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AN ACT OF CONSCIENCE
John Garrity
December 10, 1990
Tom Watson takes a stand against prejudice
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December 10, 1990

An Act Of Conscience

Tom Watson takes a stand against prejudice

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Fear of what, you ask? Why, the greatest fear of all—that they will no longer be accepted by their peers. Sounds trivial, but social acceptance is the glue that binds a city's power elite. Mavericks don't get the big contracts, the special tax abatements, the school buildings named in their honor.

By their recent actions, Bloch's sponsors and Watson have lifted that veil of fear. Already, prominent Kansas City Country Club members are publicly distancing themselves from the bigotry. Either Bloch or another Jewish candidate will be accepted soon, they say, or there will be more resignations. "It's going to change," vows one of the reformers. "I'm convinced of that."

The place to start, if an outsider may offer a suggestion, is with that secret membership committee. Flush those scrofulous characters into the open, make them accountable for their actions, and they won't be so quick to smear and denigrate. Next, do whatever it takes to get Tom Watson back in the fold. A friend of the Watson family says, "He's hurting something fierce right now."

Watson's pain may ease when he realizes that in his children's eyes, and in ours, this single act of conscience will one day count for more than all the trophies he has won with his clubs.

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