While Tiger Woods takes a swing at earning another green jacket at the Masters this weekend, hundreds of protesters have converged on the premier golf event at Augusta National in Augusta, Ga., to take a swipe at the club’s unwritten policy excluding women – and still other demonstrators plan to protest the protesters.
Eclipsing a 10-month battle to pressure the private club to invite women to join, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, or NCWO, will be staging a demonstration down the street from the front gates of the prestigious club at 10 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow.
The 160-member coalition, which claims to collectively represent over 7 million women nationwide, reportedly has amassed hundreds of participants who will be led by NCWO chair Martha Burk. Burk has compared women returning from war and facing “discrimination” at Augusta National to the segregation blacks faced in the United States after returning from World War II.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has joined in the effort. Jackson has called the club’s policy “gender-apartheid.”
“We are creating a united front with NCWO,” Jackson said. “The walls of discrimination must come down without compromise.”
After Masters chairman William “Hootie” Johnson rebuffed NCWO’s written entreaties and
threats to discuss the matter, the women’s group launched a full-scale assault on the club’s media
sponsors, prompting Johnson to drop them, leaving the CBS television network the sole sponsor of the tournament telecast. NCWO then posted a “Hall of Hypocrisy” website listing the corporations it contends “sanction sex discrimination at Augusta National Golf Club.” The group continues to call for CBS Sports to suspend broadcasting of the event.
“Some people protest with signs, others with pocketbooks,” Burk maintains. “We will make sure
the public knows which companies support women and which take women for fools.”
Johnson steadfastly insists “our private club should not be ‘managed’ by an outside group” and vows it won’t “be bullied, threatened [or] intimidated” by NCWO’s “coercion.”
“Obviously, Dr. Burk and her colleagues view themselves as agents of change and feel any organization that has stood the test of time and has strong roots in tradition – and does not fit their
profile – needs to be changed. We do not intend to become a trophy in their display case,” Johnson said in a press release.
At the annual state of the Masters news conference Wednesday, Johnson announced Augusta National Golf Club has no timetable for admitting its first female member.
“Our membership is very comfortable with our present status,” he said.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has designated a 5-acre parcel of land less than a half-mile from the front gates of the club as a battlefield for the protests.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, plans to mount a counter-protest at 11 a.m. in support of the club.
“We’re going to send a loud and clear message to Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson that we support Augusta National,” said Peterson. “We need more organizations like the [Augusta
National Golf Club] and BOND who are willing to stand up to political correctness and the intimidation tactics used by Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson.”
“Furthermore, we want to send a message to these groups that we will not stand by and allow them to use the black community to advance their liberal agenda,” said Peterson. “It is absurd for Burk to equate the discrimination faced by blacks during segregation to the plight of white
millionaire women who can’t join a private golf club?this woman has lost it.”
As WorldNetDaily has reported, Peterson considers Jackson a “racist demagogue, a David Duke in black skin.” For the past four years, the BOND founder has held an annual event called the “National Day of repudiation of Jesse Jackson.”
“We will hold this event every year until Jesse Jackson repents of his ways, and stops attempting to tear the races apart for his own personal gain,” said Peterson. “Dr. King is turning over in his grave seeing what his movement has become, thanks to people like Jesse Jackson.”
Police met with representatives of the Augusta National protest groups yesterday. Plans call for at least 115 officers to be on hand to keep the opposing groups apart.
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