"It's a long tradition in Rhode Island": Sheldon Whitehouse's systemic racism

We’ve been hearing a lot about “systemic racism” lately, especially from progressives in Congress. For instance, let’s consider Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has had a few things to say on the subject in relation to the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Whitehouse also belongs to a group called the Bailey’s Speech Club, which has no members of color at all.

This has come up in Whitehouse’s political career since 2006, when he promised to resign from Bailey’s Beach Club as well as another all-white social club. Instead, he and his wife promised to “take that up privately” with the other shareholders, even while opining on the Senate floor about systemic racism last summer.

It was just a matter of time before this went viral, and yesterday was the day:

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse continues to defend his family’s membership in the all-white private Bailey’s Beach Club in Newport.

GoLocal interviewed Whitehouse on Friday in Pawtucket and when asked if the private club had admitted any minorities since GoLocal first raised the issue in 2017, Whitehouse said, “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that and I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.”

Both Whitehouse and his wife Sandra as well as their families have been members of the club for decades. Whitehouse did transfer his shares in the club to his wife years ago, and she is now one of the largest shareholders in the all-white club. The club’s membership is a who’s who Newport, Palm Beach, and New York wealth.

“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,” said Whitehouse as he was ushered away by a staffer.

As GoLocalProvidence notes, Whitehouse didn’t wait a fortnight after George Floyd’s death before decrying its supposed cause of systemic racism. “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,” Whitehouse wrote in a statement at the time. And yet, here’s Whitehouse who’s apparently unwilling to root out systemic racism in a club in which he and his wife have an ownership stake.

Notably, this comes the day after the first celebration of the new Juneteenth federal holiday, which Whitehouse enthusiastically supported. D’oh!

Who would even want to belong to such a club in the first place? Especially someone in politics, where such a membership would be an albatross — or should be. If a Republican belonged to an all-white club, the media would never let it go. It certainly seems odd that the national media has yet to make an issue out of this even after 15 years for this prominent progressive Democrat, doesn’t it?

That’s a trick question, but the Washington Free Beacon had some fun with it last summer:

Most libs would immediately apologize and surrender if pressured by the woke mob to cancel their membership at one of the most exclusive, all-white beach clubs in the country. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) is not most libs.

Whitehouse, who was elected to a second term in 2018, might have a difficult time if his name were on the ballot this year—when politicians and commoners alike are being canceled for running afoul of “woke” culture. His refusal to renounce his ties to Bailey’s Beach Club in Newport, R.I., might be considered problematic AF in some circles, especially given that he promised to cancel his membership back in 2006.

In any event, the senator deserves credit for defending his right to enjoy a privileged lifestyle surrounded by rich white people in a coastal town best known for its Gilded Age mansions. …

In an age when few are willing to celebrate and defend the privileges afforded by wealth and status, Whitehouse stands tall as a noble champion of his First Amendment right to free association. Fans of wealth, privilege, and white supremacy can hardly blame the Whitehouses for not wanting to abandon Bailey’s, described in a 2003 New York Times article as a place where “the ruling class keeps its guard up.”

Sheldon “Boof Truther” Whitehouse has always been a clown. It’s no surprise that he’s also a hypocrite on race, accusing everyone else of systemic racism on the foggiest of notions while fully and knowingly participating in discriminatory social systems back home. If the national media gave this even a fraction of the coverage that it would afford a Republican in the same position, everyone else would know what a hypocritical clown Whitehouse is, too.