Columns and Letters

A vehicle for the ignorant?

Dear editor,

It never ceases to amaze me how people of obvious ignorance can so proudly display that ignorance in as many forums as possible. But I guess, in this age of enlightenment and the internet, ignorantly displaying one’s stupidity has become fashionable.

I am sorry to say that I haven’t purchased this paper since over 20 years, when I first noticed that the paper was becoming a vehicle for those ignorant of issues to have their say on those very same issues. One only had to look inside the front or back cover. Anyone with an opinion is lauded and praised for adding to the debate where nothing of which is said is of any resemblance to common sense nor of relevance to the issue in question. I have had, since then, on occasion, taken opportunities to read stories of interest while visiting Oran subscribers. Like the article regarding the “so-called Gaelic College.”

To a Gael, whose people have been attacked by a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide, the consideration of anything “Royal” is as logical as asking anyone of Jewish faith and heritage to consider joining the Nazi Party. To purport to be a Gael, ignorant of the offensive nature of this symbol to an exiled and scattered race, is nothing short of complete and utter stupidity.

We have reporters, happily sauntering about, asking anyone’s opinion, knowledgeable or not, who may have an opinion on this “honour” bestowed by these “Royals” on their victims of centuries of oppression. Would not these same reporters be charged with hate crimes if they rushed into Jewish communities asking their opinions on adoption of Nazi symbols because some brain dead individual suggested it would be a great idea.

But as the years have shown, since its inception, this “so called Gaelic College” has displayed no interest in preserving the culture, language and music that those exiled Gaels had salvaged from their “Royal” oppressors and kept alive for generations on this soil. The college has elected to import “anything but” local music, Gaelic and culture. In the words of an old Gael last summer, “Tha iad direach a magadh air a ghadhlig” (They are just mocking the Gaelic). In speaking to a wonderful lady from River Denys last year, who spoke softly in the same beautiful tones of her grandmother’s Mabou Coal Mines Gaelic (a Gaelic probably never heard inside classrooms at the “so called Gaelic College”), she sadly said that a lot of people talk Gaelic to her, but all she ever hears today is “book Gaelic.”

To be a Gael (or anything else) is to know from whence you came. History as told in the language, song, story and music is the foundation of realization of one’s identity in any culture. With this college, none of what was ours has ever been taught in the classrooms. But “wanna be Gaels” sitting in places of influence have spent over 75 years telling the Gaels that the music, story and song they so carefully preserved wasn’t good enough for college curriculum. Today we have, for the most part, “book Gaelic” speakers, speaking English with Gaelic words, and so few actual Gaelic speakers. The music, with its beautiful flavors, has all but disappeared.

It saddens me to see those people, sitting in positions of influence, blatantly advertising their ignorance, saying that a Royal designation covered with a little sugar is a win for someone. Who? I have no idea.

To quote a friend, “shit, covered with sugar, is still shit.”

The present governance of the college is so busy riding the fence on this “Royal” issue, the chafing is clouding their ability to tell on which side they are trying to sugar coat it as they attempt to drag people from both sides to chafe on the fence with them.

Is there any way to educate these people at all?

Ach, mar a thuirt na sean fheadhainn, “Cha gabh tour a cuir ann an damh!”

John P. Rankin


Anna W. MacKinnon


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