KKK wants to protest at Augusta Nat'l
Posted: Friday February 28, 2003 2:30 AM
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The controversy over Augusta National Golf Club's all-male membership has attracted the attention of the Ku Klux Klan.
A Klan group has asked for an application for a permit to demonstrate in support of the club that hosts the Masters each April.
The club has been under pressure from Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, to admit a female. Burk has said she will seek a permit to demonstrate at the Masters against Augusta National's membership practices.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has requested an application for a permit to demonstrate in support of Burk at the Masters in April.
Col. Gary Powell of the Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday he had received permit requests from Jackson's group and from an unidentified man from Maine who supports Augusta National.
A women's group called "WAMB," or Women Against Martha Burk, wants to demonstrate in support of the club in downtown Augusta on April 6, the Sunday before the Masters.
On Thursday, J.J. Harper of Cordele, reportedly the imperial wizard of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, asked for a permit.
"We intend on making speeches and picketing for the right of the Augusta National Club to include only members of their choice regardless of race, religion, sex or creed," Harper said.
Augusta National spokesman Glenn Greenspan distanced the club from the KKK request.
"As a result of the controversy created by political activists, a number of organizations, some of them extreme, have sought to voice their political views," Greenspan said. "Anyone who knows anything about Augusta National Golf Club or its members knows this is not something the club would welcome or encourage."
Burk said Augusta National "should not be shocked by the KKK's endorsement."
"They have behaved in a manner that attracts this type of support," Burk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They are going to have a real circus if this goes on.
"If I was Augusta National, I would spare my golfers, my members, my patrons, the city and citizens of Augusta, and the tournament all the trouble by simply opening membership immediately to women or announcing a plan to do so in a reasonable amount of time."