|Augusta National finally decided that women are fit to join their club. (Getty)|
If this is where I'm supposed to congratulate Augusta National on changing its sexist policy and admitting a woman -- two whole women! -- then I'm screwing up right from the start.
Because this doesn't feel like a day to congratulate Augusta National for joining the early 20th century.
It doesn't exactly feel like a day to rip Augusta National, since the club is doing the right thing. And, OK, fine -- Augusta National should be applauded for doing the right thing. Lots of corporations don't, whether the right thing is ethical or financial or whatever. Augusta National did the right thing on Monday by opening its membership to women.
There. I've been nice. And fair. Now I can go back to being honest.
|Augusta National timeline|
What took you so long, Augusta National? Shame didn't do it. Decency didn't do it. Martha Burk and her boycott in 2002 didn't do it.
Augusta National didn't allow black members until 1990, and for years it required its caddies to be black. Longtime Masters chairman Clifford Roberts, who helped found Augusta National in 1933, famously said, "As long as I'm alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black."
And all the members will be male.
This is Augusta's shameful past, and if we're going to be honest, many institutions in the South -- beyond the South, too -- have a shameful past. But very few of them clung to that shame as diligently as Augusta National clung to its racist and sexist worldview.
Black members were finally allowed in 1990. Now, women.
And this is where I'm supposed to pat Augusta National on the back?
Not a chance. For decades Augusta National was a racist, sexist club inhabited by racist, sexist pigs. Many of those pigs still roam the grounds.
Congratulations, Augusta National. You finally got here. But you have a long way still to go.