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Kinsa

Do you consider the DAR/DAC to be racist groups?

Do you consider the DAR/DAC to be racist groups?  

  1. 1. Do you consider the DAR/DAC to be racist groups?

    • Yes, they are inherently so.
      18
    • No way. That's crazy.
      116
    • I don't know; I've never really thought about it.
      64
    • The obligatory "other" option
      14


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Daughters of the American Revolution & Daughters of the American Colonists --- do you consider those two organizations to be racist organizations? Poll to come...

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Exclusionary, but not racist.

 

I tried to join Clan Hanna (Scottish heritage group) years ago but they wouldn't let me join because it was my grandmother, not my mother, who was a Hanna. I thought that was ridiculous and exclusionary. I'm guessing there are not many black Hannas around, so there are probably few to none black Clan Hanna-ers. I don't see that as racist, but I do see it as exclusionary, and I have no wish to join an exclusionary group. Especially as an adoptive parent, I have no wish to join a bloodlines-based group.

 

ETA: The Johnson/Johnston clan was open to anyone interested in Scottish heritage, whether they were a Johnson/Johnston to any degree or whether they were even Scottish to any degree. It was open to anyone who wanted to join.

 

Tara

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I've never thought of it, though my grandmother has mentioned that I'd be eligible to join the Daughters of the American Revolution to me a few times.

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Why would the DAR be racist?

 

I don't know, that's why I'm posting this poll. I was caught off guard by hearing someone refer to it as a racist group. I never thought of it as such, so I'm wondering if this was a commonly held perception or not.

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I doubt is was confusion. Unfortunately DAR did have a racist past. To my understanding they have tried to officially shed that past and have reversed the positions of exclusion and segregation they once embraced.

 

But once it was a pretty "suspect" organization.

 

Bill

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I think they were in the past - yes. I don't know if they still are. So I voted "other". To me it feels like they reflect our country. They were more racists when our country was more segregated/racists. Today are we not racists or is it just not so obvious. I don't know the answer.

 

I could join the DAR (as in I qualify), but I've never felt a desire to do so.

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I doubt is was confusion. Unfortunately DAR did have a racist past. To my understanding they have tried to officially shed that past and have reversed the positions of exclusion and segregation they once embraced.

 

But once it was a pretty "suspect" organization.

 

Bill

 

Really? Oooo. That's not good.

The things you learn on here.

Thanks for the heads up.

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I am a naturalized citizen ( ahem, immigrant) and qualify for membership to DAR due to my husband's ancestry, if that helps. Due to my MIL's proding I'm in the process of joining now. FWIW, I am married to a SAR. No racist problem here.

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It may be related to an incident in the 60's when they did not let a black opera singer (Marion Anderson?) sing at the DAR hall. I think that reflected the times and not the stance of the DAR now.

 

Don't know about DAC.

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Really? Oooo. That's not good.

The things you learn on here.

Thanks for the heads up.

 

What's not good? That they thought better of their previous views or just that they ever held them.

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It was also that they would not allow African American descendants that qualified to join. So if your white grandmother, great grandmother etc had joined but for example you had one parent who black and one who was white, then you would be quietly blackballed. I don't remember how that all came out, but it was about 20 years ago it seems. There were news stories about it.

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What's not good? That they thought better of their previous views or just that they ever held them.

 

I'm sure Chris is very disappointed to hear that DAR had a racist past. She is a fine lady.

 

Bill

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It was also that they would not allow African American descendants that qualified to join. So if your white grandmother, great grandmother etc had joined but for example you had one parent who black and one who was white, then you would be quietly blackballed. I don't remember how that all came out, but it was about 20 years ago it seems. There were news stories about it.

 

Is that still the case? That would be an issue. If it was an issue in the past that they are now trying to rectify, meh.

 

If some entity has a racist history that said entity is trying to rectify, what point in rectification if the racist past is still held against them? If they refuse to acknowledge the racism and/or continue to perpetuate it, then it absolutely should be held against them.

 

(I am eligible for DAR. I've never felt like jumping through the hoops for membership.)

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Maybe someone was confusing them with the Daughters of the Confederacy... which I did about the DAC when I read the poll, which is apparently something else that I've never even heard of.

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No, they are not inherently racist nor are their members racist by virtue of their membership. They are group that recognizes and celebrates a particular shared cultural heritage. Many clubs and organizations that have been around as long as the DAR have "skeletons in their closets". The question is how they have changed with the times. Things always get sketchy when we judge actions in the past by the values of the present.

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Racism was as wrong in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s as it is now.

 

Suggesting otherwise is "moral relativism."

 

I'm glad that the DAR has changed it's policies. But we need to be real about its history.

 

Bill

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I started the process of joining DAR last year so that my kids could participate in CAR (the kids' affiliate) while we were studying the American Revolution. I ended up discovering that it was a bigger hassle than I had thought to join (I had believed that all I needed to do was to prove my lineage to my DAR member great-grandma but they wanted me to re-prove the entire line) so I didn't complete it.

 

Anyways, while I was researching at the DAR website, I noticed there was an entire section devoted to African-Americans who fought in the American Revolution. So while the DAR may have had racism problems in the past, the current DAR seems to be reaching out to African-Americans.

 

Now by definition, the group is going to be mostly those of Northwestern European ancestry because they were the majority of the population in the 13 colonies at the time of the American Revolution.

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I doubt is was confusion. Unfortunately DAR did have a racist past. To my understanding they have tried to officially shed that past and have reversed the positions of exclusion and segregation they once embraced.

 

But once it was a pretty "suspect" organization.

 

Bill

 

Um. Honestly?

 

This was my perception of DAR -- I am glad to hear they are working on reconciling their past policies. Thanks Bill.

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It may be related to an incident in the 60's when they did not let a black opera singer (Marion Anderson?) sing at the DAR hall. I think that reflected the times and not the stance of the DAR now.

 

Don't know about DAC.

Yup.

 

http://www.dar.org/natsociety/content.cfm?ID=1269&hd=n

 

I recall as a child the story of Marion Anderson being refused to sing at the DAR Constitutional Hall and as a result she sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (thanks to FDR and his wife) on Easter to a crowd of 75,000 people. That story resonated with me in the 3rd grade.

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Racism was as wrong in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s as it is now.

 

Suggesting otherwise is "moral relativism."

 

I'm glad that the DAR has changed it's policies. But we need to be real about its history.

 

Bill

 

So do we say the same about the screen actors guild, the VA, the Founding Fathers, the US military, Allied Artists, just about every major publisher, all the motor companies, all the major aircraft companies that existed in the 1940s, many churches,.....

 

 

The point is that we need to accept genuine contrition and we are NOT engaging in "moral relativism" when we acknowledge that the perceptions of right and wrong have and do change. To deny that is to misunderstand history.

 

Look at the words of Abraham Lincoln, were he to utter them today he would be rightly excoriated as a out and out villain, yet because most of us can look at the past through a lens of understanding we find no need to pillory him to the extent that we deny the good that he did. He spoke in the vernacular of the time and his views (which were utterly racist) were still ahead of his time. Opinions and views change, frequently through an evolutionary process. Because we find a view horrendous today does not necessarily make those who may have held it in the past monsters.

 

 

I for one think that the Boys of '76 were patriots and I laud Jefferson, Washington and others even while accepting that many of their views would be wholly unacceptable today. Again this is NOT moral relativism, it is simply an understanding of history. Do not deny history, but do attempt to understand it.

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I don't consider it moral relativism to argue against constantly punishing a group for decisions and actions in the past. If we must always answer for our actions in the past, right or wrong, there would never be forgiveness or growth. Surly if we cannot grow or change then we must always destroy old and out dated institutions and individuals and abandon those with a past of which we disapprove. That would be ridiculous. Change, growth, self improvement and forgiveness are virtues our culture holds dear. It would be a sad world where a person or institution must always suffer for the errors of the past and never be allowed to change, grow, or evolve with the times.

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No, they are not inherently racist nor are their members racist by virtue of their membership. They are group that recognizes and celebrates a particular shared cultural heritage. Many clubs and organizations that have been around as long as the DAR have "skeletons in their closets". The question is how they have changed with the times. Things always get sketchy when we judge actions in the past by the values of the present.

Really?

 

That is like saying studying history is of no importance. I think it is important to remember the past as history has a way of repeating itself.

 

Racism was as wrong in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s as it is now.

 

Suggesting otherwise is "moral relativism."

 

I'm glad that the DAR has changed it's policies. But we need to be real about its history.

 

Bill

 

Ayup. :iagree:

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So do we say the same about the screen actors guild, the VA, the Founding Fathers, the US military, Allied Artists, just about every major publisher, all the motor companies, all the major aircraft companies that existed in the 1940s, many churches,.....

 

You bet.

 

 

The point is that we need to accept genuine contrition and we are NOT engaging in "moral relativism" when we acknowledge that the perceptions of right and wrong have and do change. To deny that is to misunderstand history.

 

Good people knew bigotry against blacks was wrong in the 1930s-80s, just as good people realize discrimination against gays is wrong now. But some people will wait to be "contrite" when it is too late. That is a lack of moral courage.

 

Bill

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Good people knew bigotry against blacks was wrong, ...... But people will wait to be "contrite" when it is too late. That ia a lack of moral courage.

 

Bill

 

 

So Abraham Lincoln lacked moral courage? Washington?

 

 

I see you added dates. So let me ask you about men like Churchill. Did he lack moral courage?

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Really?

 

That is like saying studying history is of no importance. I think it is important to remember the past as history has a way of repeating itself.

 

 

There are different schools of thought on the study of history. History may, generally speaking, be studied one of a few ways. For example, either by judging the actions of an individual or group in the light of the culture of their time or by imposing the values of the present on those who lived in the past. A variation of this is to assume that all events in the past point a given future.

 

If we choose to judge history by imposing modern culture and values on the past we often get a distorted view of history. We may decide heroes and villains by standards that they could never have been held to in their own time. That is the same as saying that the values of the present are, were, and will be the eternal best and that all history should be judged by them.

 

Hence why I feel that to judge the past with only an eye to the values of the present is to misinterpret history or make it sketchy. Which is in fact the exact opposite of making history unimportant. History becomes important as it allows us to see the past for what it actually was and why it happened.

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I agree that it's wrong to make excuses for the DAR's racist past. It was clearly wrong.

 

But I also wouldn't call them racist now from what I know - but obviously some people responding to the poll disagreed. At what point is an organization allowed to move on from a racist past? To say, we were wrong, but we've tried to rectify it and have people accept that as being in the past?

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There are different schools of thought on the study of history. History may, generally speaking, be studied one of a few ways. For example, either by judging the actions of an individual or group in the light of the culture of their time or by imposing the values of the present on those who lived in the past. A variation of this is to assume that all events in the past point a given future.

 

If we choose to judge history by imposing modern culture and values on the past we often get a distorted view of history. We may decide heroes and villains by standards that they could never have been held to in their own time. That is the same as saying that the values of the present are, were and will be the eternal best and that all history should be judged by them.

 

Hence why I feel that to judge the past with only an eye to the values of the present is to misinterpret history or make it sketchy. Which is in fact the exact opposite of making history unimportant. History becomes important as it allows us to see the past for what it actually was and why it happened.

 

You act like good people in the 1930s were unaware racism was wrong.

 

Bill

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You act like good people in the 1930s were unaware racism was wrong.

 

Bill

 

I never said racism wasn't wrong, of course it is wrong. But it was also a cultural norm in many parts of the US in the 1930s and in many other decades-a point which others are ignoring. But the question is-at what point may a person or organization be forgiven for their past based on revised actions in the present?

 

Do note, the quote you gave from me above wasn't a defense of the DAR or any other organization. It was an explanation of my earlier statement on how to evaluate history in general. Which another poster seemed to want clarified.

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I never said racism wasn't wrong, of course it is wrong. But it was also a cultural norm in many parts of the US in the 1930s and in many other decades-a point which others are ignoring. But the question is-at what point may a person or organization be forgiven for their past based on revised actions in the present?

 

It was not the norm with everyone. Good people knew racism was wrong in the 1930s. That is why Eleanor Roosevelt sided with Marian Anderson and not the DAR.

 

People will one day say that denying gays their civil and humans rights back in the early 21th Century was a "cultural norm" as an excuse for bigotry. Same deal. Some folks are slow.

 

Bill

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There are different schools of thought on the study of history. History may, generally speaking, be studied one of a few ways. For example, either by judging the actions of an individual or group in the light of the culture of their time or by imposing the values of the present on those who lived in the past. A variation of this is to assume that all events in the past point a given future.

 

If we choose to judge history by imposing modern culture and values on the past we often get a distorted view of history. We may decide heroes and villains by standards that they could never have been held to in their own time. That is the same as saying that the values of the present are, were, and will be the eternal best and that all history should be judged by them.

 

Hence why I feel that to judge the past with only an eye to the values of the present is to misinterpret history or make it sketchy. Which is in fact the exact opposite of making history unimportant. History becomes important as it allows us to see the past for what it actually was and why it happened.

 

I see your point of view.

 

I disagree.

 

I look at it from a different perspective as to sin in the world and that one day the world will be judged for its deeds. There is no true justice on this earth and this is why horrible things happen to innocent people. Or why good people remain silent while atrocities occur.

 

One verse that comes to mind is Revelation 6:10 which says, "They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Mind you, the verse is referring to the martyrs calling for God's wrath on earth... but there are so many voices crying for justice from the past. Why should we sweep those voices under the rug and pretend they are not there? This has nothing to do with modern culture or values. What is wrong, is wrong.

 

How can you say to me the actions taken against my father and his family in the mid-1930's were "viewed" as a distorted modern filter? He was 5 years old living in Northern CA when police rounded up his family and placed them all in a railroad (not a sitting or dining car -- but an empty storage car meant for animals or goods) headed to Mexico? And the ironic fact my father and his family were LEGAL US citizens? The US still has yet to apologize for the Mexican Repatriation Act. My father, now cannot talk of this shameful story. He bursts into tears as he lost his parents (they were murdered in Mexico -- leaving he and his siblings homeless for years) during that horrible ordeal. And you tell me my modern filter looking at this injustice is skewed? Really? :glare: What happened was plain wrong. No ifs ands or buts about it.

 

The question (in my opinion based on my filter) is how do we then learn from this? I would like to think the future can avoid past historical deeds like the Mexican Repatriation Act. But interestingly, now with our country going into economic turmoil, there is a feeling in the back of my mind that history can repeat itself with legislation and once again innocent people get hurt.

 

After a while, you have to admit mankind cannot do much about evil deeds -- morally and ethically, I hope that we can prove history wrong. But those who ignore the past sins of history are doomed to repeat it. I guess we both see it from two different perspectives. Sorry for the rambling. Hope this makes sense.

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It was not the norm with everyone. Good people knew racism was wrong in the 1930s. That is why Eleanor Roosevelt sided with Marian Anderson and not the DAR.

 

People will one day say that denying gays their civil and humans rights back in the early 21th Century was a "cultural norm" as an excuse for bigotry. Same deal. Some folks are slow.

 

Bill

 

Right or wrong there is such a thing as a "cultural norm". It isn't an excuse for anything, nor does it excuse anything. It just is.

 

Nor am I a racist, bigot, or slow for acknowledging that they exist.

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I see your point of view.

 

I disagree.

 

I look at it from a different perspective as to sin in the world and that one day the world will be judged for its deeds. There is no true justice on this earth and this is why horrible things happen to innocent people. Or why good people remain silent while atrocities occur.

 

One verse that comes to mind is Revelation 6:10 which says, "They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Mind you, the verse is referring to the martyrs calling for God's wrath on earth... but there are so many voices crying for justice from the past. Why should we sweep those voices under the rug and pretend they are not there? This has nothing to do with modern culture or values. What is wrong, is wrong.

 

How can you say to me the actions taken against my father and his family in the mid-1930's were "viewed" as a distorted modern filter? He was 5 years old living in Northern CA when police rounded up his family and placed them all in a railroad (not a sitting or dining car -- but an empty storage car meant for animals or goods) headed to Mexico? And the ironic fact my father and his family were LEGAL US citizens? The US still has yet to apologize for the Mexican Repatriation Act. My father, now cannot talk of this shameful story. He bursts into tears as he lost his parents (they were murdered in Mexico -- leaving he and his siblings homeless for years) during that horrible ordeal. And you tell me my modern filter looking at this injustice is skewed? Really? :glare: What happened was plain wrong. No ifs ands or buts about it.

 

The question (in my opinion based on my filter) is how do we then learn from this? I would like to think the future can avoid past historical deeds like the Mexican Repatriation Act. But interestingly, now with our country going into economic turmoil, there is a feeling in the back of my mind that history can repeat itself with legislation and once again innocent people get hurt.

 

After a while, you have to admit mankind cannot do much about evil deeds -- morally and ethically, I hope that we can prove history wrong. But those who ignore the past sins of history are doomed to repeat it. I guess we both see it from two different perspectives. Sorry for the rambling. Hope this makes sense.

 

Oh-please don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to excuse actions such as those your family suffered from nor call into question the teachings of your faith you outline above. And we should certainly learn from history-there is much of it that shouldn't be repeated. The views I expressed on the study of history aren't absolutes nor do they incorporate another step in the evaluation of history which is to apply what we can learn from the actions of the past to the present. I think we are headed to the same place with history. I'm just taking an extra step to get there.

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I see your point of view.

 

I disagree.

 

I look at it from a different perspective as to sin in the world and that one day the world will be judged for its deeds. There is no true justice on this earth and this is why horrible things happen to innocent people. Or why good people remain silent while atrocities occur.

 

One verse that comes to mind is Revelation 6:10 which says, "They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Mind you, the verse is referring to the martyrs calling for God's wrath on earth... but there are so many voices crying for justice from the past. Why should we sweep those voices under the rug and pretend they are not there? This has nothing to do with modern culture or values. What is wrong, is wrong.

 

How can you say to me the actions taken against my father and his family in the mid-1930's were "viewed" as a distorted modern filter? He was 5 years old living in Northern CA when police rounded up his family and placed them all in a railroad (not a sitting or dining car -- but an empty storage car meant for animals or goods) headed to Mexico? And the ironic fact my father and his family were LEGAL US citizens? The US still has yet to apologize for the Mexican Repatriation Act. My father, now cannot talk of this shameful story. He bursts into tears as he lost his parents (they were murdered in Mexico -- leaving he and his siblings homeless for years) during that horrible ordeal. And you tell me my modern filter looking at this injustice is skewed? Really? :glare: What happened was plain wrong. No ifs ands or buts about it.

 

The question (in my opinion based on my filter) is how do we then learn from this? I would like to think the future can avoid past historical deeds like the Mexican Repatriation Act. But interestingly, now with our country going into economic turmoil, there is a feeling in the back of my mind that history can repeat itself with legislation and once again innocent people get hurt.

 

After a while, you have to admit mankind cannot do much about evil deeds -- morally and ethically, I hope that we can prove history wrong. But those who ignore the past sins of history are doomed to repeat it. I guess we both see it from two different perspectives. Sorry for the rambling. Hope this makes sense.

 

 

I truly sympathize for what happened to you father's family. I am a refugee from Central America and have a similar story, but I can honestly say I would not make my former country pay for their past crimes. I cannot hold accountable the people living today for the actions of their ancesestors more that I can tell my five year old he is responsible for what the dog did.

 

What's wrong is wrong and what is evil is evil, but forgiveness is the true blessing.

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What's wrong is wrong and what is evil is evil, but forgiveness is the true blessing.

 

That, my friend, is the answer.

 

But it can be very difficult for it to happen, unfortunately.

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What is the purpose of the DAR, and why do they feel they must limit their membership to people who meet certain genealogical rules?

How does controlling their membership by genetics/parentage help meet their goals?

Why do they divide people into "can join" and "can't join" based on genealogy?

 

Genuinely curious; I don't know much about them.

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What is the purpose of the DAR, and why do they feel they must limit their membership to people who meet certain genealogical rules?

How does controlling their membership by genetics/parentage help meet their goals?

Why do they divide people into "can join" and "can't join" based on genealogy?

 

Genuinely curious; I don't know much about them.

 

From their website:

 

The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

 

 

DAR members volunteer more than 250,000 hours annually to veteran patients, award thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and support schools for underserved children with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.

 

 

As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 170,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

 

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Right or wrong there is such a thing as a "cultural norm". It isn't an excuse for anything, nor does it excuse anything. It just is.

 

 

Those who know the difference between right and wrong and stand against "cultural norms" when they are clearly wrong are moral beings.

 

Bill

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Thanks Jumped!

 

So why do they limit their membership, instead of including anyone interested in promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children? Surely, the more folks doing that kind of work, the better, right? What does your bloodline have to do with it?

 

Again, curious.

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Thanks Jumped!

 

So why do they limit their membership, instead of including anyone interested in promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children? Surely, the more folks doing that kind of work, the better, right? What does your bloodline have to do with it?

 

I have no idea. I guess because they have a pride in their shared ancestry that creates a common bond. There are lots of genealogical societies from what I understand. They next one that leaps to mind is the Mayflower Society. They are limited to descendents of those who arrived on the Mayflower. Or maybe it all stems from the culture of women's clubs during the Victorian era...when many of these groups were created.

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It was not the norm with everyone. Good people knew racism was wrong in the 1930s. That is why Eleanor Roosevelt sided with Marian Anderson and not the DAR.

 

People will one day say that denying gays their civil and humans rights back in the early 21th Century was a "cultural norm" as an excuse for bigotry. Same deal. Some folks are slow.

 

Bill

 

Why do you insist on equating a chosen lifestyle (while sexual orientation may or may not have a biological basis, acting on those urges is absolutely a chosen behavior) with something that someone has zero choice over and others can discriminate against just by looking at the individual? :thumbdown:

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