of our ancestors showed in circumstances that were difficult to say the least. I won’t go into a discussion of the Highland clearances but you can Google it for yourselves. Many of us feel this longing for the home of our ancestors. These things that I feel make me Scottish are the exact points that the debaters said were not acceptable. These were not reasons to consider oneself Scottish.
I’m not hear to argue this, obviously, just to vent a bit as I said. My husband is black. He is referred to by many as African-American. His distant ancestors were from Africa. Here’s a question. Is it the race thing that makes it o.k. to call a black person African-American but not a person with distant ancestors in Scotland, Scottish-American?
I don’t really have the answer to that last question and I don’t go around calling myself a Scottish-American but why don’t I?
I’m done venting, for now.