YARBROUGH COLUMN: Random thoughts on random topics

Published 9:30 am Friday, May 21, 2021

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If Republicans have a strategy for remaining the majority party in Georgia, I am missing it. So far, it seems to be about punishing anyone in the party who has ever uttered a discouraging word about Donald Trump. That is not much of a strategy. Has anybody figured out yet that it is the Democrats the GOP should be focused on and not each other?  Democrats have captured both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia and they will take the governor’s office next year if Republicans don’t get their act together – and soon. Write it down.

Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene confronted New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber this past week and nosily and unsuccessfully challenged her to a debate. That brought a righteously-indignant cluck from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States,” she intoned. Oh, please. She probably forgot the time in 1856 when Rep. Preston Brooks, of South Carolina, entered the Senate Chamber and beat Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner over the head with a cane. Or 1858, when a full-fledged brawl among House members took place in front of the Speaker’s dais. Or in 1838, when Rep. William Graves, of Kentucky, shot and killed Rep. Jonathan Cilley, of Maine, in a duel. A shouting match seems pretty tame to me.

Georgia is the latest state to pass a law allowing college athletes to be paid for the use of their name, image and likeness. Fair enough since players generate a lot of revenue for their respective institutions. (The University of Georgia Athletic Department reported almost $180 million in revenue for fiscal year 2020 and a net profit close to $13 million.) But who will get the money? Quarterbacks? Wide receivers? Running backs? How about the right tackle? The left guard? The center? The big names can’t do squat unless there are some mostly-anonymous and unappreciated grunts blocking for them. As the father of a former high school lineman, I am sensing potential discrimination here.

I’m not a member of an organized religion. I am a Methodist. And it looks like the denomination is about to split apart over the issue of gay clergy and gay marriage. There is a big worldwide conference scheduled for 2022 that will likely bring things to a head. Look for a number of churches to leave the current Methodist denomination and form their own group.  I suspect this is just the beginning.

Some of you have queried me on why I capitalize Black but not white in my columns, as if I am showing bias for one group over another. (At least you are reading closely.)  Your beef is with The Associated Press. Their Stylebook is used by news organizations, government and public relations agencies as the standard for grammar, punctuation and word usage. Now, AP has determined that the term Black belongs with “long-standing identifiers” such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. It was John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, who decreed that the change be made, not me.  I just work here.

It is hard to believe but we are approaching the 25th anniversary of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta this July. For all the stuff we had to deal with – mean-spirited special interest groups, an inept city government, biased media and, of course, the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park – at least we didn’t have to worry about a global pandemic or athletes who want to publicly protest the country they have been chosen to represent. Good luck, Tokyo.

Finally, a few months ago when I wrote about the uniqueness of being Southern, I mentioned that in the South we eat dinner when everybody else is eating lunch. and we eat supper when everybody else is eating dinner. A reader wrote me in agreement and pointed out that we Southerners are privileged people and obviously in God’s favor. After all, he noted, when Christ gathered his disciples in the Upper Room, they didn’t observe the Last Dinner. It was the Last Supper. Now, that will preach, y’all.