Sen. Whitehouse, who lectured on ‘systemic racism,’ defends membership in whites only beach club

by WorldTribune Staff, June 21, 2021

On June 4, 2020, following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, Rhode Island Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement: “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.”

When confronted about his own membership in a whites only beach club, the so-called “progressive” senator defended it as a “long tradition,” a report said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse / C-SPAN

Whitehouse, his wife Sandra, and their families have been members of the all-white Bailey’s Beach Club, also known by its legal name Spouting Rock Beach Association, for decades, GoLocal Providence noted in a June 21 report.

“The club’s membership is a who’s who Newport, Palm Beach, and New York wealth,” the report noted.

When confronted by GoLocalProv on his club membership, Whitehouse said: “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.” He was then ushered away by a staffer, the report said.

It was not the first time GoLocalProv has called out Whitehouse on the issue.

“In August of 2017, GoLocal’s News Editor Kate Nagle caught up with Whitehouse at an event in Newport. Whitehouse and his press staff had repeatedly refused to respond to questions about the Senator’s membership in the exclusive all-white private club,” the Monday report noted.

Whitehouse told Nagle at the time: “I think it would be nice if they (Bailey’s Beach Club) changed a little bit, but it’s not my position.”

When asked if he would pressure the club to push for diversity at the all-white club], Whitehouse said, “I will take that up privately.” He then told Nagle he had no further comment and walked away, the GoLocalProv report noted.

Bailey’s Beach Club has been described as the most exclusive club in America.

The New York Times wrote more than a decade ago: “People kill to belong to the beach,” said Beth Pyle, whose twin sister, she added, has never quite made it into the club. “It has really driven some people crazy when they don’t get in.”

The GoLocal investigation found that the Whitehouses have extended their club connections to others. Vivian Spencer, another Bailey’s lifer, is now a member of Whitehouse’s Senate staff.


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