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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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Date:January 4th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)


My family has been here long enough that I could join the DAR. IIRC, my first ancestor to come to America was also the first teacher here. I think we even found a reference to him in my husband's "Forgotten English" calendar, but I forgot to have Chris save it, which is too bad... it would amuse my Dad.

But, why would I want to join them? I'm not sure that I understand the appeal of a club which apparently says "We've been here a long time. Go us!" What do they talk about? Clubs should really be about shared interests.

Now, alternative guide animals, that interests me! I always smile when I see a guide dog in a store, and a guide miniature horse would just make my day. The guide parrot looks like she's in an acrylic enclosure, which seems very sanitary. People should like that even more than guide dogs.
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Date:January 4th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)


Well, they sponsor a lot of things in DC and have a museum, so it's more than just a group of women, but there is that bit of having an ancestor in the right place, and being able to prove it.
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