Cultural Revolutions

Running Afoul

William “Hootie” Johnson, age 71, poor man, has fallen afoul of public opinion and sensibilities, for which the consequences thus far were entirely predictable: the scorn of the best newspapers; hospitalization for a coronary-artery bypass, an aortic aneurism repair, and an aortic valve replacement; now, news of restlessness on the part of the natives.

Might not any of us expect something similar after instructing the National Council of Women’s Organizations to go—please, ma’am—to the hot place?  Augusta National Golf Club, site of the prestigious Masters tournament, didn’t wish to offer itself as another candidate for cultural and political intimidation.

Every institution stuffed with white males, symbols and enforcers of the Old Order is, nowadays, a candidate for intimidation.  In Augusta National’s case, the offense was failure to admit women as members.  The NCWO, with an estimated six million members through 160 groups, sent a letter to Hootie, in his capacity as Augusta chairman.  The message: It’s time for a change.  “We know that Augusta National and the sponsors of the Masters do not want to be viewed as entities that tolerate discrimination against any group, including women.”

Hootie gained national attention for replying with, shall we say, acerbity.  No way, lady.  Augusta National...

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