Pariah No More–the Political Lessons of ‘The Masters’

on 12 Comments

The Masters golf tournament was, as usual, exciting this year; and it offered a political lesson. Trevor Immelman, a 28-year-old from South Africa, won by staving off the amazing Tiger Woods at Augusta (Georgia) National Golf Club. The ridiculous ceremony  in which last year’s winner, Zack Johnson, presented Immelman with a green jacket, signifying his victory was broadcast by CBS last night with traditional piety from Augusta’s "Butler Cabin."

I had to reflect: Not long ago Immelman lived in a pariah country, South Africa. And Augusta National was for a little while a pariah club, because of its racist admissions policies. And of course 50 years ago Tiger Woods, who is half black, wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near Augusta. He would have been pariah, too. All those places and folks are O.K. now because policies changed profoundly and the world reaccepted them. No one on the broadcast yesterday said a word about race, segregation, or apartheid.

That acceptance came about in large part because U.S. opinion, maybe the most important current in the world, turned against the moral opprobrium of South Africa and Augusta with full force. U.S. opinion isn’t turning against Israel because our media won’t talk about the moral opprobrium of Hebron, and our politicians won’t talk about Hebron. When they do, it will be to Israel’s benefit. It will force that country to change, and allow its citizens to one day take part in world events without anyone noticing a thing.

12 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2008, 8:36 am

    For the whole period of apartheid, Gary Player and a few other South Africans were anything but pariahs.

    Perhaps you didn't follow gold then.

  2. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2008, 8:38 am

    That was "golf then", though "gold" was interesting too.

    During the whole period of apartheid, South Africa and Russia were the two leading miners and exporters of gold.

    Good thing we didn't have a gold backed currency then, or now for that matter.

  3. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2008, 8:57 am

    Also,
    You do know that the site of the Masters, Augusta, was for a very long time a site of contreversy for its exclusion of Jews and Blacks as members.

    When did it open its doors to blacks and Jews and members, 5 years ago?

  4. Seth Roberts
    April 14, 2008, 9:14 am

    "maybe the most important current in the world"? Great post, but this phrase isn't clear.

  5. Jim Haygood
    April 14, 2008, 9:43 am

    .

    "U.S. opinion isn't turning against Israel because our media won't talk about the moral opprobrium of Hebron, and our politicians won't talk about Hebron."

    An article in the Toronto Star sums up the media's silence:

    "[Diana] Ralph says the [Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians] is needed to open up debate in her community. "When you try to ask about two subjects, there's no room for discussion. One is circumcision and the other is support for Israel."

    link to thestar.com

  6. Jim Haygood
    April 14, 2008, 9:53 am

    .

    "During the whole period of apartheid, South Africa and Russia were the two leading miners and exporters of gold. Good thing we didn't have a gold backed currency then, or now for that matter."

    Yeah, I'm really pleased that the Consumer Price Index has risen by a factor of 8.78 times since 1948, aren't you? It keeps the poor, who have no capital assets to hedge against inflation, working hand-to-mouth for peanuts.

    But the cruel inflation tax helps finance Wars for Israel, as well as jobs for accountants, so it scores a twofer for Witty.

  7. Charles Keating
    April 14, 2008, 10:10 am

    Save the hedge funds–oops, I mean whales.

  8. me
    April 14, 2008, 10:56 am

    1/3 of south african women can now expect to be raped. power outages are regular, violence against whites has shot through the roof, car jackings violence and crime have all skyrocketed – the country is becoming like…well..the rest of Africa. This is an improvement over colored-only drinking fountains?

  9. Phil Weiss
    April 14, 2008, 11:03 am

    seth, thank you; what i was trying to say is that our political/opinion climate is the largest influence in the world…

  10. jonathan ekman
    April 14, 2008, 11:12 am

    Isn't it important to remember the close
    ties that existed between South Africa and
    Israel, which now has an equally indefensible relationship with Zimbabwe?

  11. Richard Witty
    April 14, 2008, 11:28 am

    "And Augusta National was for a little while a pariah club, because of its racist admissions policies."

    Sorry, I didn't see this. I misinterpreted your post, Phil.

  12. Charles Keating
    April 14, 2008, 11:28 am

    The pattern is that old saw, "What's good for the Jews?"

    What's left out, in the opinion of the most influential Jews.

    Too bad for poor working Jews.
    Too bad for poor working Goys.
    There's the dots connected throughout history.

    The anti-semitism thing: chicken or egg?

    It never changes, chicken or egg.

    As if there is no connection. Ignored it at your peril. Jews and Goys alike.

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