senator who has spoken out against systemic racism
is under fire for his membership in a beach club that is reportedly only open to white people
This weekend, a reporter for GoLocalProv.com questioned Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
(D-RI) about his membership in Newport's Bailey's Beach Club and whether the club's policy has changed to allow people of color to become members.
Whitehouse stated that he believes change is still on the way.
“I think the people who run the place are still working on that, and I'm sorry it hasn't happened yet,” he said, adding, “It's a long tradition in Rhode Island
, and there are many of them, and I think we just need to work our way through the issues, thank you.”
According to GoLocalProv.com, Whitehouse pledged to leave the club during his first senatorial campaign in 2006, but that has yet to happen.
In 2017, Whitehouse told a reporter that it would be “nice if they [Bailey’s Beach Club] changed a little bit, but it’s not my position,” but he promised to work on diversity
A spokesperson for the senator told The Washington Post
on Monday that Bailey's Beach Club "has had and has members of color," but a person who answered the phone at the club declined to comment on the club's membership to Vice.
“We’re a very small private beach club. We have no comment at this time. We’re private. Our club information is private. Thank you for your inquiry, but we have no comment at this time,” the unidentified individual told the website.
According to the most recent census data, Rhode Island's population is roughly 71.4% non-Hispanic white, 16.3% Hispanic, and 8.5% Black
Many people on Twitter
weighed in on Whitehouse's response.
So, what is the difference between Republican
and Democratic white supremacy
? — Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) June 21, 2021
SHELDON WHITEHOUSE's office also did not respond when asked when and why he transferred his shares in Bailey's Beach Club to his wife after saying he intended to quit his membership in 2006. The club also did not respond to a message seeking information about its membership and policies. — Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) June 21, 2021
Sheldon Whitehouse cannot be a member of an ALL WHITE anything, let alone a Beach Club, and serve in the United States Senate
. #Whitehousemustresign — Stacy Washington (@StacyOnTheRight) June 21, 2021
It is completely inappropriate for Sheldon Whitehouse to be a member of an all-white club. What year is this, @SenWhitehouse? Being a part of a “long tradition” is not an excuse for racism. It is also amusing to see MAGA
white nationalists hypocritically calling Whitehouse out. — Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) June 21, 2021
Sheldon Whitehouse, the epitome of entitled, rich, elite New Englander, being a member of an all-white club is the least surprising news
I've ever heard. — Dan King (@Kinger_DC) June 21, 2021