Responding to Jesse Jackson’s announcement earlier this week that the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition would apply to protest Augusta National’s discriminatory all-male membership in April, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) said it too would request a permit—but to support the club’s position. J.J. Harper, imperial wizard of the KKK group in Cordele, said flatly, “We don’t want Jesse Jackson in our state,” according to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution.
Augusta National spokesman Glenn Greenspan, tried to mitigate the negative publicity, saying, “this [support] is not something the club would welcome or encourage.” However, Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO)—the group spearheading the call for women membership, said endorsement from the white supremacist group is no surprise, “[Augusta National has] behaved in a manner that attracts this type of support… If I was Augusta National, I would spare my golfers, my members, my patrons, the city and citizens of Augusta, and the tournament all the trouble by simply opening membership immediately to women or announcing a plan to do so in a reasonable amount of time,” reported the AJC.
Augusta National is the site of the Masters, an event sanctioned by the PGA Tour, though the PGA does not own or run the Masters. The NCWO argues that by sanctioning an event held at a club that practices such blatant discrimination, the PGA violates its own anti-discrimination policies. More over, there is "corporate hypocrisy that surrounds, feeds and creates this event,” said Burk to the Times.
The Feminist Majority is a member of NCWO, along with 152 other groups—making its total membership close to seven million.
Media Resources: Sports Illustrated 2/28/03; Associated Press 2/28/03; Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2/27/03; Feminist Daily Newswire