Imagine you’re about to enter a restaurant you’ve heard good things about, but a sign stops you dead in your tracks. “No dogs or Irish.” You decide to take your business elsewhere, so you head over to a competitor across the street. There you encounter a different but equally off-putting notice: “Colored entrance in rear.” Fed up, but not yet fed, you walk briskly to a third eatery, but a bright green neon sign makes you do a double take: “Men only.”
All three scenarios have been a part of our past, but the third scenario isn’t to be found only in history books; it’s the current policy of the Augusta National Golf Club, the host of the Masters tournament that begins on April 5. No ethically intelligent person would tolerate open discrimination against the Irish, African Americans, or Jews, but apparently it’s acceptable among some members of the gentility to bar women from participating in the sport at their club.