Thank you for asking me, along with all the other members, whether I would like to become part of the golf club’s new ‘Equality — Diversity — Inclusion (EDI) Working Group’. The short answer is I would rather spend a couple of hours in the mud, picking up old beer bottles and condoms out of the river which winds though the course, than sit on such a ‘working group’.
It is difficult to describe exactly why I think this venture is a bad idea but I will have a go. Let’s take the words of the title of the new committee. What kind of ‘equality’ is it going to work at? Obviously the club cannot attempt to make all members financially equal. And it can’t make us all equally able to drive the ball 250 yards straight down the middle of the long fifth fairway. So what kind of equality is this working group going to be aiming for? I am guessing that it wants to make us all treat each other equally regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and so on. Is there any reason to think we don’t do that already? In my experience of this club and other clubs before, a golf course brings out some of the best behaviour you can hope to see. Members often play with other members they have never met before. In every case, regardless of sex, race, etc, etc, they do so with respect and civility. …
I think the new committee is unnecessary. The members are already generously diverse and treat each other well. So this is just a box-ticking exercise.
And yet I still haven’t managed to say why I dislike it. I think it’s because the creation of this committee implies we think we are behaving badly. It is like an admission of guilt. It is as if we have been accused of behaving in a sexist, racist, prejudiced way and we have got up and declared ourselves guilty. I don’t accept that I am guilty in this way and I doubt that other members do, either.
As you will be aware, there is a cultural meme swirling around called critical race theory. Part of this theory seems to be that all white people are, consciously or unconsciously, racists, keeping down people of other colours. The theory is aimed particularly at whites, not other races. And in a similar way, it has become commonplace to regard men automatically as oppressors of women. A whole narrative has built up in which to be male and white — and of a certain age, too, while we are at it — is to be regarded as guilty of many misdemeanours before you have even stepped out of the front door. I, for one, have had enough of this. Haven’t you? The average British, white, middle-aged male is, in my view, just as good a person as any other and should, in the words of Martin Luther King, be judged by the quality of his character, not the colour of his skin. …
All best wishes to you, James
Thank you James, for pushing back against anti-white racism.