A Masters’ Mulligan? Biden Says Georgia Is Now A Jim Crow State But It Is Still OK For Golf

It appears that President Joe Biden did not repeatedly “misspeak” as suggested on CNN.  Yesterday, Biden not only did not correct his false claims about the Georgia election law but doubled down that the law is a “Jim Crow law.” Indeed, he has repeatedly said it is worse, “Jim Crow on steroids.” That is why yesterday’s press conference (with only three questions) moved from the inaccurate to the incoherent. Biden is now saying that Georgia is a Jim Crow state with laws worse than the segregationist laws following the Civil War. However, he is saying that it is ok to play the Masters in the state (and for CBS to carry the Masters) after supporting a boycott of baseball. In deciding whether to do business in what Biden calls a “Jim Crow” state, Biden declared  “That’s up to the Masters.”

The press has not had any apparent inclination or (in the case of Fox News) an opportunity to ask Biden for a full answer on why the Georgia law is worse than the Jim Crow laws.  As previously discussed, states like Colorado have voter identification provisions and many of the same provisions as Georgia.  States like New York and Delaware have some harsher provisions. One would think that, given Biden’s widely discredited comments on the change in voting hours, the media would press Biden on an answer.  That however is only true if the media wanted such an answer.

Jim Crow laws were a “cradle to grave system of racial segregation.” The State of Afro-American History: Past, Present and Future 60 (Darline Clark Hine ed., 1986). Those laws embodied separate textbooks, separate schools, separate seating, separate access, and a wide array of limitations that treated African Americans to second-class citizens. That certainly included barriers on voting.

To say that the Georgia law is worse than a Jim Crow law is a chilling conclusion from a sitting president and worthy of explanation. The two prior examples given by President Biden have been discredited concerning voting hours and availability of water for those waiting in line. Moreover, other “blue” states have the same provisions and a vast majority of Americans support voter identification law, including a majority of Democrats.

In Colorado, the provisions are largely the same. The big difference is that Colorado sends out absentee ballots automatically where Georgia (like other states) has citizens request the ballots.  That certainly can make a difference in voting turnout for absentee voters but it would not seem to justify one state being called progressive state and a Jim Crow state.

In his press conference, Biden took a different position on the golf tournament than the baseball All-Star game.  Instead of supporting the boycott for golf, he said that it was up to corporations. He stated “[i]t is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws that are just antithetical to who we are.”  However, he chastised states like Georgia for not yielding to the demands on voting and warned them to “smarten up.”

The real loss from this protective press cocoon is the opportunity to have a discussion on race and voting. Rather than repeatedly throwing around the label of Jim Crow, Biden could explain why he believes Georgia is beyond any reasonable (if different) approach in comparison to other states like Delaware, New York or Colorado.  Indeed, no one appears eager to have that debate in the media. The coverage is as shallow as a soundbite.  The Georgia law is now a Jim Crow law by pure repetition rather than any explanation in the coverage. Given the horrible history of Jim Crow, such a claim warrants explanation — not simply use as a handy slogan or political attack.

One obvious question is why there is a difference between baseball and golf when it comes to anti-racism boycotts.  If Georgia is back to being a Jim Crow state and a baseball boycott is warranted, why does Biden given the Masters a mulligan?


89 thoughts on “A Masters’ Mulligan? Biden Says Georgia Is Now A Jim Crow State But It Is Still OK For Golf”

  1. The suggestion that if anything in voting laws of a blue state like New York is worse than Georgia then Georgia isn’t racist is wrong. You may need to consider whether the blue state is racist as well. Among the locations requiring preclearance like several southern states were the Bronx and Manhattan because of their racist policies. Ney York has long been criticized for its voting practices, because they have less early voting days doesn’t make Georgia okay, it means they both suck.

  2. Jonathan @Antonio

    I have been asked by “Antonio” to explain ‘why Ga is not a suitable location for the MLB all star game but is for the Master’s. Perhaps as a follower pf wokeness, you can discern such mysteries. Many of us need to know”. First, I am neither a big fan of golf nor baseball. Baseball needs to played in a big stadium with thousands of fans. With Covid half the fun of baseball is missing. So whether the all star game is played in Atlanta or elsewhere is of no real importance–except as a political statement of what’s wrong with Georgia’s new voting laws. But The Masters is different because of the history behind it. That history, of course, involves racism, classism and sexism. From its inception golf was considered exclusively as a white “gentleman’s” game. From the beginning The Masters excluded Blacks as players or as members. They could be caddies and, in fact, Black caddies were required until 1983 It wasn’t until 1975 that a Black player, Lee elder, was allowed to enter the tournament and not until 1991 that a Black person was allowed to be come a member at Augusta National. That was 26 years after the Voting Rights Act and the end of segregation. Racist traditions die slowly in Georgia and other places in the South. And now white Republicans in the Peach State want to turn the clock back to the era of Jim Crow to prevent Blacks from voting and gaining political power. I think until white politicians in Georgia get “woke” they should be deprived of all the revenue generated by The Masters. So let The Masters stay in Georgia but divert all the revenue to Black voter registration. What better way to “woke” up all the golf players in Georgia! “Wokeness” means to strive to be educated about issues of social justice—especially if you are white. To many of you out there “woke” is a pejorative. That’s too bad because a lot more white people need to get “woked”. Does this satisfy your request for clarification?

    1. Im not sure I follow the logic behind punishing diverse Georgia for passing voting laws similar to the Jim Crow laws lily-white Colorado has had in place for years.

  3. Joe Biden was correct to label the Georgia bill “Jim Crow on Steroids” but he obviously has not read it. I refer you to this post by Greg Palast http://www.gregpalast.com/hidden-horrors-in-the-georgia-vote-law/.

    If you do not want to follow the link here is the relevant quote:-

    Donald Trump infamously demanded the Georgia Secretary of State “find 11,780” votes. The MAGA mafia in the Georgia legislature found 364,541 votes to cancel, that is, voters whose ballots would be blocked from the count in the next election.

    To understand how this mass attack on citizens will work, we have to go back to December 21, just before the Georgia Senate run-offs, when True the Vote, a Texas group founded by Tea Party crusader Catherine Engelbrecht, challenged the right of 364,541 Georgians to cast ballots. You read that number right: more than a third of a million voters almost lost their vote.

    Almost. County elections boards, facing threats by the ACLU and Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, rejected the challenges, noting that the numbers were too huge to be credible. One voter can challenge another if they have personal knowledge that the other voter is a fraud. The local shills used by the Texas group knew nothing of those they challenged.

    The new law specifically authorizes unlimited challenges. And Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State has gleefully invited True the Vote to attack voter rolls. (For more on Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger, whom voting rights lawyer Gerald Griggs calls the “Vote Suppressor in Chief,” see my report for Democracy Now!.

    But won’t those same county boards kick any new absurd challenges? The MAGA mob in the Legislature has got that covered. Under the new law, the State Board of Elections can remove a county board if it doesn’t, in the State’s opinion, rule properly on these challenges.

    And who will make up the State Board? The new law hands over the board to the GOP leaders of the Legislature plus a representative of Republican Governor Brian Kemp, infamous for his own manipulations of the voter rolls which gave him the gubernatorial race against Stacey Abrams.

    The True the Vote challenges, officially backed by the Republican Party, centered on Atlanta counties heavy with voters of color. Voting rights attorney Barbara Arnwine, founder of Transformative Justice Coalition and co-plaintiff with Black Voters Matter, warns that the new state board will have the authority to remove the local board and override local decisions.

  4. I’ve got some land in the Everglades that was underwater just on one week in 25 years.
    Give me a call.

  5. Did he have a change of heart or did somebody remind him that Augusta actually literally owns the Masters tournament so it will never be removed from Georgia. Furthermore, too many of his donors are members who would be very perturbed indeed were the PGA to start trying to pressure players to avoid the tournament (which would be unlikely in any event). The Masters will never be held outside of Augusta barring some natural disaster completely destroying the course and even then, it wouldn’t really be The Masters. That’s what makes this whole golf kerfuffle stupid.

  6. I think that the governor of Georgia should ask Coca Cola when they’re leaving so the state of Georgia can turn their facilities into small business incubators.

  7. Jim Crow! Came home!
    To his wife and family….
    After serving in the conflict in Tennessee!

    Jim was in the troops…
    Who were made up of colored men.
    They fought the confeds and finished up their spin.

    1. I guess Biden’s call for “unity” doesn’t “include” the state of Georgia.

      Which states, cities or businesses will Biden “include” next?

  8. Jonathan, you are couching this entire discussion as if Biden actually has something to do with the rhetoric he’s regurgitating like a Parrot.

    By his own admission he doesn’t even know where he is when he wakes up in the morning. It’s his Obama directed DNC handlers that are dredging up the Jim Crow nonsense.

    As to The Masters versus MLB? Those people are shying away from Augusta National because of members like Buffet and Gates.

    Ironically, the prime viewing demographic for MLB and The Masters are the same white men who the “Woke”-jokes castigate as “privileged” . But in case you haven’t noticed, nothing needs to make sense anymore. It’s all about “feelings”.

    Look no further than your resident poster Natacha’s meltdowns as of late for evidence of that reality.

  9. $100,000,000 the baseball all star just cost Cob County. I hope the Democrats are happy when those paychecks and taxes do not roll in. Maybe they should have not hurt those working people with this battle. But not the Master’s? What? Do they all belong to the club together? Maybe they learned a lesson or maybe it has not gotten there yet, but from my perch, it looks like a double standard. Maybe Coke a Cola should raise the price of their products to double everywhere else to prove their true distaste for the new law. They are Atlanta based. Oh that is right, it would hurt their bottom line too. Maybe the were able to Aboid the Delta mistake..So much for directed outrage.

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