Dem Senator Who Ripped Trump Over Systemic Racism Admits He’s Member Of All-White Club: “It’s a Long Tradition in RI”
On Friday, Rhode Island Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse got exposed for some shocking hypocrisy. Remember, he ripped Trump accusing the former president of “toiling to deepen the fault lines in American life. We can and must do better to root out systemic racism in its many forms and meet America’s full promise of justice for all.”
But a local reporter wasn’t buying it and asked Whitehouse about his membership in the all-white private Bailey’s Beach Club in Newport, Rhode Island. Whitehouse said this 2017, “I think it would be nice if Bailey’s Beach Club changed a little bit, but it’s not my position.” When asked if he, as a sitting US Senator, would make a push for the club to more be inclusive he said, “I will take that up privately.”
Last Friday a local reporter saw Whitehouse and asked, “Back in 2017, you had expressed concerns about the membership of the all-white Bailey’s Beach Club. You said that you hoped it would become more diverse. Now, your family’s been members; your wife is one of the largest shareholders. Has there been any traction in that? Are there any minority members of the club now?”
“I think the people who are running the place are still working on that, and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet,” Whitehouse said.
The reporters asked, “Do you have concerns in 2021? Obviously, it’s been four years; you had remarked on the floor following the death of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, saying, hoping to root out systemic racism in the country. Your thoughts on an elite, all-white, wealthy club, again, in this day and age: should these clubs continue to exist?”
“It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island and there are many of them,” Whitehouse said. “I think we just need to work our way through the issues.”
On June 4, 2020, Whitehouse issued a statement ripping Trump:
“Our country is at a crossroads. A nation reeling from a pandemic and an economic catastrophe that have disproportionately affected communities of color is mourning the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. All the while, President Trump is toiling to deepen the fault lines in American life. We hear the voices of the peaceful protestors who have marched. We can and must do better to root out systemic racism in its many forms and meet America’s full promise of justice for all.”
Bailey’s Beach Club is not an average private club — it has been described as the most exclusive club in America.
The New York Times wrote about the club more than a decade ago…’’People kill to belong to the beach,” said Beth Pyle, whose twin sister, she added, has never quite made it into the club. ‘It has really driven some people crazy when they don’t get in.”
The GoLocal investigation found that the Whitehouses have extended the club connections to others. Vivian Spencer, another Bailey’s lifer, is now a member of Whitehouse’s Senate staff.
After GoLocal’s reporting in 2017, progressive activist and labor leader Mike Araujo wrote in a column in GoLocal, “I find Senator Whitehouse’s position on his membership of the historically restricted Bailey’s Beach Club deeply disappointing yet not surprising. Racism is the air we breathe in this country, there is no place, absolutely no place that can be named that was not the site of a forcible removal or slaughter of indigenous people, or the trade, whipping, and forced labor of Black people.”
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