No blacks were allowed at Augusta National Golf Club until 1990. It's hard to imagine that as recently as the progressive heyday of the 80s, a person of African descent was excluded from joining a golf club, simply because of the color of their skin.
There also used to be a rule that all caddies had to be black -- serving only white men on the greens. Men of color were considered to be inferior to white men, plain and simple.
It's unimaginable today. Think about the likes of Tiger Woods or the President of the United States being banned. And it's not just prominent people who matter. It's the average Joe who makes this country happen, who work, and play golf.
Speaking of Joe's -- they may all be allowed in now but the Josephine's aren't. No Condi Rices, First Ladies or business leaders. The Augusta National Golf Club now accepts minority men but no women -- of any race.
Their continued mantra as to why, is that it's their "tradition" and it's a private club so they can do what they want. But it begs the question as to why they now allow men of color. If it's a private matter, why didn't they just stick with their all-white, all-male policy?
The answer is obvious. To ban men of color would rightly be seen as racism. Who could defend that as "tradition"?
But to ban all women also seems to say that women are inferior. Yet it's acceptable because it's "traditional". How do we explain this to our daughters?
Many women are fine with the ban. They simply don't care. But others do, protested the club during big competitions.
But this year's Masters competition has been more contentious given the sponsor of the competition is IBM, with a female CEO. Her name is Virginia Rometty and many people want to know if she will be given the traditional green jacket. Because she is a woman, it's not likely.
What does this say about sponsoring a tournament that will take the money from the company's CEO, but not allow her to join, because she wasn't born a man? And why did IBM go ahead with the sponsorship?
These are the questions being thrown around this year, with many calling "tradition" nothing more than blatant discrimination, and others saying it's okay ... because it has always been this way. It's not good to rock the good old boys' boat.
I hope when my small daughters grow up, they'll study this in their history books, as history. We just might need another Rosa Parks. This time with a set of clubs and balls bigger than the men who try to refuse their entry.
How do you feel about Augusta's policy? Should a private club have the right to exclude women?
Would you feel differently if it was a "No Blacks Allowed Membership" policy rather than the current "No Women" rule?
How would you explain this to your daughter?
Edited by Jody Smith
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