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As they sip Mint Juleps in a few days along the Front Nine on Master's Sunday here in Augusta - there is a new Controversy facing the elite Club.

The Augusta National Golf Club has a long proud legacy of racism, elitism and sexism.

It wasn't long ago when blacks were not allowed to be members - but there was no denying Mr. Elder, Mr. Woods and others.

Of course black caddies were encouraged - they just could never become members - no matter how many miles they hauled those clubs for Club members.

So yes - and of course - it should go without saying - the Augusta National must finally allow women to be members.

Now the controversy surrounds the new IBM Chief Executive Virginia Rometty - who has not been invited to become a member because she is a woman.

IBM is one of the main sponsors of the Masters - and the heads of all other major sponsored (all men) have been invited to be members.

In their usual fashion, the officials at the Augusta National remain cloistered in their little Green Kingdom - and have no comment.

But even if the Augusta National bosses allow women to become members - never forget that children go to bed hungry only a few miles from the Gates of The National.

The average Augusta resident will never be allowed to go through those Mighty Green Gates.

The Augusta National has hosted many Presidents - from Eisenhower to Reagan.

Does anybody remember when a drunken white redneck took President Reagan's staff hostage inside the Clubhouse after crashing his "Ram Tough" truck through the Gates of the Augusta National?

The late great famed Augusta disc jockey Buddy Carr joked it was a "Damn Tough" truck because it evaded Secret Service snipers and all the other security when it was driven through the locked gates.

That late October 1983 weekend would shake the world.

A friend of mine has the Secret Service tapes of President Reagan trying to negotiate with the very drunk hostage-taker.

The event made national news for only a few hours because it was a weekend the world would never forget - and all the planning and reaction made by President Reagan about two historic events was done inside one of the cottages at the Augusta National.

He ordered the Grenada Invasion from Augusta - and later Reagan was whisked away at 3 a.m. under the darkness of a rainy Sunday morning because the Beirut Barracks Bombing had just occurred - killing 299 American and French servicemen.

Upon arriving in the dark in D.C. - Reagan stepped off Air Force One and gave a brief statement to reporters under umbrellas.

In a sad Irony, a madman in a truck had crashed through the Marine gates in Beirut - just like had happened only hours earlier to the gates at the Augusta National - only nobody died in Augusta.

The Good Ole Boy from Columbia County near Augusta was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for that drunken escapade.

History has been made at the National - and now it must once again make history - though one day it must address its policy of secrecy, elitism and more.

The Augusta National must do more to help the low-income residents of Augusta and Georgia - in a real and meaningful way -only a few are only allowed to be occasional employees.

I'm not talking about a one-time token donation - this dynasty must become human (some of its members are among the 1 percent who crashed the economy).

Lately the corporate trend has been to create low-paid part-time jobs thus avoiding laws that require benefits for full-time staff.

The dues paid by Augusta National members in one year to hob nob at the immaculately groomed club - equal more than most Augusta kids can eat in their lifetime.

The "Masters" in Augusta must leave their big plantation and help with the freedom of America's enslaved low-income working class - many of whom are unemployed.

Originally posted to Terence Dicks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well said, sir. (7+ / 0-)

    Change is definitely needed in Augusta.   Let us hope it actually occurs.

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    by Bob Duck on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 12:03:24 AM PDT

    •  Why doesn't IBM withdraw its sponsorship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lovelyone, Mannie

      and lobby for others to do the same? They could redirect that money to people who really need it.  

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:37:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MadRuth - that's really the right question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If the men only policy is unacceptable to IBM they can drop their sponsorship when their contract expires. My guess is that they will keep sponsoring The Masters even if their new CEO is not invited to join Augusta National. She may not even golf.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 07:03:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You would think they'd be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terence Dicks, MadRuth, lovelyone

    rich enough to buy a conscience.

  •  did you see or read Billy Payne's press conference (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, Ice Blue, Cedwyn

    the chairman of the club did himself no favors

    He went on about how he hoped more young people would take up golf, that his club wanted to be involved in making that happen and, somehow, it never occurred to him that some young people are female. When he got called on it he suddenly didn't want to talk about it.

    •  the question pierced his cocoon (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terence Dicks, lcs, jhop7, Ice Blue, Cedwyn, MadRuth

      You have to remember some of these folks think "Gone with the Wind" and "Birth of a Nation"  are  documentaries

    •  Par for the Course (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The entire atmosphere at the National is a world unto itself with no regard for outside influences - unless it hurts their wallets.

      •  Terence - members pay no dues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There isn't even an initial fee to join and no one can apply for membership. The Masters generates so much money that Augusta National needs no other source of revenue. Men are invited to join by a membership committee.

        The members are mostly from the US, and few are local. The members don't have any specific interest in the Augusta community in part because few of them live there. Augusta National is it's own little world. It is one of the main economic engines of the Augusta area, but it is very insulated.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 07:13:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  here are a couple of sources on the right of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terence Dicks, VClib

    private clubs to maintain discriminatory practices

    One of the disappointing aspects for me was to discover Warren Buffett is a member.  He has been very helpful in advancing Progressive causes so maybe he can be of assistance here in dragging the Masters into the 20th Century at least, if not all the way to the present  

  •  It's not like there are any elite clubs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    out there which are exclusively female. Oh wait. Yeah, there kinda are.

    If these guys want a private club for men they are no less horrible than women who want all women's clubs. I don't necessarily understand the desire to want to belong to exclusively male or female clubs. I wouldn't want to, myself. But this is just a silly nontroversy.

    I could care less about this except for the fact that this appears to me to be nothing more than a political power play, an effort to see if these guys can be forced to do something they don't want to do, to be publicly humiliated... to "show these assholes who's boss". And that's bullshit.

    These guys aren't attacking women. They're not stopping women from playing golf either, the LPGA is doing just fine without them. And there are plenty of exclusively female athletic and social clubs in this country, some of them are kind of a big deal.

    What's the difference?

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:03:16 AM PDT

    •  Did you read your link? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, lovelyone

      that orginazation does not purposely exclude men.

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:42:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the difference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that the Augusta membership is an excellent example of the elite (white men) ruling the world. The exclusionary aspect is purposeful and will not be relinquished. The boys will always say, 'let the girls have their own club' because they know it will give the women some false sense of equality when really it just secures their boys club. The issue with men only clubs is that it's far from just being social. Many important business and social issues are being discussed and implemented at these clubs and gosh, if the girls and minorities are not there, then guess what? They don't have a voice.

      you get what you give

      by chicagobleu on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 07:11:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very insightful diary Terence... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, jadt65, Ice Blue, lovelyone, Mannie

    there is so much wrong with Augusta.

    “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” President Obama 1/24/12

    by BarackStarObama on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:50:56 AM PDT

  •  How can it call itself "National?" They exclude (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    53% of the population from joining. They need to drop the "National" from its name. Also, the good ol' boys need a slap across the face from their mothers.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 05:56:02 AM PDT

  •  I can't afford to ski at Deer Valley (0+ / 0-)

    But if people want to, I don't have a problem with it.  

    I'll ski at Brighton or Alta.

    I worked a couple of days at Deer Valley once and picked up some extra money.

    There's another course near Augusta National that the "locals" golf at.  Augusta Municipal or something like that.

  •  A point to add to this excellent diary (0+ / 0-)
    The Augusta National must do more to help the low-income residents of Augusta and Georgia - in a real and meaningful way -only a few are only allowed to be occasional employees.
    How about being able to see the Augusta golf course as you exit Ft. Gordon (Arny Post).  All those service men/women who most assuredly don't come from privledged families and will never be able to play there.  You see it as you drive out the gate (I was stationed there back in 1991, & 3 month TDY in 1995 so I can no longer remember which gate it was)
    •  Mannie - while few will ever play there (0+ / 0-)

      In the earlier days of The Masters it was common for soldiers from Ft. Gordon to be given passes to attend for free. Now that it has become such an international event, and tickets are not even available to the public to be purchased, there are no more soldiers from Ft. Gordon. However, when they did regularly attend they had a favorite, Arnold Palmer, and the soldiers in their summer khaki uniforms would follow Palmer from hole to hole as he played the course. This was how the term "Arnie's Army" came to pass. From that point on all of Palmer's fans who would follow his play in any tournament were referred to as Arnie's Army.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 08:25:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  shocked (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, that's right I'm shocked, shocked that racism, bigotry and greed are being practiced at this establishment. NOT!

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