22 December 2005

Outlawed Kilts

Those of you that know me, know that I have a very strong sense of my Scottish heritage. Today, I found a news article here that tells a tale of a young man that was blocked from going to a High School dance because he was wearing a kilt. The following is a e-mail I sent to the principle of that High School. His e-mail address is rmcclard@jackson.k12.mo.us if you want to let Mr. McClard know what you think of his actions. There is also an on line petition if you wish to register your displeasure with his action. When they knock at my front door, they can pry my kilt out of my cold dead hands.

Dear Mr. McClard,

When I read the news article regarding your decision to block Nathan Warmack from attending a school dance in a kilt, I was shocked. I have a healthy respect for policies and procedures in any organization. I understand the school district has a dress code that you are honor bound to uphold. However, this is not a matter of fashion. This is a matter of cultural heritage. A heritage that, you Mr. McClard, should be aware of. Your family name comes from the Clan McLeod, from the Isle of Lewis. Your family motto is Hold Fast. I find that ironic in this situation. You sir, have forgotten the face of your fathers. I myself am American by birth, but hold to my Scottish heritage. My line comes from Clan Kinnaird in Perthshire and my heritage is something I hold very dear to me.
To insinuate that the wearing of a kilt makes one look clownish further shames your ancestors. At Bannockburn, Culloden Moor, on Normandy Beach, the blood of Scotsmen has flowed into those kilts in the name of freedom. This same unique concept of freedom and individual rights that Robert the Bruce outlined in the Declaration of Aborath, under which influenced our own Declaration of Independence. The same kilt that watches over servicemen, firefighters, and police officers as they are laid to rest while bagpipes play Amazing Grace. Clownish indeed.
I am sure that you would have been equally as insensitive to other cultural dress, since you have no regard for your own heritage. IÂ’m sure a student in an Oyokoman kente cloth, or a Samoan Saipo would have been treated with equal distain. Tragic. In a society that is now dedicated to cultural diversity and the open exchange of ideas, your actions are puzzling. Should your High School have a Heritage Day, would you block students wearing any of these cultural signifiers from attending class?
I close with the request that at very least you make a written public apology to Nathan Warmack and to all Scottish-Americans. Mr. McClard, it is the right an honorable thing to do in light of the situation.

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