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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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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.

 

I think this is probably a good point. I could apply for DAR membership, some members of my family are already members, so the research has been done. That branch of the family also has famous Native American ancestors. And you cannot necessarily tell by looking. Asking whether all members were present were white isn't a smart question.

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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....

 

 

Maybe the reason why none of these groups bother me is because I qualify for membership in all of them... ;) And at the Mensa meetings I attended, people mostly milled around, drinking and eating hors d'oeuvres. The DAR meetings are probably similar, except maybe there's more sitting down, drinking tea, and eating pastry. The Irish group is probably a lot more fun (and I don't mean that in a stereotypical racist way... :D)

 

PS. OK, I'm not entirely sure I qualify for the Irish one, but I think I probably do. ;)

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I think we've become hyper- sensitive over these kinds of things and it has really jumped the shark. Groups of like- minded people will tend to gather and plan activities that mutually interest them - The End. So much energy, IMO, worrying about finding controversy.

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I think we've become hyper- sensitive over these kinds of things and it has really jumped the shark. Groups of like- minded people will tend to gather and plan activities that mutually interest them - The End. So much energy, IMO, worrying about finding controversy.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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They don't exclude on the basis of race. They exclude on the basis of lineage. I'm sure there are a vast number of black Americans who - if they can get past the handicap of shoddy record keeping regarding Americans of color in those centuries - would be eligible for membership. As a white girl whose great grandparents were all Canadian, I would not.

 

So, given the number of white people also completely ineligible, I'm going with a "not racist" vote on the membership requirements.

 

And, yes, there were many people who rallied against segregation in the late 19th-early 20th century. But part of the cultural mores of the time were actual laws that prevented allowing non-whites in various roles. I imagine it would have been much more difficult to break the law in such a grand fashion as a performance than in private meeting.

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and yes I agree with the poster that said it's mostly older women and they might not get alot of requests to join from "younger" generations.....I am interested in genealogy/family tree research that's how I found out about them and the "how" to join....I'm supposed to be finishing my paperwork and "proof" of how the ancestor in my tree is related to me-hopefully to get it finished by April 2012.....the lady that is helping me basicly said that at least her chapter doesn't get many "younger" ladies.....

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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.

 

Same here.

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So, given the number of white people also completely ineligible, I'm going with a "not racist" vote on the membership requirements.

 

Yep. As far as I know, I'm not eligible. I have done some genealogy, and my family mostly came over in the 1800s. My grandmother was born a couple years after her parents came over from Scotland in the 1930s. I'm happy with my ancestry, and I think it's also fascinating that other people know so much about their own ancestry in the context of US history.

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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.

 

 

Rather ends the debate does it not, especially the last sentence.

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Rather ends the debate does it not, especially the last sentence.

I think not, especially since as late as the mid-80s the head of the group publicly blessed exclusion on the basis of race, and to this day individual chapters, which control admission, are given full discretion on admissions of eligible members.

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They don't exclude on the basis of race. They exclude on the basis of lineage. I'm sure there are a vast number of black Americans who - if they can get past the handicap of shoddy record keeping regarding Americans of color in those centuries - would be eligible for membership. As a white girl whose great grandparents were all Canadian, I would not.

 

"About 250,000 men served as regulars or as militiamen for the Revolutionary cause in the eight years of the war, but there were never more than 90,000 men under arms at one time."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War#American_armies_and_militias

 

"It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served as soldiers for the Continental army..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Americans_in_the_Revolutionary_War

 

So that's about 2% estimated of the total soldiers who fought on the American side (subject to the paperwork issues you've identified). It's about .9% of the total estimated black population in America at the time (again from Wikipedia, and again subject to the same paperwork issues). Throw in a membership full of little old ladies who grew up in a time when racism was open and commonplace, fast-forward to the mid-1980s when the head of the order supported exclusion on the basis of race (only rethinking her position when the DAR stood to lose tax-exempt status), and it's not much of a stretch to guess that much exclusion on the basis of race still goes on, when a black American is aware of the possibility of membership and is able to supply the needed proofs.

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"About 250,000 men served as regulars or as militiamen for the Revolutionary cause in the eight years of the war, but there were never more than 90,000 men under arms at one time."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War#American_armies_and_militias

 

"It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served as soldiers for the Continental army..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Americans_in_the_Revolutionary_War

 

So that's about 2% estimated of the total soldiers who fought on the American side (likely due to the paperwork issues you've identified). It's about .9% of the total estimated black population in America at the time (again from Wikipedia, and again subject to the same paperwork issues). Throw in a membership full of little old ladies who grew up in a time when racism was open and commonplace, fast-forward to the mid-1980s when the head of the order supported exclusion on the basis of race (only rethinking her position when the DAR stood to lose tax-exempt status), and it's not much of a stretch to guess that much exclusion on the basis of race still goes on, when a black American is aware of the possibility of membership and is able to supply the needed proofs.

 

Wow. You really don't want to let this go, do you? :confused:

 

I think this issue runs way deeper for you than whether or not the DAR is a racist organization, and perhaps it's time for all of us to just agree to disagree, so no one ends up with hurt feelings.

 

I'm sorry if anything I posted offended you -- it seems like this is a hot-button issue for you (we all have them!) and I certainly respect your feelings and opinions, even if I don't always agree with you.

 

:001_smile:

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I haven't read beyond the first page, and I'm wondering if there were a few turns in the thread now that it's on page 12 ... (but not wondering enough to wade through it :blush:!)

 

I don't know that they're racist, but they're certainly serious about their organization and keeping the bloodlines true. And that's their prerogative. I had a friend denied membership because she was adopted; her sister (the parents' biological child) was admitted - and that was the organization's explanation: adoption is grounds for DQ of admittance.

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Wow. You really don't want to let this go, do you? :confused:

 

I think this issue runs way deeper for you than whether or not the DAR is a racist organization, and perhaps it's time for all of us to just agree to disagree, so no one ends up with hurt feelings.

 

I'm sorry if anything I posted offended you -- it seems like this is a hot-button issue for you (we all have them!) and I certainly respect your feelings and opinions, even if I don't always agree with you.

No need for an apology, but there's also no need to try to end the thread when someone else is replying to a previous post. The discussion's over when it's over, not when a person decides that it's over for them personally and bows out.

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No need for an apology, but there's also no need to try to end the thread when someone else is replying to a previous post. The discussion's over when it's over, not when a person decides that it's over for them personally and bows out.

 

I wasn't trying to end the thread; I was simply stating that you seem very passionate about the topic, and I wanted to be sure I hadn't personally offended you, because the issue seems more important to you than it does to me. You have made your point several times, and I guess I'm just a little surprised that you still want to respond to every dissenting opinion.

 

Of course, you can keep doing it if you'd like -- I didn't mean to sound as though I didn't think you shouldn't post any more to this thread, and again, I'm sorry if I came across the wrong way. :001_smile:

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That's the nature of a discussion; someone makes a point, someone else makes a counterpoint, and so forth. They can go on for quite some time.

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I think not, especially since as late as the mid-80s the head of the group publicly blessed exclusion on the basis of race, and to this day individual chapters, which control admission, are given full discretion on admissions of eligible members.

 

If Miss Anderson started her farewell tour on their stage she obviously did not feel about them as you do, given that she was party to the incident and you simply read about it I am inclined to take her viewpoint rather than yours.

 

Argue about DAR if you like, but the argument that they were behind the appalling treatment of Miss Anderson is weak as she does not appear to have felt so and apparently did NOT deem them a racist group.

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If Miss Anderson started her farewell tour on their stage she obviously did not feel about them as you do, given that she was party to the incident and you simply read about it I am inclined to take her viewpoint rather than yours.

 

Argue about DAR if you like, but the argument that they were behind the appalling treatment of Miss Anderson is weak as she does not appear to have felt so and apparently did NOT deem them a racist group.

 

You assume feelings that may or may not be so. I don't presume to know what Marian Anderson thought of playing Constitution Hall, but many African Americans endured experiences that may not have been comfortable for themselves because they understood the breakthroughs they were making were important to their people, and acted from a sense of greater duty.

 

The DAR was responsible for denying her (and other black performers) use of their hall. I fully endorse the organizations attempts to make amends for their past, but it is not wrong that there were controversies regarding race and membership in the DAR up through the 1980s.

 

Bill

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If Miss Anderson started her farewell tour on their stage she obviously did not feel about them as you do, given that she was party to the incident and you simply read about it I am inclined to take her viewpoint rather than yours.

Your assigning a viewpoint to Marian Anderson without any basis doesn't mean that the DAR was not actually racist when they denied her the right to sing, or much later in the 1980s. In fact even Eleanor Roosevelt apparently quit the DAR in protest over the racism displayed towards Anderson.

 

Nor does it mean that Marian Anderson thought they were not racist-- it makes more sense to assume that she sang there after the public outcry to make a point, rather than that there were no hard feelings. If you have any actual support for the idea that Marian Anderson thought the DAR was not racist, I'd be happy to read it.

 

Argue about DAR if you like, but the argument that they were behind the appalling treatment of Miss Anderson

:confused: They directly perpetrated it.

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:confused: They directly perpetrated it.

 

Awful as it may be they certainly did not perpetrate it.

 

 

They were following the law, a cruel horrible disgusting law, but the law. If you want to go after someone go after FDR for his treatment of Owens he (FDR) had a choice and he acted in a ghastly manner.

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Awful as it may be they certainly did not perpetrate it. They were following the law, a cruel horrible disgusting law, but the law.

They most certainly did. Read up before arguing further. Even Wikipedia is clear on this.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daughters_of_the_american_revolution

 

Do you have a citation for the law you've suggested exists? I can't find trace of it, only information that the DAR themselves barred Marian Anderson from their stage, and then reversed themselves (without the passage of a local law overturning an older one) when there was a public outcry.

 

There's simply no real argument: the DAR was significantly racist at least up through the 1980s. I see no reason to assume that its membership of little old white ladies excludes no one on a racial basis today, especially when they're given complete discretion which enables them to do so easily.

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Even Wikipedia is clear on this.

 

 

"In 1932, Washington, D.C. was a segregated city. The DAR adopted a rule excluding African-American artists from the stage at Constitution Hall, built in 1929, following protests by some members over "mixed seating"—blacks and whites seated together at concerts of black artists."

 

And also,

 

"But, they did not officially reverse their "whites only" policy until 1952."

 

This was a choice made by the DAR, not a capitulation to a law.

 

Tara

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