Progressive Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Defends Membership In ‘All-White’ Social Club

Progressive Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Defends Membership In All-White Social Club

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said years ago that he intended to resign from an all-white social club he belonged to. But he never did.

On Friday, a reporter asked Whitehouse if he quit the club as he promised he would back in 2017. 

Who’s ‘Running The Place?’

The senator replied, “I think the people running the place are still working on that, and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”

Democrat Whitehouse has a reputation in the Senate for being one of the strongest progressive voices. Yet, on Friday he did confirm that the club to which he still belongs has no minority members.

Who are the people “running the place?”

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This story and the accompanying video was first broke by the Providence-based local online media outlet GolocalProv.

The reporter asked Sen. Whitehouse if he thought “in this day and age, elite, all-White, wealthy clubs should continue to exist?” particularly in light of his criticism of systemic racism.

The Democrat replied, “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island, and they’re many of them, and we just need to work our way through the issues. Thank you.”

Whitehouse belongs to Bailey’s Beach Club, which is part of the Spouting Rock Beach Association in Newport.

According to the GolocalProv, Whitehouse said he would resign his membership in the segregated club when he was first elected in 2006, and he repeated that pledge when pressed in 2017.

In June, Whitehouse Tweeted About ‘Systemic Racism’

On Monday, Whitehouse spokesperson Meaghan McCabe said the club does not exclude racial minorities.

“The club has no such restrictive policy,” Meaghan said. “The club has had and has members of color.”

“The senator has dedicated his entire career to promoting equity and protecting civil rights, as his record shows,” she added. 

In June, Whitehouse was one of many congressional Democrats who knelt in the Capitol to honor black victims of police brutality.  

“We hear the voices of the peaceful protestors who have marched,” Whitehouse tweeted then. “We can and must do better to root out systemic racism in its many forms and meet America’s promise of justice for all.”

Compare Whitehouse To Donald Trump

Will Whitehouse now be scorned as a racist by his party and the left?

Compare Whitehouse’s example with Donald Trump including blacks and Jews at his Palm Beach golf course in the 1990s, which annoyed some members.

Author Ronald Kessler recalled in 2015 of Trump’s efforts, “When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews.”

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“The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that’s the real Donald Trump that I know,” Kessler said.

Of course this history doesn’t stop the left from tarring Trump as a racist.

Will those same critics give Sheldon Whitehouse similar treatment?


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