Thursday, June 25, 2020

No Chiefs. No Masters. No Sense.

You think it cannot get any crazier and the next day proves you wrong.

They are tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus.

George Washington.

U.S. Grant.

They want to topple this statue of Abraham Lincoln freeing a slave that is in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C.

It was actually paid for by freed slaves in appreciation of what Lincoln had done to end slavery and the oppression of Blacks.  It was dedicated in 1876 by the famous African-American Frederick Douglass.

Some have actually called for the removal of the Washington Monument in the nation's capital.

Protestors already threatened the Lincoln Memorial and put graffiti on the outer plaques of that landmark.

This resulted in the necessity to do this to guard the monument in early June.

Some have wondered how it was that we could see this in the United States?

Have they considered the oath of office that every federal public official and employee (except the President) swears upon taking office.

I have put in bold letters an important point that many seem to be missing. There is a clear recognition that we may also be faced with domestic enemies that do not want to abide by the Constitution.

This oath is in federal law at 5 US Code Section 3331.

"I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The President takes a separate oath that is actually more general and is specifically enumerated in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.

 "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

We then have those things that are not physically destructive but which you have to wonder about.

HBO has taken Gone With The Wind off its viewing list.

33,000 people have signed a petition urging the Columbus, Ohio city council to change the name of the city to Flavortown. Why Flavortown? Guy Fieri hails from Columbus and he uses that term to refer to his fictional food utopia.

Let's see, who should we name the city after? The man who discovered the New World or a guy who has hosted a few shows on The Food Network? That is a really close call.

What is really scary that those 33,000 people have one vote just like you and I do. Actually some of them may have two votes when mail-in ballots are considered.

The Mayor of Duluth, Minnesota is urging its city council to remove the word "chief' from job titles, calling the term offensive to indigenous people.

I guess one advantage to getting rid of the police department is that you won't have to form a committee to determine the alternative title to "Police Chief".

I imagine it won't be long before some "progressive" corporations show how woke they are by following suit. No Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer or Chief Information Officer.

A sportswriter is now even calling for The Masters golf tournament to be renamed.

The name “The Masters” must go.

The heralded golf tournament, one of the four majors, needs to go back to its original name — the Augusta National Invitational. It became the Masters in 1939.

And be honest. When you hear anyone say the Masters, you think of slave masters in the South. There’s nothing else, nothing special. You don’t think of someone mastering the game of golf. When has anyone mastered golf?

Let me be honest. I have never thought of slave masters when it came to The Masters golf tournament. 

Not once.

I have always thought of it as the tournament played by the masters of the game of golf. 

The truth is that Clifford Roberts, who founded the Augusta National Golf Club with the legendary golfer Bobby Jones, wanted to call the tournament they created "The Masters" from the very beginning. The tournament was created in 1934 as a means to try to promote and market memberships in the club which were hard to sell in the middle of the Great Depression.

It may be hard to believe it today but they had trouble selling memberships to Augusta National in the early 1930's with an initiation fee of $350 and monthly dues of $5 per month.

Jones did not like the idea of using the name "The Masters" because he thought it was too "presumptuous" and immodest as he thought people might think that he chose the tournament name to honor himself. Does that sound like there was even a hint of racism when the name was selected?

Bobby Jones eventually relented a few years later as golfers and fans had been referring to it as "The Masters" informally from when the tournament was first played. 

There is a lot of great history and background about the founding of Augusta National Golf Club, The Masters, Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones in this book which I read about 20 years ago. I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the game.

That is where I found that tidbit on the original initiation fee and dues for the club.

Of course, we don't just have golf tournaments that use the word masters.

We have Master's degrees in colleges.

We have Master Plumbers and Master Electricians.

We have Master Sergeants in the Army. And Master Chiefs in the Navy.

Master bedrooms and baths.

We even have MasterCard.

Do all these have to go as well?

The problem we have right now is that when everything is viewed as racist then it soon becomes difficult to recognize when something really is racist.

A few examples.

A garage rope in a NASCAR garage of an African American driver is seen as racist despite the fact that the rope had been there for six months before the driver moved into the garage.

Ropes in a park in Oakland were seen as racist although the ropes were put up by an African American for exercise regimes.

What is reported to be a rope resembling a noose found at a hospital in Michigan was not the hate crime that was reported but a practice knot tied by a fisherman.

With reference to hate crimes, although you almost never see it reported, the fact is that in the United States if you are Jewish or Muslim you are more likely to be a victim of a hate crime than if you are Black.

Hate Crime Incidents per 1 million population per FBI 2018 Hate Crime Statistics using current Census Bureau population estimates for minority groups. There are 50% more anti-Jewish than Black hate crimes. 

Jewish     69.6
Muslim    53.7
Black        47.4
Asian         8.7
Hispanic   8.5

Tearing statues down, defacing monuments and changing names that have made their own history separate from the original origins of the name? 

It makes no sense.

I can assure you that taking down a Lincoln statute, having a Flavortown, Ohio or changing the name of The Masters to the Augusta National Invitational is not going to make one bit of difference in solving the problem of racism.

Why don't we actually focus on those things that will actually do something to advance race relations?

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