Liberal Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) found himself enmeshed in controversy – not to mention accusations of rank hypocrisy – on Monday over his family’s long-held membership in an exclusive Newport beach club that reportedly has no minority members, as NBC News reports.
Whitehouse – an outspoken progressive lawmaker who has regularly decried the “systemic racism” he says is pervasive in the United States – was questioned about whether being part of Bailey’s Beach, a highly exclusive, essentially all-white club, is in keeping with his prior proclamations.
With regard to the glaring lack of diversity at the club, the senator meekly replied, “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet,” as the New York Post noted.
Further pressed on whether clubs such as his ought to have a place in American society, particularly given the ongoing racial reckoning that has been underway in the country since last year, Whitehouse simply said, “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island, and there are many of them. I think we just need to work our way through the issues.”
A spokesperson for Whitehouse told the Post on Monday that Bailey’s Beach is not all-white, but did not offer any additional information to support that claim, saying simply, “The club has no such restrictive policy. The club has had and has members of color.” An attempt to obtain information from the club itself resulted in a representative stating that its management would not be providing comment.
As Breitbart’s John Nolte aptly pointed out, while Whitehouse’s club may not be technically foreclosed to members of color, as that would run afoul of the law, its nearly impenetrably exclusive nature means that it is not open to the public, and invitations must be extended by current members. That in its nearly 130 years of operation, not a single non-white member has joined speaks volumes about the club’s lack of interest in the sort of descriptive diversification progressives so readily demand of others.
Back in 2003, the New York Times published a piece profiling the club, known as one of the most exclusive in the nation, asking a member at the time whether there was much in the way of diversity on the club’s rolls. “Jewish, yes,” the club patron declared, adding, “Blacks, not really,” as NBC News further noted.
This is not the first time questions about Whitehouse’s affiliation with the club have arisen, and when he first ran for the Senate in 2006, he attempted to distance himself from Bailey’s Beach and promised to relinquish his membership, a pledge he clearly did not fulfill. Instead, he transferred his membership to wife Sandra, who is among the largest shareholders in the enterprise.
The entire episode is further proof that the far-left’s incessant lecturing about systemic racism and the need for non-minority Americans to “do the work” to foster greater inclusion is nothing more than hypocritical rhetorical posturing they never intend will have practical application in their own lives.