Last Friday, Rhode Island Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse slammed former President Trump and accused him of “toiling to deepen the fault lines in American life” and claimed that “we can and need to do better to root out the systematic racism in its many forms and to meet the full American promise of justice for all”. However, Senator Whitehouse was also asked about his membership in an all-white private club in Newport, Rhode Island called Bailey’s Beach Club. Apparently, this is yet another Democrat example of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Previously, Whitehouse had told GoLocal’s News Editor Kate Nagle in 2017, “I think that it would be if this group (Bailey’s Beach Club) changed a little bit, but it isn’t my position.” When he was questioned on whether he would push for the club to be more diverse, he answered, “I will take that up with them privately.”
Last Friday, GoLocal caught up with Whitehouse again, and they asked him a version of that same question, “Back in 2017, you had expressed concerns about the membership you had in the all-white Bailey’s Beach Club. You said that you had hoped that it would become more diverse. Now, most of your family are members, and your wife is one of the largest shareholders. Has there been any traction with the beach club becoming more diverse? Are there any minority members of the club now?”
“It seems to me that the people running the place are still working on that,” Sheldon replied. “I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”
On June 23rd, the club did some damage control, and they referred to allegations about being all-white in the media as being false.
“Recent characterizations in the press and other commentary about Bailey’s Beach Club are inaccurate and false,” the club told 12 News in a statement.
“Over many years, Club members and their families have included people from many different backgrounds, including racial, ethnic and religious. These people come from all over the globe to Newport every summer,” said the statement. “Our membership arrives from all over the globe to our small little club and we are welcoming of the diversity of view and the background they bring to our community.”
A spokesperson for Whitehouse also told the Washington Post on Monday that the club has no restrictions for membership on the basis of race, and that the club “has had and continues to have members of color.” The spokesperson disputed that Whitehouse is still a member, saying that it was his wife that was a member and not him.
GoLocal continued to press Whitehouse during that Friday interview: “Do you have any concerns in 2021? Obviously it has been four years now; you made some remarks on the floor following the death of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and you were saying that you hoped we could root out the systematic racism in this day and age. So, should clubs like this continue to exist?”
“These clubs are a long tradition in Rhode Island and there are quite a few of them,” Whitehouse replied. “I think we just need to focus on working on the issues instead.”
On June 4, 2020, Whitehouse issued a statement accusing Trump of “deepening” racial divisions:
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.
“Whitehouse and his wife Sandra along with their families have been members of this club for decades. Sheldon did transfer his shares in the club to his wife several years ago, and that means that she is now one of the largest shareholders in this all-white club. The club’s membership has many high-profile members from Newport, Palm Beach, and New York elite wealth,” Go Local noted. “Bailey’s Beach is anything but an average private club – they have been described as one of the most exclusive clubs in America.”
Who do you think is telling the truth here? Is it really an all-white club or do they have some diversity?