Madison County Opinion...

 August 15, 2001


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
August 15, 2001

Frankly Speaking

Do you believe in karma?
Do you believe in karma? This element of many Eastern religions holds that any action you take will always affect your future. When you misbehave, you create bad karma. When you do positive things, you create good karma.
Well, karma not only affects individual humans; it can also bloody the nose of naughty businesses. Take the case of Adam's Mark Hotels. A couple of years ago, this chain committed a major insult to Southern Heritage organizations in general, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in particular. When a local SCV camp attempted to book a meeting at an Adam's Mark hotel, they were refused. "We believe you will be more comfortable somewhere else," they were told.
The hotel chain refused service to the SCV because a couple of their black employees objected to serving anyone who flies the Confederate flag. Management decided that black business was far more valuable to them than that of white Southerners. The SCV camp did not picket. They did not march with protest signs. They simply went to other, more friendly companies to hold their meeting.
So what happened to Adam's Mark? The next spring, black college students trashed the Adam's Mark hotel in Daytona Beach. The damage was so severe that Adam's Mark established a set of rules for future student-related events. They increased their rates, possibly to cover expected damage expenses. They required student guests to wear neon orange wristbands so that they would be clearly identified as college students. They took other measures designed to protect their property from destruction.
Now the NAACP is boycotting Adam's Mark hotels. NAACP President Frazell Gray, aka Kweisi Mfume, declared that "nowhere in this nation are Americans made to undergo those sorts of requirements to check into a hotel." Gray apparently thinks that hotels should be required to allow black students to engage in any kind of destructive activity within their property, and absorb the cost of repairs.
Here is how the karma comes in. Southern partisans are quick to come to the aid of anyone threatened with economic harm by the NAACP. When they boycotted South Carolina, traditional Southerners flocked to the state, giving them a dramatic increase in tourist dollars. When major food chains pulled Maurice's Bar-Be-Cue sauce off their shelves because he flies a Confederate flag over his restaurants, Southern partisans began a campaign to seek out and purchase the sauce.
But Adam's Mark Hotels will not receive this kind of support from Southern Heritage groups. They rejected us in favor of black organizations like the NAACP. Now they will have to deal with their karma as best they can. In our minds, justice has prevailed.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

 

 

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Column
By Ben Munro
The Madison County Journal
August 15, 2001

Hopefully Richt can drag UGA fans out of the past
Dearly departed coach Jim Donnan once said of Bulldog fans that he'd "never seen people so stuck in the past like they are around here."
The embattled coach never uttered anything truer in his five years as the head Dawg.
Donnan, who averaged eight wins a year in Athens, had to contend with Georgia fans constantly trying to conjure the ghosts of Georgia past.
As the Bulldogs have failed to win SEC titles and top their hated foes, Georgia partisans have escaped into yesteryear, buying commemorative videos and pictures while reliving "Belue to Scott" every October in Jacksonville.
Not-so-ironically in the end, it was his failure to entrench himself with the UGA legends that sent Donnan to an early retirement on the Athens golf courses.
Enter Mark Richt.
The young but longtime assistant to the granddaddy of college football, Bobby Bowden, is Georgia's third candidate since the retirement of Dooley trying to restore the long fading glory that still somehow lingers from the Bulldogs dusty history books.
So do the Georgia bigwigs finally have the man to end the Bulldog daydream? I mean, Richt has no experience in the college football captain's chair.
True, but what he does have is a valuable decade and a half of tutelage in the type of program that Bulldog fans demand.
And now that he's out of the Florida State household and on his own, "Bobby's Boy" can put his mark on his own program.
It's a daunting task, but I have a feeling that Richt can be different from his UGA predecessors.
That's because the word out of Athens so far is based on substance and not seemingly wishful predictions.
Donnan would hype his team to such an extreme extent you'd think the Bulldogs should be playing in the NFC East instead of the SEC East.
But Richt does no such song and dance, thank God. He has is what many sports writers have called a quiet confidence, which the team has seemed to adopt as a whole.
We don't hear players hung up on talk of SEC titles this summer, but of work ethic, accountability and running drills to perfection. This is what is usually referred to as discipline in other camps-something that most feel hasn't been at UGA since, well, the Dooley years (whoops, sorry for the flashback).
Stories have circulated of grueling practices and intense "mat drills" which center Curt Magill called "the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."
Then, we hear of results of the hard work, the Bulldogs breaking 30 team strength and conditioning records, which shows Richt is building from the vary basics-making better men of the crew he has on hand.
But despite Richt's strict and physical practices, he has still managed to win his players' favor.
Jasper Sanks, often in Donnan's dog- house, described the young coach as a man who lets you know exactly where you stand, a man the players respect.
This is substance, not the typical hype.
However, it will take more than substance for Richt to lay the ghosts of Georgia past to rest-Richt's ultimate challenge in Athens. Winning simply is not enough when you're competing against the past, as Donnan will tell you.
Richt will have to pick up the right wins and add more championship banners to Sanford Stadium. He'll have to awaken the sleeping giant-and fans-in Athens to gain acceptance in Bulldogdom.
Georgia's folklore casts a long shadow which coach Richt has surely figured out by now.
Hopefully when he exits Athens, he'll be the one casting the shadow for someone else.
Ben Munro is a reporter for MainstreetNews.


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