Author: Torcuil Crichton
There will be great celebrations in the island village today. The dish towels will be nailed to the fence posts, flying as flags, but not because a prodigal son is back on native soil. It’s not all about you.
You see, there is a wedding in Tong today, a beloved daughter of the village is getting married.
She happens to be a cousin of mine, but that doesn’t mean we’re all related on the islands. It just shows we value relationships and know who our family are.
It’s a great shame, Donald John, that you didn’t keep up your Scottish island connections, or the values of compassion, co-operation and tradition of welcoming exiles and visitors typical of these small places.
It’s perfectly understandable how you have to give international publicity to and promote commercial interests on your private golf course in Ayrshire, now secured in perpetuity at the expense of the British taxpayer.
Who wouldn’t want to play a round of golf with pals, rather than pay tribute by visiting their family home?
When you took your oath as the 45th president, your hand rested on Lincoln’s Bible and below it, I gather, the Bible your mother gave you in your youth.
So, she must have meant a lot to you, though not enough to take time out from the fairway to visit her birthplace.
Your elder sister Maryanne, who visited often with your mother, made a donation of almost £160,000 to a small care home in the Western Isles.
She didn’t want the glory, she just wanted to honour the memory of her mother.
When you did set foot on the Isle of Lewis in 2008, your second ever visit to the Western Isles having previously been as a child, it was to promote your other golf course in Aberdeenshire.
These were the heady days before you fell out with your big pal, Alex Salmond, and transferred your allegiance to these other populists for a nationalist cause, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.
You were asked then to make a contribution to the restoration of the island’s museum. You gave not a cent. As a consequence, I don’t think the museum makes mention of you, the most famous son of Lewis.
The good book says a prophet is without honour in their own land, and I guess you thought there was nothing in it for you.
More’s the pity because your family story, your mother’s story, reflects the experience and the honour of so many Scottish and American families.
Mary Anne MacLeod was one of millions of Scots who went to the New World as economic migrants and made their lives and families there.
The loss of that generation had a profound effect across Scotland, in places like the Isle of Lewis, in fact, all across Europe.
We miss them, and try to keep the ties with our cousins across the world from generation to generation.
Their hard work, their spirit of adventure and enterprise, was your country’s gain and our loss.
People like your Scottish mother and your German grandfather were the people who made America great.
But, because of your political views, you cannot acknowledge your own family story.
You, Donald, lock up migrants and separate children from their parents to dissuade others from making the same journey your family undertook.
Your own mother, Donald, arrived at Ellis Island beneath the Statue of Liberty which proclaims “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
You have traduced that legacy and, sad to say, with it the memory of your own roots.
You threaten the very values of liberty that make America one of the great nations, the pillar of our freedoms.
The door will always be open for you and your family on the Isle of Lewis. People there are courteous and kind and do not forget the ties that bind.
Your mother’s Bible tells us how the prodigal son was lost and then was found. But you, Donald, you have wandered far from home.
For the sake of the millions of women like your mother, who will come to seek a new life in my European home and your American home, I hope you can accept who you are, a migrant son.
Then we could welcome you home with an open hand and a warm embrace.