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

 

Bill

 

Are you a vegan?

 

If not, how would you feel if hundreds of years from now veganism becomes the new social norm and future people condemned you as "immoral" simply because you ate animal products? Wouldn't you want the future people to take into consideration that at the time you consumed animal products it was considered morally acceptable by the overwhelming majority of the population?

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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:

 

Because it is bigotry that prevails.

 

Once Roman Catholics were objects of discrimination (and one might ague is still the case in some quarters). One is unlikely to know a Catholic just from looking at him or her.

 

When peoples basic human and civil rights are infringed and they are victim of bigotry, does it really matter if you can tell if they are part of that oppressed population just by looking at them (or not)?

 

Bill

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

 

Bill

 

The interesting question for me is when does one cease judging an organization because of its past, especially if most or all of the current members weren't part of that past? When do we draw a metaphorical line in the sand and judge said organization on its present day actions and behaviors (while still acknowledging the past)? Do we never do this? Is there always an asterik after the organization's name? Is it fair to hold current members accountable for actions they had no part of?

 

As for the above, while I agree with you, the reality is most of us wouldn't go against such ingrained norms (i.e. institutionalized racism/Jim Crow), not on a grand scale. It doesn't mean such people are completely and irredeemably immoral; it just means they're (we're) flawed human beings.

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I do not think it is punishing anyone or devaluing anyone's works to recognize that they were flawed. Recognizing that people can be flawed, make mistakes, have bad ideas and still do great things is imperative to believing that we (or anyone) can do great things and be flawed, make mistakes and have bad ideas.

 

Churchill is actually a wonderful example because he was extremely flawed as a person. He wasn't a good student, mainly because he was rebellious. He was an alcoholic. He had terrible bouts of depression (some people believe he was bipolar). He made serious mistakes in his work and personal life. Nome of that takes away from the fact that he was the face of the UK's stance against the Nazi regime.

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The interesting question for me is when does one cease judging an organization because of its past, especially if most or all of the current members weren't part of that past? When do we draw a metaphorical line in the sand and judge said organization on its present day actions and behaviors (while still acknowledging the past)? Do we never do this? Is there always an asterik after the organization's name? Is it fair to hold current members accountable for actions they had no part of?

 

 

My family came over on the Mayflower. I would guess we were involved in the Revolution. I have an ancestor who fought in the Spanish-American war. I don't know a huge amount about my ancestry, but I do know that we're white and we've been here for a long, long time. When I have to explain to my daughter about the racism and bigotry that is part of our history, a part of our ancestral past, I own it. She asked me one day why Native Americans don't have very much land. The truth is, and I told her, that we took it from them. It was us. I have told her point-blank that "we white people took lands that were not our own, and we did terrible things in the process."

 

I have made the choice to be clear about it because it's honest and it's true. Our African-American neighbors have to live with the aftermath of slavery and the reality of racism every day. They don't have the choice to ignore it. Why should I have the choice to ignore it? The results stare us in the face every day.

 

On the flip side, she and both know that we didn't personally participate in those historical events. Even the fact that we are willing to talk about it is a sign that progress has been made. And we should keep talking about it, because our culture is still healing this terrible wound.

 

I give kudos to organizations that are taking right and proper steps to welcome all those who are eligible, especially if they reach out to people they would once have not accepted based on race. But yes, they will always carry their history of bigotry and racism. And we should talk about it. Because that is what will keep us from doing it again. We talk about it not because we want to hold each other accountable for past events, but because we want to hold each other accountable to never do it again.

 

Great conversation, y'all!

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Because it is bigotry that prevails.

 

Once Roman Catholics were objects of discrimination (and one might ague is still the case in some quarters). One is unlikely to know a Catholic just from looking at him or her.

 

When peoples basic human and civil rights are infringed and they are victim of bigotry, does it really matter if you can tell if they are part of that oppressed population just by looking at them (or not)?

 

Bill

 

:iagree:

 

I tried to walk away from this portion of the thread, and look up an article my husband mentioned about large families being happier. On my search I was scrolling down a NYTimes blog and one of the posts was about a young gay teenager who committed suicide. There's more at stake in the gay rights conversation than a lifestyle choice.

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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.

:grouphug::grouphug:

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Because it is bigotry that prevails.

 

Once Roman Catholics were objects of discrimination (and one might ague is still the case in some quarters). One is unlikely to know a Catholic just from looking at him or her.

 

When peoples basic human and civil rights are infringed and they are victim of bigotry, does it really matter if you can tell if they are part of that oppressed population just by looking at them (or not)?

 

Bill

 

Indeed. Nobody would argue that ethnic discrimination is not discrimination, yet ethnicity is not necessarily immediately visible. My late husband belonged to a national minority group in the country we live in, and it is truly amazing to see how civil servants' attitudes toward our family change from friendly and courteous (even more so because of my foreign accent) to hateful - once I get out my passport.

 

I have often considered changing our names so that my children can avoid this discrimination, but that name is the only tangible part of their father that is left.

 

Discrimination is no less discrimination if it is based on things that are not immediately visible, and discrimination is no less discrimination if it can rationally be explained by political conflicts, wars, and so on.

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There is a long racist history there, not letting Marian Anderson sing at Consitution Hall for example. However, I see them more as exclusionary than presently racist. Do you know that they will not accept adopted family members, period?

 

Anything that is obsessed with bloodline lineage lingo sorta skeeves me out. Also, for such a large organization they do remarkably little actual philanthropic work- volunteerism averages out from their website figures to less than 2 hours a year per member. And their scholarship funds are in the low six figures. Social groups that claim to do charity while really being more about status and prestige and personally beneficial networking just are not my cup of tea. I don't think I am eligible for membership (my ancestors here at the time of the revolution were Germans who had been indentured to work and who ended up farming in North Carolina hill country) however if I were, I would not join this anymore than I would the Daughters of the Confederacy (eligible for that, and the Union equivalent too).

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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.

 

Bill

 

The point is that one must be very careful about applying modern values to the actions of those in the past without reference to their "cultural norms" is very well made by the Roosevelts. While the Roosevelts were busy in 1939 helping right the wrongs of discrimination that Marion Anderson was suffering it was an entirely different story in 1936. Jesse Owens received no telegram from President Roosevelt congratulating him on his 4 Olympic gold medals. Nor did he visit the White House which remained silent for many decades afterwards. He commented on and felt the pain of this snub for the rest of his life. (There are even reports that Roosevelt invited white Olympians to the White House but never extended any invitation to any of the African American athletes.) Does this forever make Roosevelt morally bankrupt or a moral coward? Was he able to redeem himself by his actions in 1939? Or does it make him a product of his times, which he eventually progressed past. This would make him the moral equivalent of the DAR, which, as I understand it, no longer has racist policies. If we "forgive" Roosevelt and allow him to change then surely we must offer the same forgiveness to those individuals and organizations which grow beyond their own history.

 

 

This is why, in my opinion, we must be careful in how we try to understand the past. To judge it solely in a vacuum of morality can lead to much misunderstanding.

 

(Please excuse the tiny type-I have totally messed up the editing function today and can't seem to fix it.)

(Sorry again all-hopefully this change sticks and helps ease the pain of reading that tiny type. Don't know what is up with the font either. Must be time to reboot. Sorry for the rabbit trail and the weird type face.)

 

 

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My family came over on the Mayflower. I would guess we were involved in the Revolution. I have an ancestor who fought in the Spanish-American war. I don't know a huge amount about my ancestry, but I do know that we're white and we've been here for a long, long time. When I have to explain to my daughter about the racism and bigotry that is part of our history, a part of our ancestral past, I own it. She asked me one day why Native Americans don't have very much land. The truth is, and I told her, that we took it from them. It was us. I have told her point-blank that "we white people took lands that were not our own, and we did terrible things in the process."

 

I have made the choice to be clear about it because it's honest and it's true. Our African-American neighbors have to live with the aftermath of slavery and the reality of racism every day. They don't have the choice to ignore it. Why should I have the choice to ignore it? The results stare us in the face every day.

 

On the flip side, she and both know that we didn't personally participate in those historical events. Even the fact that we are willing to talk about it is a sign that progress has been made. And we should keep talking about it, because our culture is still healing this terrible wound.

 

I give kudos to organizations that are taking right and proper steps to welcome all those who are eligible, especially if they reach out to people they would once have not accepted based on race. But yes, they will always carry their history of bigotry and racism. And we should talk about it. Because that is what will keep us from doing it again. We talk about it not because we want to hold each other accountable for past events, but because we want to hold each other accountable to never do it again.

 

Great conversation, y'all!

 

Well, yes, obviously we should talk about the past and its effects then and now. I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise. I think there's a difference, though, between acknowledging, talking about, and learning from the past and judging people or an organization now solely based on that past, especially when said people had no control over policies and had no opportunity to effect any change. Even though I, too, am white and my family has been here since before the Revolution, I no more stole Native American land than I owned slaves or participated in Jim Crow. I can feel many things about those actions and the behaviours of the day; however, I don't feel guilty. I wasn't even alive.

 

I do draw parallels between the past and present and I do point out to my kids how even today people suffer from bigotry and hatred. And I do teach that we should study and learn from the past and do everything we can rectify the current problems. I guess my question was more existential -- when do we move from only negatively judging a people/organization for past mistakes (especially when they've taken steps to rectify those mistakes) to acknowledging and learning from the past and recognizing the present good things they do?

 

As to the bolded I think you are 100% spot on.

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My step-great-grandmother (does that make sense?) was a DAR.

She always rubbed it in my face that I couldn't be a DAR because I wasn't her blood kin (some of the other "blood" family were introduced/inducted when I was around 10). So, I don't necessarily have fond feelings of that organization, but I've never looked into it enough to know if it was racist or not.

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Had to vote other.

 

DAR - I don't think so, although I'd really need to know whether they would allow a descendent of someone who was a free black or slave at the time of the Revolution to join. That would affect my opinion.

 

DAC - After 2 years living in the South, yes. I've heard all the "we just want to commemorate a long-gone but gracious lifestyle" arguments, but when I try to discuss it with proponents, that lifestyle argument is predicated on slavery supporting that lifestyle. And descendents of "poor whites" from Confederate times don't seem especially welcome.

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Had to vote other.

 

DAR - I don't think so, although I'd really need to know whether they would allow a descendent of someone who was a free black or slave at the time of the Revolution to join. That would affect my opinion.

 

 

 

They do allow black women to join. The first black woman to do so (in the 1970s, so within many of our own lifelitmes) was descendent from a white patriot. However, I don't know how many black people living at the time would qualify as patriots by the DAR standards and have left the paper trail needed for DAR membership. It is not living then, it is aiding the patriots in a documentable way. There are spotty records of non-white patriot soldiers and more blacks fought for the British than for the patriots because the British offered them freedom.

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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

 

I agree. However, our entire nation was founded and flourished on racist policies and actions of our free, wealthy citizenry. Thank goodness we've moved forward. I wouldn't stop wanting to be an American because of our nation's sordid past. I simply want to do my part to make it better in the here and now and for the future for my children.

 

My maternal grandmother was heavily involved in the DAR and my mother has always been really snotty about it. :tongue_smilie: I've heard the story of the black opera singer being denied the chance to sing so many times. I would have more problem with the DAR if they hadn't changed and become a more tolerant organization as the rest of our country has changed for the better in this regard.

 

Collectively we still have a very long way to go but I would not want to be judged as an American by the actions my grandparents and great-grandparents took in the 20s-60s so I don't think it is fair to judge others for past history that they personally had no control over.

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Had to vote other.

 

DAR - I don't think so, although I'd really need to know whether they would allow a descendent of someone who was a free black or slave at the time of the Revolution to join. That would affect my opinion.

 

DAC - After 2 years living in the South, yes. I've heard all the "we just want to commemorate a long-gone but gracious lifestyle" arguments, but when I try to discuss it with proponents, that lifestyle argument is predicated on slavery supporting that lifestyle. And descendents of "poor whites" from Confederate times don't seem especially welcome.

 

I think you are referring to the Daughter of the Confederacy above. The OP states that DAC is an acronym for a group called the Daughters of American Colonists. (Not to take away from your points which, I assume, are about the Daughters of the Confederacy, but rather to clarify that the OP wasn't referring to them but to a different group in her post title.)

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no....not from what I've seen--I'm in the process of joining...the only requirement from what I've seen is that you have to have an ancestor that was in the rev. war or did something to greatly help our country in that time.....I was invited to sit in on a meeting and see if I liked it...It was all women of course but they were all nice and "normal" from what I could tell-they were all older than I was but I didn't see/feel any racism....

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No, I don't think the DAR is racist as an organization. I wouldn't be surprised if some members were though.

 

I was a member of the DAR at one point in time. My grandmother did all the paperwork and got me in. I didn't do anything. It was just a piece of paper and yearly fees so some older ladies in New England could get together for tea. I didn't continue membership. As I now have sympathies toward the loyalists, I wouldn't join for those reasons alone. But the whole exclusionary nature of the organization never sat well with me.

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An organization with solidly racist roots has an admission policy today that overwhelmingly favors whites, while admitting a few token minority members, on the basis of pride in cultural heritage?

 

When it comes down to it, even the Ku Klux Klan claims these days to spread a message of non-violent love along with cultural solidarity: http://www.kkk.com/ :ack2: I even found some info on blacks joining the KKK in the past. Still racist in my book.

 

Any organization focused on white cultural heritage, with all the attendant sordid details of racism, which excludes non-whites or nearly so, is inherently racist in my opinion. I don't believe that all members would see it that way, though, and I wouldn't call every member of such an organization a racist.

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It was all women of course but they were all nice and "normal" from what I could tell-they were all older than I was but I didn't see/feel any racism....

Out of curiosity, were there any non-whites present?

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An organization with solidly racist roots has an admission policy today that overwhelmingly favors whites, while admitting a few token minority members, on the basis of pride in cultural heritage?

 

When it comes down to it, even the Ku Klux Klan claims these days to spread a message of non-violent love along with cultural solidarity: http://www.kkk.com/ :ack2: I even found some info on blacks joining the KKK in the past. Still racist in my book.

 

Any organization focused on white cultural heritage, with all the attendant sordid details of racism, which excludes non-whites or nearly so, is inherently racist in my opinion. I don't believe that all members would see it that way, though, and I wouldn't call every member of such an organization a racist.

Are you anti any cultural heritage?

 

I'm not eligible to join several groups where I live. One is a group composed of decendants of a particular black settlement. Most of the members are decended from black loyalists, and aside from a few people who have married in (token members?), they are ALL black.

 

Then there is the black cultural center, which has a mission based on pride in cultural heritage.

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Out of curiosity, were there any non-whites present?

not in the group meeting that I went to,but alot of ladies were out for different reasons---on the website I looked at,I think it says it doesn't descriminate because of race......BTW--they always have some sort of patriotic presentation at meetings and one of the speakers that day was african american....he was from the local college....

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Hmm; well, that doesn't sound so terrible. And I haven't seen any DAR materials advocating segregation, etc., so at worst I'd call it a private organization which discriminates on entry. That's certainly not illegal.

 

Bluegoat, I'm not against valuing heritage, except that that's not all this is about; it's sort of like a racially discriminatory whites-only club, that today has coincidentally transitioned to an almost entirely whites-only club based on lineage, which was originally used to justify its discrimination.

 

It's also not true that the work of the DAR is all about their lineal heritage: http://www.dar.org/natsociety/worksociety.cfm

 

So here you have people out and about doing work based on history in general, erecting WW II memorials, etc., but only whites (mostly) need apply. Not illegal, but still a bit racist in my book, in light of the history. (But again, I really don't mean to suggest that the members are all or probably even mostly racist, and it's certainly not the most harfmul facet of racism.)

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I don't know what their admittance policies are - as long as they admit descendants of ALL Revolutionary War soldiers, then I wouldn't say they are, but I don't know that they do that in practice. I would think that in this day and age they would have to, but I don't know for sure. I don't know about the DAC at all.... I qualify for both groups, I believe, but have never sought admittance....

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If one were to shun every organization that had a "problematic" past, one would have to shun almost literally all organizations that have been out there for longer than a generation or two... from political parties, to national / heritage organizations, to religious organizations, to individual countries, as their genesis and development typically included lots of evil, morally questionable interests, and trickery along the way.

 

I do not think that exclusive clubs are bad per se. If a group has a particular interest or common ground they wish to do something with (and not at the expense of others in a society) or on the grounds of which they want to be connected, I see no reason why that would be morally unacceptable. I am not eligible to join a whole bunch of private organizations and I do not feel handicapped by it. Others are not eligible to join private organizations I am eligible to join and I do not think of myself as inherently "better" than them for being able to join those particular groups.

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When I have to explain to my daughter about the racism and bigotry that is part of our history, a part of our ancestral past, I own it. She asked me one day why Native Americans don't have very much land. The truth is, and I told her, that we took it from them. It was us. I have told her point-blank that "we white people took lands that were not our own, and we did terrible things in the process."

Can I ask something (in a kind, non-combative tone :))?

 

Is there a particular reason why are you wording this in "us" and "them" terms? I have sort of always had the opposite approach, the one of neutrality of terms, if possible - because it was not *me* who did something or to whom something was done, rather, it was about *other* people whom we may or may not be very related to nowadays. I would never wish my daughters either to take on the guilt of the previous generations, either to be victimized by the fate of the previous generations who were wronged on various levels - I think both are a rather unhealthy stance, so I tend to avoid "us" and "them" way of putting it. Just curious about why you decide to own it as though it really is something you personally have a part in.

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Bluegoat, I'm not against valuing heritage, except that that's not all this is about; it's sort of like a racially discriminatory whites-only club, that today has coincidentally transitioned to an almost entirely whites-only club based on lineage, which was originally used to justify its discrimination.

 

It's also not true that the work of the DAR is all about their lineal heritage: http://www.dar.org/natsociety/worksociety.cfm

 

So here you have people out and about doing work based on history in general, erecting WW II memorials, etc., but only whites (mostly) need apply. Not illegal, but still a bit racist in my book, in light of the history. (But again, I really don't mean to suggest that the members are all or probably even mostly racist, and it's certainly not the most harfmul facet of racism.)

 

A group can be about any common interest, shared value, or yes, even a shared physical connection. If you have a group based on, say, Scottish ancestory, they may well be mostly white. And why shouldn't such a group decide to raise funds to support things they value? Heck, my family has a big reunion every few years, and we sometimes will raise money to give to some cause, which has so far never had any connection to geneology.

 

A Mensa group can decide to exclude some people and can also decide to rainse money for cancer awareness if they want.

 

Now, if a group with some sort of historical ties excludes people who ought to be eligable for membership based on race, that is bad. If that kind of thing happend in the past I think the question is whether that exclusion was somehow part of the mission or purpose of the group, or whether it was more the result of being made up of people who held the typical social prejudices of their time.

 

A community stamp collecting club, for example, might have in the past excluded non-whites. That is not because stamp collecting has some kind of integral connection to racism - it is just a pass-time that is morally neutral. The people who were in the club and made the exclusionary rules or atmosphere are really the origin of the problem.

 

If the club has changed the rules, and none of the current members is looking to exclude non-whites, it seems a bit silly to charge them with racism or to claim that stamp collecting, per se, is culturally exclusionary.

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... but they do ("coincidentally" or not) continue to exclude almost all non-whites, even as their mission has broadened to include all sorts of historical stuff not tied to the Revolution.

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I can't speak for other DAR groups, but the local group in my area is just a bunch of women who get together to raise money for good causes, have some refreshments, and enjoy each others' company.

 

They actively look for new members and to the best of my knowledge, race has nothing to do with the membership process. They will also help prospective members in their quest to provide the necessary documentation they need to qualify for membership.

 

I think it is ridiculous to judge the DAR harshly now because of unsavory incidents in the past. Let's face it, almost every organization has a few things in its past that they are not proud of, but hopefully they are able to recognize those mistakes and move forward -- and it seems like the DAR is one of those groups.

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... but they do ("coincidentally" or not) continue to exclude almost all non-whites, even as their mission has broadened to include all sorts of historical stuff not tied to the Revolution.

 

Have you ever considered the possibility that not very many non-whites have bothered to apply for membership?

 

It's not as though DAR meetings are filled with hundreds of people. In our area, the local DAR chapter is very small, and I don't think they are exactly inundated with requests to join -- from women of any race.

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... but they do ("coincidentally" or not) continue to exclude almost all non-whites, even as their mission has broadened to include all sorts of historical stuff not tied to the Revolution.

 

 

Their mission hasn't broadened. They are still a group that is made up of people descended from a particular group of people involved in a particular historical event. Those are the people eligible to belong. Without going back in time, that isn't going to change.

 

The kinds of service projects they choose to do are not related to who is included in their membership. They could decide to put money into sending people to the moon, that doesn't change the nature of the pool of people eligible for membership.

 

Why are they predominantly white today? It is pretty hard to say without more information. Of all the qualifying ancestors, what were the ethnic backgrounds? Of the people of non-white ethnicity who would today be eligible, how many would be interested, or have applied? Is that because they feel unwanted, or because it just hasn't become part of their cultural tradition?

 

You seem to be making some very broad statements without enough actual data to support them one way or the other.

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Their mission hasn't broadened. They are still a group that is made up of people descended from a particular group of people involved in a particular historical event. Those are the people eligible to belong. Without going back in time, that isn't going to change.

The eligibility to join is different from their mission, which can be seen in the sorts of service work they do.

 

They could decide to put money into sending people to the moon, that doesn't change the nature of the pool of people eligible for membership.

Right, that's the point. They might as well call it the "Whites-Only Women's Historical Society (Now Open To Token Blacks Too!) Which Doesn't Do Anything Much Related To The Revolution, Compared To Everything Else".

 

You seem to be making some very broad statements without enough actual data to support them one way or the other.

Do I need data to observe that they're overwhelmingly white? :confused: An actual new member said she saw no black members at all. Is it hard for you to believe? We can agree not to quibble about that, if you like; then we really won't have anything to argue over. You can believe they're not exclusionary, and I'll continue to believe that they are, based on their racist past and the fact that their chosen membership criteria exclude almost everyone but whites today.

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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.

 

:seeya: So am I, as a descendant of Benjamin Rush. (I'm not a member).

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The eligibility to join is different from their mission, which can be seen in the sorts of service work they do.

 

 

Right, that's the point. They might as well call it the "Whites-Only Women's Historical Society (Now Open To Token Blacks Too!) Which Doesn't Do Anything Much Related To The Revolution, Compared To Everything Else".

 

 

So you would say, for example, that if my local Indian cultural group wanted to do mission projects for cancer, the SPCA, and children's sport events, they should allow non Indians to join, because now they are a mission group and not a cultural group?

 

That is bizarre - do you understand what a genealogical group is?

 

How is that different than saying if Mensa wants to raise money for school lunches they must admit people of all IQs.

 

People get together in groups that have all different kinds of connections - sometimes strange ones that most people don't care about. And then they decide to do something together - in their group - that they think is fun or useful. Part of the point is to do it together.

 

Do I need data to observe that they're overwhelmingly white? :confused: An actual new member said she saw no black members at all. Is it hard for you to believe? We can agree not to quibble about that, if you like; then we really won't have anything to argue over. You can believe they're not exclusionary, and I'll continue to believe that they are, based on their racist past and the fact that their chosen membership criteria exclude almost everyone but whites today.
Showing that they tend to be European is not the point. You need data to show why that is the case. You know what other groups tend to be made up of Europeans? Lutherans. Because a lot of them are of German decent. Or you could look at the cricket club in my town - they are all people with roots in the Indian sub-continent. Not because cricket is an anti-Canadian sport, but because it historically hasn't been played here and almost no Canadians actually understand the rules, and many sporty Canadians are busy with hockey or curling.

 

THe church next door to mine is composed entirely of blacks, because at one time the baptist churches where I live were separated racially, and the decedents of those people still go to the same churches. They are quite happy for anyone to attend, that has nothing to do with the fact that they are not racially diverse.

 

Just having a membership that is ethnically fairly uniform does not equal racism.

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But in the cases you describe, the members have a culture in common - the cricket players love cricket, the Lutherans and (separately) the Baptists share a religion, the Mensa folks have high IQs (and presumably the kinds of interests that go with that) in common. However, the DAR folks aren't judged on their beliefs or interests, or even their family's cultural heritage (as adopted children can only join if the qualify through blood, even if their adoptive family is well-qualified), but only on their bloodline. Folks who are interested in their charity work, or in the Revolution, but aren't of the right bloodline, can't join. I wouldn't describe it as racist, because it's not based on race. But it's obviously exclusionary, specifically of recent immigrants (among others) and I'm not sure I understand why they continue to limit membership based on bloodline, rather than welcoming members who share their interests and values. The cricket club, for example, would probably welcome anyone who had an interest in cricket, even if they were British or Australian or Canadian or whatever.

 

Once or twice I went to a local badminton club, which was mostly, well, people who wouldn't qualify for the DAR, but they welcomed everyone who wanted to play.

 

ETA - I'm not criticizing anyone who is a member, just really curious why the exclusion continues to exist, as it doesn't seem to be based on any actual interests or characteristics of the individual, but rather on blood alone, even to the point of excluding adopted kids from member families (if they don't qualify based on their birth bloodline).

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People get together in groups that have all different kinds of connections - sometimes strange ones that most people don't care about. And then they decide to do something together - in their group - that they think is fun or useful. Part of the point is to do it together.

 

:iagree: There are a great many groups and clubs that I don't belong to and that I have no business applying to. For example, anything involving being descended from the Aztecs. Or enjoying stamp collecting. Or being Black. Or liking green beans. That doesn't mean that they aren't legitimate, non-hateful groups and a nice environment for those that do fit those criteria.

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But in the cases you describe, the members have a culture in common - the cricket players love cricket, the Lutherans and (separately) the Baptists share a religion, the Mensa folks have high IQs (and presumably the kinds of interests that go with that) in common. However, the DAR folks aren't judged on their beliefs or interests, or even their family's cultural heritage (as adopted children can only join if the qualify through blood, even if their adoptive family is well-qualified), but only on their bloodline. Folks who are interested in their charity work, or in the Revolution, but aren't of the right bloodline, can't join. I wouldn't describe it as racist, because it's not based on race. But it's obviously exclusionary, specifically of recent immigrants (among others) and I'm not sure I understand why they continue to limit membership based on bloodline, rather than welcoming members who share their interests and values. The cricket club, for example, would probably welcome anyone who had an interest in cricket, even if they were British or Australian or Canadian or whatever.

 

Once or twice I went to a local badminton club, which was mostly, well, people who wouldn't qualify for the DAR, but they welcomed everyone who wanted to play.

 

ETA - I'm not criticizing anyone who is a member, just really curious why the exclusion continues to exist, as it doesn't seem to be based on any actual interests or characteristics of the individual, but rather on blood alone, even to the point of excluding adopted kids from member families (if they don't qualify based on their birth bloodline).

 

Because it IS based on blood lines. The common factor is sharing a bloodline from the American Revolution. Otherwise it wouldn't be called "Daughters" it would be called "Some People Who Like American History" :D.

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I couldn't figure out what FDR had to do with someone not singing at the DAR in the 1960s, so I looked up the incident. This was on the DAR website.

 

Q. Why was famous black contralto, Marian Anderson, not permitted to sing at Constitution Hall in 1939?

A. The incident in 1939 was one of the first milestones in the struggle for Civil Rights in America. Washington, D.C., was a segregated city at that time and Constitution Hall limited performances to white artists. As the country began to tear down the barriers of race-discrimination, DAR followed suit and changed its policy for the Hall. Miss Anderson sang at Constitution Hall six times after 1939 and launched her farewell tour from our stage.

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Well, I just joined our local chapter, and I have to say these sweet old ladies don't have a racist bone in their bodies. I've never heard anything about DAR being racist. In fact, the history of blacks in the revolution is fascinating and little known, and I think they would be eager to welcome those descendents. Just my observations here.

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That is bizarre - do you understand what a genealogical group is?

Yep. The KKK is full of people who share genealogy too. That doesn't mean it's not discriminatory.

 

How is that different than saying if Mensa wants to raise money for school lunches they must admit people of all IQs.

Well, for one thing, Mensa doesn't just have a general focus, but a focus on high intelligence. DAR doesn't really have a focus on the American Revolution (except to the extent it allows them to restrict membership, that is), as shown clearly by the link I posted. They have a focus on history. It's likely a great many white Americans could find some ancestor who fought in the American Revolution, and not as many blacks.

 

As late as 1984, DAR apparently had apparently not gotten the memo that the civil rights movement had ever occurred, and that blacks might be just as patriotic as whites. Even today, membership is by invitation only, though of course no one's allowed to discriminate. :hurray:

 

People get together in groups that have all different kinds of connections - sometimes strange ones that most people don't care about. And then they decide to do something together - in their group - that they think is fun or useful. Part of the point is to do it together.
Sure, like wearing white pointy hats, for example.

 

You know what other groups tend to be made up of Europeans? Lutherans. Because a lot of them are of German decent.

Anyone can become a Lutheran, or even a cricket-playing Lutheran.

 

THe church next door to mine is composed entirely of blacks, because at one time the baptist churches where I live were separated racially, and the decedents of those people still go to the same churches. They are quite happy for anyone to attend, that has nothing to do with the fact that they are not racially diverse.

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:seeya: So am I, as a descendant of Benjamin Rush. (I'm not a member).

 

 

Huh. I once spent an afternoon trying to figure out if I was related to Benjamin Rush. There are Rushes in my family, but I think they lived 30 miles apart.

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Iucounu, please don't think I'm being hostile or disagreeable, because I'm only asking this question because I am genuinely interested in your answer.

 

Do you believe that groups like the DAR should not be allowed to exist?

 

You seem quite bitter toward the DAR (and other groups that you deem to be exclusionary,) and I'm wondering what you would do about them. Would you require that every single club or organization be open to anyone who wants to join?

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Iucounu, please don't think I'm being hostile or disagreeable, because I'm only asking this question because I am genuinely interested in your answer.

 

Do you believe that groups like the DAR should not be allowed to exist?

 

You seem quite bitter toward the DAR (and other groups that you deem to be exclusionary,) and I'm wondering what you would do about them. Would you require that every single club or organization be open to anyone who wants to join?

No problem. I don't know why I would seem to be bitter, and I've already pointed out that it can be perfectly legal to exclude people from membership. The question was whether the organization is a racist one, not whether it's legal.

 

Does it make sense to assume that an organization with racist roots, whose head as late as the mid-1980s fully supported the exclusion of a potential member on the basis of race, which only then passed a grand resolution that no one should be discrminated against under threat of losing tax-exempt status, which has eligibility criteria skewed towards whites and not related to its work, which gives local chapters full discretion on admission or exclusion of new members, and which is overwhelmingly white today -- does it make sense to assume that this organization is no longer racist, on the general basis that people of a racial group can enjoy harmless fun together? I don't think so.

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Someone please tell me that I am not the only person here who is thinking that a few posters are creating controversy where none exists.

 

Personally, I don't see anything sinister or racist about the probability that the DAR is filled with little old white ladies whose families have lived in the USA since Revolutionary times, but apparently some people take issue with it. I just don't get it. I'm sure these nice ladies aren't secretly plotting against people who don't have the same history, and I'm pretty sure they don't sit around and talk about how much better they are than all of those people whose families didn't get here until the War of 1812. ;) They are proud of their heritage, as are the people who join their local Italian-American club, Polish-American club, Irish-American club, or any other similar organization. I can't join the VFW or the American Legion, but I certainly don't begrudge those who can.

 

I am saddened that there seems to be an attitude that, "If I can't join a particular club, then it must be dangerously racist, elitist, and otherwise evil." (Never mind that you'd probably never want to join it, anyway.)

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Cat, I don't see the need for hyperbole. An organization need not be dangerous, etc. in order to be racist. What's going on here is a discussion; the OP opened up a discussion on a discussion board, and as tends to happen, people have different viewpoints. Nobody's slavering at the mouth over little old ladies. :cheers2:

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No problem. I don't know why I would seem to be bitter, and I've already pointed out that it can be perfectly legal to exclude people from membership. The question was whether the organization is a racist one, not whether it's legal.

 

OK -- thanks for clarifying. I misunderstood part of what you were saying; now it's clear. :001_smile:

 

Does it make sense to assume that an organization with racist roots, whose head as late as the mid-1980s fully supported the exclusion of a potential member on the basis of race, which only then passed a grand resolution that no one should be discrminated against under threat of losing tax-exempt status, which has eligibility criteria skewed towards whites and not related to its work, which gives local chapters full discretion on admission or exclusion of new members, and which is overwhelmingly white today -- does it make sense to assume that this organization is no longer racist, on the general basis that people of a racial group can enjoy harmless fun together? I don't think so.

 

I honestly think you're reading too much into the intentions of the DAR. I'm not saying that there are no racists in the DAR; there are racists in every group. But I have a strong feeling that the biggest reason that the DAR is predominantly white is because very few non-whites have an interest in joining the group, even if they qualify for membership. In truth, I think the bigger problem the DAR faces is that so few younger women are joining (no matter what race they may be.)

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Yep. The KKK is full of people who share genealogy too. That doesn't mean it's not discriminatory.

 

Nor does it mean it is. Do you find mentioning the KKK convinces people you must be right since you hate the KKK?

 

Do you also feel that other ethnic groups should be banned? Down with Scottish clan societies! Down with the Africville society! Down with family reunions!

 

Well, for one thing, Mensa doesn't just have a general focus, but a focus on high intelligence. DAR doesn't really have a focus on the American Revolution (except to the extent it allows them to restrict membership, that is), as shown clearly by the link I posted. They have a focus on history. It's likely a great many white Americans could find some ancestor who fought in the American Revolution, and not as many blacks.

 

Mensa is a society for people who can pass an IQ test, and are interested in having meet ups with those who like to play at puzzle games and such.

 

The DAR is a group for people who had ancestors in a particular conflict, are interested in history, and like to do good works.

 

THe Charitable Irish Society is a group for people who are of Irish descent and like to be involved in charitable work....

 

You are suggesting some sort of rule whereby the membership of the group determines what the group is allowed to do? So, a group of cancer survivors isn't allowed to form a league of baseball teams unless they also allow people who have never had cancer to join?

 

As late as 1984, DAR apparently had apparently not gotten the memo that the civil rights movement had ever occurred, and that blacks might be just as patriotic as whites. Even today, membership is by invitation only, though of course no one's allowed to discriminate. :hurray:

 

So you would like to ban invitation only groups?

 

Since the discussion is over whether there is inherent racism in the group and/or whether racism is currently a real feature of it's existence, I don't really think that one incident from over 25 years ago is very helpful at establishing a pattern.

 

Sure, like wearing white pointy hats, for example.

 

I am pretty sure this comment should be a candidate for Godwin's law. It doesn't strictly fit the criteria since you didn't mention the Nazis, but you've mentioned the KKK to score points twice. Do spell out your argument here - because some groups are racist, you can claim this one is based on a characteristic it shares with other, non-racist groups? Because you mentioned the KKK, you don't have to supply anything substantial?

 

Anyone can become a Lutheran, or even a cricket-playing Lutheran.

 

The example I gave of Lutherans dealt with the point that lack of ethnic diversity isn't proof or even evidence, alone, of a racial agenda, as you had suggested You haven't I noticed addressed the cultural organizations I mentioned which often also are involved in charitable work unrelated to their cultural ties.

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Cat, I don't see the need for hyperbole. An organization need not be dangerous, etc. in order to be racist. What's going on here is a discussion; the OP opened up a discussion on a discussion board, and as tends to happen, people have different viewpoints. Nobody's slavering at the mouth over little old ladies. :cheers2:

 

I didn't know anything about the history of the DAR until I read this thread, but it does appear that their policy has changed with the times, and that they now welcome members of any race, so while I would agree that based on the info I've read here, there was once a racial issue, I would disagree that the organization should be condemned forever as a result. If their policy currently states that you have to be able to trace your heritage back to the American Revolution, and oh yeah, you also have to be white... that would be a different situation entirely.

 

Although I have to admit that we still need to watch out for some of those little old ladies. Sure, they look sweet and kindly, but a lot of them are a lot tougher than they look -- and the corners of those handbags they carry are SHARP, so don't even think about cutting in front of them in line at the DAR bake sale! :D

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Do you also feel that other ethnic groups should be banned? Down with Scottish clan societies!

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

If they disband the Scottish clan societies, where else will we see the hot looking men in kilts??? :tongue_smilie:

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