This past week, Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic Senator of Rhode Island, has had to field extreme criticism after he attempted to defend the fact that was an active member at an allegedly “all-white” private beach club out in Rhode Island just a week before Juneteenth.
“Both Whitehouse and his wife Sandra as well as their families have been members of [the all-white private Bailey’s Beach Club in Newport] for decades,” reported the news source GoLocalProv. “Whitehouse did transfer his shares in the club to his wife years ago, and she is now one of the largest shareholders in the all-white club. The club’s membership is a who’s who Newport, Palm Beach, and New York wealth.”
This past Friday, Whitehouse attempted to defend his status as a member in the allegedly racist all-white club when confronted by stating that it was just “a long tradition in Rhode Island.”
The interaction with the reported and Whitehouse went as follows:
REPORTER: Back in 2017, you had expressed concerns about the membership of the all white Bally’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?
WHITEHOUSE: I think the people who are running the place are still working on that. And I’m sorry, it hasn’t happened yet.
REPORTER: Do you have concerns in 2021? I mean, obviously, it’s been four years, you had remarks on the floor following the death of Briana Taylor and George Floyd saying, you know, hoping to root out systemic racism in the country. Your thoughts on an elite all white wealthy club again in this day and age, you know, should these clubs continue to exist?
WHITEHOUSE: 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.
WATCH: Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse defends belonging to a whites-only beach club.
“It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 21, 2021
Groups on the internet didn’t take too kindly to the news either. Online he took yet another round of massive criticism from commentators from all across the political spectrum.
“Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is a member of a whites-only beach club, the Gov of Virginia either wore black face or a Ku Klux Klan robe, and Joe Biden said he didn’t want his kids to grow up in a racial jungle,” stated Lisa Boothe, a Fox News contributor. “But Democrats want to lecture about racism in America…”
“I wouldn’t exactly say Sen. Whitehouse seems particularly concerned or even interested about the fact he continues to belong an all-white club (which his wife owns a large part of),” stated Glen Greenwald, a leftist commentator, added. “As always, judge a person by the acts that compose their life, not the public rhetoric they spew”
Stephen Miller, a former White House Senior Adviser, even chimed in on the matter, “Nothing is preventing @SenWhitehouse from voluntarily giving up his membership in favor of a deserving minority family—unless Whitehouse believes he’s entitled to his membership in a private beach club?”