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Marilee J. Layman

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09:13 pm: Unusual Assistance Animals and My Reflexive Racism
Let's take the last first -- I was reading an old WashPost last night and my eye caught on a concert by the Blind Boys of Alabama at DAR Constitution Hall. My reflexive thought was that the Daughters of the American Revolution must not have known the Blind Boys were also black men. And then I realized that the DAR admitted black women in 1984. When Marian Anderson's manager tried to book her in the Hall in 1939, she was not allowed (and sang standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial) and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, plus thousands of others, quit the DAR. The DAR didn't officially change their whites-only policy for performers until 1952. So it was a long time, and even if I qualified, I wouldn't want to join, but they do allow not only black, but Hispanic and Native Americans, as long as their lineage meets the qualifications. Still, my mind thinks of them as racist, which is racist in itself.

This is the blog of a writer who has a very interesting NYT article (linked in the blog) about unusual assistance animals. Guide horses (miniature), a parrot that helps keep a guy from being psychotic, and a monkey that lets an agoraphobic woman go outside, for example. She has some additional video and pictures in the blog post that are as interesting as the NYT article.

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[User Picture]
Date:January 4th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Besides, my ancestor in the Revolutionary War was a Prussian mercenary working for the Brits! His descendants have often been American military men, but he was on the wrong side, and stayed. No, I just grew up and spent time as an adult acknowledging that they were racist and now, technically, they aren't.
[User Picture]
Date:January 4th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
My wife chose not to become a DAR, but she could have joined as she goes all the way back to George Washington himself, and to his cousin Benedict Arnold. A bit more than a decade before, Benny got wounded in the foot when he and others tried to invade my hometown.
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