thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
All through the story the immigrants came
The Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane
From Pakistan, England and from the Ukraine
We're all Scotland's story and we're all worth the same
(From 'Scotland's Story' by the Proclaimers)

Some of the KKK propaganda cites Scotland as having the 'racial purity' that they long for. Some websites suggest that some of the founding members of the KKK were Scots who had emigrated to the US. Whether this is true or not is beside the point. You can find a few mindless, moronic bigots in any country, or any race or religion. The myth of Scotland being a 'racially pure' country is one I would like to explode if I can.

"The Scottish Nation is generally acknowledged to have come together between the sixth and fourteenth centuries, absorbing several races in the process of creating what certain individuals like to think of as the pure Scot. In fact, there is no such being. The early Scots were a post-Roman Gaelic-speaking people who invaded and settled the west coast, known then as Dalriada, having travelled over the sea from Ireland, and before that, it is fancifully suggested, although not as yet proven, the Middle East."[i]

The proponents of this middle-east link point to the similarities between traditional Scottish and middle-eastern music and instrumentation as evidence. If this is true, and you claim your link to Scottish heritage, then YOU ARE AN ARAB. The possibility of a middle-east link doesn't upset me at all, but if you are a KKK type then you should start thinking. Ha ha.

The burning cross symbol is another thing that various racist groups have tried to attribute to the Scots...

The "Fiery Cross," as KKK groups call it, is vaguely linked to an apparently real Scottish practice immortalized by Sir Walter Scott in his 1810 poem "The Lady of the Lake." But really, the Klan picked it up from the movies.

In Scott's poem, a small, handheld wooden cross is carried from village to village to announce a meeting of the clans for war. The cross was fiery only at first; it was extinguished with the blood of a sacrificial animal before making the rounds as a charred object. (Most likely it was the X-shaped cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.)

Scott's story was copied by Thomas Dixon for his bizarre 1905 novel "The Clansman," a highly romanticized tale of the original, pre-Civil War KKK. Obsessed with the incorrect notion that the KKK had been founded by secret Scottish group, Dixon had them carrying the Fiery Cross around.

I don't know if this is true. Maybe it was used as a way for the clans to meet for war. If it was, there is still a difference between that and a group of cowardly thugs using it to intimidate an innocent person.

In the 19th century there was another wave of Irish immigration and in the earlier part of the 20th there were many new waves of immigration from Poland (to get away from Hitler), Italy (to get away from Mussolini) and Lithuania (for all sorts of reasons). Most of the Lithuanians changed their names to make them more Scottish.

After WW2 new groups arrived from India, Pakistan, China and surrounding countries and the Caribbean. In the later part of the 20th century there have been more people coming from Africa. They are all welcome.

Apparently 'Braveheart' is required viewing at some of the KKK meetings. I would like to spoil the fun by pointing out that the majority of it is not true.

Now I am more of flag-burner than a flag-waver but I also see that the Scottish flag is being used by these people...

ONE of the fastest-growing white supremacist groups in the United States has hijacked the Saltire [the Scottish flag) to symbolise its struggle for a political system run by Celtic "kith and kin".

Scottish tourists visiting Florida and the southern states on holiday have been warned that displaying Scotland's national flag on their clothes now runs the risk of association with the extremist followers of the League of the South.

Kate Smith, who is researching nationalism at Glasgow University, said: "I think the league's hijacking of the Saltire could cause the average American citizen to confuse our nation's flag with right-wing extremism."[iii]

This seems to be a parallel with what happened to the Swastika, which, before Hitler hijacked it was an Indian symbol promoting good luck.

Whilst this nation has its problems with racism just like anywhere else, some of us are trying to deal with them. One of the steps in this is to explode the myth of Scotland as a pure-white country and a haven for racists. It isn't. We don't want your false history, false propaganda, displaced anger and vile attitudes foisted onto us. This country is, has been and always will be a country of immigrants. We like it that way.

p.s. I would like to point out that the 'celtic' in my profile is the football (soccer) team, not the historical stuff.
posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:18 pm  
  • At 3:48 pm, Blogger ~River~ said…

    Ha! That ad!

    Symbols can be so strangely used, misused and appropriated. Hitler's "hijacking" of the swastika did not go unnoticed among the right-wing Hindu revivalists of the 1930's and 40's.

    The meanings that the symbol gained/lost in its movement to Germany and back to India can be seen in the recent uses that a right-wing government put it to.

    True, it remains an auspicious Hindu symbol used during religious rituals and is also seen regularly as an ornamental or a decorative motif; but when it is used by the followers of Hindutva , one has to be vigilant.

  • At 4:31 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    halfway thru that article. interesting stuff. will read rest of it soon.

    when i was over on that side of the world i would see "swastika" drain covers. must be the company that makes them or something.

    p.s. i liked the photo but bagpiper whisky is not particularly nice stuff.

  • At 2:41 am, Blogger mikevotes said…

    Sorry, man. Once again I feel obliged to apologize for the idiots of my country.

    If it makes you feel any better, everybody knows these people are idiots and they are the subject of constant satire and derision throughout the culture.

    The most recent example is a bad one, the recent violence in Ohio when a Klan rally was scheduled, but generally when these pigs show up for a scheduled event, a march or a protest, they are outnumbered between five and ten to one by counter demonstrators.

    I'm sorry if our idiots are besmirching your country. Don't worry about it. They're the Klan; they are just widely ridiculed idiots that no one listens to here.

    The far more frightening elements are the more mainstream groups who hide their bigotry behind policy. Watch the immigration debate and the "minutemen" vigilante group here for an example. This anti-immigrant wave is being astroturfed right now so that the anger will rise and be usable by the republicans as a soft bigotry issue in the 2006 midterms.

    At some time I'm going to sit down and write a significant post on this, but we gotta get through this week of Plame first.


  • At 5:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for this enlightening post, Michael! Quite cerebral actually ...
    Helga from Australia

  • At 10:33 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks helga

    no need to apologise mike - its not you. like i said, in any country, race or religion you will find a few mindless moronic bigots. the trick is not to let them run the country. unfortunately, on that front, most of us are failing.

  • At 1:34 pm, Blogger Toad734 said…

    You have the KKK in Scotland?

    I must say we didn't see too many minorities in either Glasgow or Edinburgh except for the guys at the falafel stands.

    You'll be fine if you can keep the Russians out. Ha ha.

  • At 1:49 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    no, we don't really have them here but they try to claim scottish roots based on a bizarre reading of history.

  • At 6:29 am, Blogger Brewski said…

    'Braveheart' is utter bollocks, isn't it? Hollywood revisionism really gets my goat.

  • At 11:14 am, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    mostly bollocks, yes

  • At 1:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You seem to have an extremist opinion yourself, even if it is extremly liberal. That is as bad as a far right point of view. Do you desire to have the whole world be a melted pot of race and culture? That is what you are proposing. I appreciate diversity, but I prefer to appreciate it from a distance. The way things are going in my great grandkids will be black, and that's something I'd rather not happen. I don't consider myself to be racist, or a bigot, or any of the other classifications you may want to stick on me after reading that. Rather I appreciate diversity, which you don't.

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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
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    some of the blogs I look at
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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
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