Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse launched a defense for the membership his family has at a private beach club in Rhode Island; the members of this beach club are also allegedly all white.
Whitehouse told reporters on Monday he was informed of the fact that the private beach club does not have any “diversity of membership.”
Whitehouse’s membership in an “elite all-white wealthy club”
Whitehouse then apologized for the situation, saying that he is sorry diversity hasn’t happened yet.
The Democrat senator added that Bailey’s Beach Club has an existing tradition of being a family club that improves diversity. He then added that the membership is “pretty fair.”
However, the senator faced backlash on Friday about his family’s continued involvement in an “all-white” Newport club. This happens despite the fact that Whitehouse has been outspoken against “systemic racism” in the United States.
"Both Whitehouse and his wife Sandra as well as their families have been members of the club for decades."
"Should these [elite, all-White, wealthy] clubs continue to exist?”
“It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island…” – @SenWhitehouse https://t.co/JYd4CAHw8u https://t.co/MwY8MdXQc3
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) June 21, 2021
When Whitehouse was asked if the “elite all-white wealthy club” should nevertheless exist, the Democrat senator gave an interesting answer. Whitehouse says he thinks the beach club management is still working on that race-related issue. He then apologized, saying that he is sorry that it hasn’t happened yet.
Whitehouse later continued, saying that it is a long tradition in Rhode Island, and he thinks that they have to work their way through the issue.
Whitehouse also mentioned on Monday that he got the facts wrong about the membership. He added that he meant that there is a long tradition of the place being a family club.
However, when the Democrat senator was asked if he knew any members in the place who were “diverse,” Whitehouse merely guessed that there were. The Democrats claimed he does not spend a lot of time in the place, so he cannot tell who the members are.
Meanwhile, Richard Davidson, a spokesman for Whitehouse, told NBC News that the private club has “no restrictive policy.”
Davidson added that the place had and has members of color. He also said that the senator dedicated his “entire career” to promote equity and protecting civil rights.
Whitehouse did not quit membership. He instead “consolidated” it to his wife.
On the other hand, in a report by GoLocal, Whitehouse pledged to quit his membership in the club when he was running for Senate back in 2006. However, he merely transferred his shares to his wife.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) defends family membership in all-white club, a club in 2006 he said he would quit. Racism runs deep folks.
🔴U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) responds to questions about family's membership in an all-white club.
— Leftward Swing🌹🌻 (@LeftwardSwing) June 22, 2021
However, when Whitehouse was asked on Monday whether he “consolidated” his membership instead of quitting from it, he stated that he “couldn’t remember.”
Bailey’s Beach Club in Rhode Island is described as one of the most exclusive clubs in the country. According to an article in 2003 in the New York Times, the club has roughly 500 members.
When the New York Times asked one member about the club’s diversity at that time, the member said they have Jewish members, but not black ones.