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Fried Chicken and Collard Greens

Being from Augusta, GA [pretty much], the Masters has been a part of life for as long as I can remember. Our first house there was actually quite close to the Augusta Country Club, and some days we’d find an errant ball in the yard. So, I always knew about golf and always wrote it off as a ‘boring-rich-white-people sport’. I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the country, but in Augusta, during Masters week, there’s nothing else going on. It’s all that’s on tv, they play updates on the radio, the newspaper is consumed with it, the traffic’s atrocious – everyone that can afford it gets out of town, and most everyone who can’t works at the Masters. Spring break coincides with Masters Week for that very reason [so all the of-age students can work at the Masters].

In those years when we couldn’t get out of town, sometimes I’d be flipping the channels and accidentally land on golf. I’d watch for maybe a minute – not really understanding much more than the fact that this was just another of the many ‘ball and stick’ games [arguably THE most boring one]. It would never fail that I’d lose interest as soon as the ball was hit and the camera panned to the sky, in hopes of watching the ball in the air. Never did I see the ball. Just clouds and sky. How stupid. Why make the balls white, anyway?

I didn’t give two figs for the entire thing. Until him. You know. The One.

At first, I was all truly, madly, deeply for him. Reading every article, staring at every picture – his first Masters was mine, too. I watched the made-for-tv movie and saw a little more of his life, and I began to actually relate to him. As a mixed girl – we were kindred. Fantasies of actually meeting him began soon after I learned we would be renting our house to Golf Digest for the Masters. [that never happened. the meeting. the renting happened. and those people are not very careful with people’s belongings – just so you know]

So golf became interesting. Amazing how, now that I had someone to root for, I’d even watch if it wasn’t the Masters. Well…maybe just the last day. The first time he won, it was crazy. Augusta is an extremely racist town, and there was NO hiding it after that. It was obvious that some of the sports writers [from outta town] knew this, and relished the reactions of readers as they described Tiger as the best – ever. They started talking about changing the entire course, because it was too easy for him. [they actually did.] And so on, and so forth.

Then Fuzzy let loose with his comment. Racist? yes. A lot better than some of the stuff that was being said around town, though.

Of course, these days, even white people gotta give it up – he wasn’t just a flash-in-the-pan. Tiger’s in it for the looooong haul. He’s brought more people to the game than probably anyone else. He’s no longer my end-all, be-all [I got a closer look at those teeth and cannot, for the life of me, figure out how they all fit in his head – big as they are] but I still love him for his skill – his finesse – his determination.

That’s why I still read all the articles. That’s how I found this:

…Kelly Tilghman, a former college golfer at Duke…is play-by-play announcer for The Golf Channel’s PGA Tour broadcasts.Tilghman made a shocking comment during Friday’s telecast of the PGA Tour’s opening event. She said — on the air — that today’s young players should “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley.”

What was Tilghman thinking? Who knows. It’s not entirely clear what point Tilghman was trying to make with what she apparently thought was a joke, but she may have been trying to say that the only chance today’s young players will ever have of overtaking Woods as the No. 1 golfer in the world is to hurt him. Hilarious.

So, yeah. Maybe she did think it was a joke. In that not-funny, racist, kinda-creepy-murder-is-like-totally-cool way. Or maybe she thought it was time to end her contract with the Golf Channel but she’s extremely passive aggressive. And racist. Or maybe she actually, on some level, thinks that… I can’t say it. Who cares about the maybes? She pulled some crap worse than Fuzzy, and has since – reportedly – “reached out” in apology to Tiger’s ‘people’.

According to Newsday, her comment was “unfortunate”, and was made “in jest”. Interesting choice of words, considering that actual lynchings were most certainly referred to as “unfortunate”, and often accompanied by “jests”. [take a look here, if you doubt the levity associated with the ‘unfortunate’ incidents]

I wonder, sometimes, what makes people forget themselves, and say what they really think. Or maybe what they think the people with power want to hear. Cuz I’m sure the first girl at the Golf Channel’s been feeling it every once in a while. That one comment firmly asserted the “at least I’m not black” mentality that remains the mantra for poor whites [at least here in the South]. IMO, it’s what keeps folks who would otherwise benefit from Democrat leadership, voting Republican.

It’s difficult sometimes, working with people who are staunch Republicans, and listening to how they try to come up with reasons for it [once they remember that I am brown – and female – and not from here]. Non-racist/non-sexist reasons. [They don’t mind giving homophobic reasons] It reminds me of the arguments I use to have with people around here about the Civil War/Confederate Flag. Usually it comes down to state’s rights v. slavery. [No one ever wants to answer my question when I say state’s rights for what?] But that’s not an argument you can win around here. Definitely not in South Carolina. So we just don’t bring it up. And we just avoid those racist idiots that have the flag on their car tag/clothes/house/key chain/bumper sticker.

What a life. We’ll see if Kelly’s faux pas [as they’re spinning it] makes it to the Imus big time [with full-on Rev. Sharpton apology], or if it stays small, due to it’s golf ties.

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